I was so proud of Michael this weekend. He blew me away with everything he seemed to be able to handle effortlessly. He wrote in beautiful handwriting in his friend’s birthday card, did amazing with sitting on Santa’s lap at the mall, and then handled losing his tooth and going to see the “Santa Train” all without losing his composure and remaining calm. As it was a swim party I saw how well he has improved with swimming too. He knows how to do the front crawl. But the best part for me, was how proud of himself he was. The awareness of his strengths is increasing. The awareness of his weaknesses are too, but he is learning strategies to handle that as well.
I am seeing my little guy growing up. He is choosing which people he wants to be friends with. Along with that, comes a lot of responsibility in learning to be polite about who you want to play with and invite. This is something Dad and I are working with him on too, as it is one of those abstract things that is hard for him to decipher. There are also some friends he has “outgrown,” and again we are reminding him to be polite and kind. You don’t need to be best friends with everyone, but all people deserve self-respect just as you do. I found myself close to happy tears watching him show me what he can do, what he understands, and how he is starting to learn how to have back and forth conversations with kids his own age and adults. This is also beautiful to see and I am so glad he is able to understand this.
There are, of course, days that are very tough and challenging. He will take away the lesson from it though, which is amazing. Before, it would have fallen on deaf ears. He was not able to understand the lesson. And even when we have to teach it a few times, if Dad and I are calm, he will grasp it. That is another important thing for caregivers to remember. Every child is different and will develop differently, including on the autism spectrum. Parents need to remember that too and cut themselves and their kids some slack.
Exceptional Parents, what memorable things have your Exceptional Children done lately? When do you see they are at their best and what is the most efficient way to motivate them? Maturity will happen as they grow, and it is important we grow with them too. Parents need to stay calm, focused and positive, while they encourage their child to do the same thing. Until next time.
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