Month: January 2017

Navigating Anxiety, Rules and Establishing Boundaries-Essentials for Exceptional Parents and Their Children

I felt like a terrible mother yesterday morning.  I heard the  thump thump thumping of little feet running in the hallway as I was pouring my cup of coffee. I felt, as I did some other times this happened, like a terrible mother for feeling not joy, but dread that Michael was up. Then I realized it was not dread. I love my child. I am so grateful he is healthy, able to get up on his own and sleeping the night, especially given his early history with sleeping. That is when I realized what I was feeling  was actually anxiety. I was anxious that we would get into some long fight due to it being early still and Michael being out of his routine getting up at this hour. I also saw my work morning going down the toilet.  That was our old pattern though. I reminded myself that things had been changing between us as I adjusted to Michael’s new preoccupations of buying toys with chore money and organizing when he would do those chores. I also was learning to let go of my own fears of losing my temper and seeing unpredictability with Michael as something to challenge us both to get stronger. He was upset that he couldn’t clean the carpet this morning after sweeping the floor and doing some dishes. He was a little man on a mission and in his real time the chores had to be done then. Once I explained he could do one chore a day to earn his eventual toy, he was fine. It took awhile for us to get there though, but when we did he played, I worked, we had breakfast,waited for the bus, and had a good sendoff to school.

When Michael gets up it is rare he is not UP instantly. I think I can count on two hands the times he has actually acted like a teenager stereotype and been quiet in the am. I liked those morning as I am not a morning person. I need a minimum of twenty minutes for my coffee to kick in as well as my lemon water, and I love doing my meditation and yoga before he is awake so I am ready for his sweet, intelligent, but nervous energy. You see, I also have a nervous and anxious temperament. But what I have learned in the past three years is to control what I can; my own emotions, morning routine etc. and fitness schedule so I can handle the uncontrollable things around me better. Michael is a nervous kid and needs constant reassurance of answers, schedules, and such.  I am so proud of his academic accomplishments, the questions he asks me, and his general attempts to learn better social skills which I know are challenging for him. As most parents with exceptional children will tell you, I don’t know how he does it in a world that is not always friendly to his senses, but he succeeds and does well. I think as his Mom, I am also learning how to do well in reading him better. It is not always easy. He throws his Dad and I emotional curve balls as do all children I’m sure, but with Michael you need to be ready. He is sharp, swift and will not hesitate to ask questions until he gets answers.

Exceptional Parents, are there times you are exhausted by your children the second they get up in the morning,but are embarrassed to admit it? Do you feel like a bad parent or failure? You are not. You are human. You love them as they love you, and by gently insisting on your own boundaries, you are taking care of your own health for you and your child’s healthy relationship development. You will start to see how much calmer you are when you have your routine and boundaries. You will also teach your child to create his/her boundaries at the same time. This will help you both navigate anxiety a lot better. Until next time.

Are you looking to make changes in your special needs parenting life? Do you need support on your journey?  I am a writer and parent coach who is passionate about empowering parents to trust their own instinct when raising their exceptional children with autism, and remembering that parenthood is as much a journey for us as childhood is for our children. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation Session, see my website: http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

Feeling like hibernating with winter and your anxiety? Looking for new tools to handle anxious thought and patterns? Download my FREE EBOOK: “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS

 

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5 Ways to Find Your Special Needs Child’s Skills and Help Instill Confidence

 

Michael is a sassy and social kid. I love him. I love him not only because he is my son, and well, that’s what Moms do, but because he tries so hard to learn things and even when he doesn’t succeed right away, he doesn’t give up. Sometimes it is heartbreaking seeing him struggle with things neuro typical kids have an easy time with. But that is normal for him, given the fact that his brain works differently and it takes his body time to process things. I am so impressed when I see him working so hard. I know it’s not easy, but he does his best and is cheerful most of the time. Then there are the times that are hard. Michael’s anxiety will get the better of him. There will be demands for continuous repetition of what he already knows, tantrums and tears and though he is learning to control the physical outbursts and swearing, those will come sometimes too. It is heartbreaking to watch and as a Mom and coach I am constantly refining my own tools to figure out how best to help him.

This is why recently it has occurred to me that encouraging his talents and gently nudging Michael in that direction can solve a lot of the self-esteem problems. That is what Dad and I are doing, and not in a way that we are trying to force him to become a protegee of some sort, but just to be as good as he can be doing something that he loves. We have known since he was a baby that Michael was musically inclined. He loves songs, memorizes lyrirs and tunes by heart and loves to dance. We had a bad experience with piano lessons when he was too young, so are now waiting, but were amazed at seeing him dance in Hip Hop class last year. We are now encouraging him playing his musical instruments at home, piano, guitar and accordion while he sings songs, and I think the time has come for either voice lessons or music lessons, such as piano. He is also our little GPS navigator and knows where to go and how to use Google Maps. His latest career interest is becoming a map designer, and in a touching statement to me, he said, “I want to work from home like you Mommy, in a home office. ” Ahhh.

But how can parents bring out a child’s interests and figure out what they love/do not love? Yes, not all our children will be savants, but it does not mean they won’t offer amazing things to the world and be less anxious and be happier people. 5 Ways to Find Your Special Needs Child’s Skills and Help Instill Confidence:

  1. See what they gravitate to: This is easy with kids who have autism in most cases. They tend to like to watch the same thing over and over, do the same activity etc. In that activity or act, lies an interest in something. If it is a television show, perhaps they are artistic and they can be directed to performance, singing or behind the scenes work.  If they are building blocks of Lego, then these kids could be future engineers etc.
  2. Praise them when they do these activities: A parent’s or caregiver’s praise can go a long way. It will show the child that they matter and their skill matters not for financial gain, but because they are good at something.
  3. Find other kids that like these activities and hang out: Another great thing to do is to find other kids who like the same things as your child and try to organize play dates or if it’s a class, have your child try a trial run. They will get a kick seeing how they have a talent like a lot of kids.
  4. Give them the time at home to explore: Let them free play with toys, instruments, blocks etc to get a feel.
  5. Encourage them and talk about their talents: It’s important if you see an interest that you talk to your children about the fact they are good at this or that and to keep up the good work.

Exceptional Parents, what are your children good at? Chances are you already know and need to only push them gently in the right direction. They will have fun and you as the parent will be happy that you trusted your instinct as a parent. It is always the right place to start. Until next time.

 

 

 

Honeymoon’s Over- Autism Behavior Triggers And How Exceptional Parents Can Learn from Them

So this afternoon the honeymoon period was over, the honeymoon period of NO behaviors for a good three weeks. I wasn’t clear and concise with something. I said one thing, then changed my mind. Michael was hungry, tired. It was just before dinner. As a matter of fact, I was getting dinner on the table. I said something he did not like. He started protesting, yelling, then before I could stop him, he broke a glass that was near the sink. Immediately he looked to see if his hand wasn’t cut. It wasn’t. I informed him this had cost him one of his tokens. He was upset, started to hit his head and continued trying to bargain with me and justify what he had done. I told him to calm down. I spilled the water from draining the pasta that I had cooked, and was losing my temper too. I quickly took a deep breath, and told Michael to go get washed up for dinner. We would talk at dinner. He finally listened, did what he was told and we talked strategies- how he could have handled himself better, why he needs to listen (not just to get things), and the importance of learning from our mistakes. It was a good conversation. Due to losing one of his 6 tokens, he did not get the usual one hour reward of time on the computer as he normally did, but the thirty minutes he gets for earning 5 tokens. We show him he can still succeed, and next time do better.

I’m sure this scenario plays out, and will play out I’m sure, many more times at homes where exceptional children reside. It’s normal. They don’t hear the boundaries. They are tired. They get frustrated and don’t have good coping mechanisms and they blow. It’s not easy. Even children who are on medication have these moments. I used to wonder as a Mom who has not gone down that route, if this would solve the problem. I think it is helpful, like any intervention, but should be used when it is used, in conjunction with good anger management strategies. When the child is aware and can grasp consequences for their actions, this is the best time to teach. I always do a rewind with Michael after such an incident and have been for the last year. I think it is helping him like it helps me, as long as we don’t overdue it.

What did I learn from last night’s episode? Yes, I am a parent coach and have learned many strategies to cope with my own anger, stress, and feelings of being overwhelmed in the last three years. But I am also a human being, and I have my breaking point. I allow myself the room to make mistakes, learn from them and regroup. I could have paid a little more attention to my words and been more concrete. Now, I’m not blaming myself for Michael’s outburst. His feelings reactions are his responsibility. But I am only saying that I need to be conscious of my words, stress level, and what I mean. With exceptional kids, they can often go from 0 to 100 very easily, particularly at times of the day when they are tired.  Michael has made leaps and bounds in his awareness. As I have blogged before he is even trying to do some neuro typical manipulating (as all kids do), with it in mind. I am proud, but it also means as a Mom, my job title got harder. It’s ok. I am ready for it.

Exceptional Parents, have you recently had breaks in your honeymoon behavior period with your children? How does this make you feel? It’s normal if your first reaction is stress and despondency. Self-pity sometimes comes in too. Give in to it for a few moments, but then it’s time to get back in the saddle. Think of the gift of the mistake. Learn from it and help your child to learn from it. Together the two of you will become stronger and closer as a result. Until next time.

Are you looking to make changes in your special needs parenting life? Do you need support on your journey?  I am a writer and parent coach who is passionate about empowering parents to trust their own instinct when raising their exceptional children with autism, and remembering that parenthood is as much a journey for us as childhood is for our children. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation Session, see my website: http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

Looking to beat those winter blahs? Download my FREE EBOOK: “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS

 

Exceptional Alone Time-Recharge, Re-Energize and Help Your Child Learn Its Value

As I climbed into my lovely hot bath with the required candle burning in the corner of the tub, I thought how wonderful it was to take this time for me last night. I usually don’t allow myself this luxury at nine o’clock at night. On the weekends, I try to make time to spend with my partner. We hardly have time to talk during the week. Or sometimes I will get back to my fiction writing or to reading the latest novel I have started. I always say I will take this time to unwind in the bath by myself when the house is quiet and only the cat is patiently waiting outside the door for me to feed her. But yesterday was one of the few evenings I allowed myself to do this. Why, I thought? I need to do this a few times a week. It is free respite, in my home, and I was so zen I did not even need the glass of wine I was looking to drinking afterwards. I drink my lemon water, went to do some Social Media work, and the headed off to bed. I slept really well.

As Exceptional parents, we have so many more stresses and worries about our children. We have strains and guilt, and think that maybe we could have done better today. Why didn’t we? Even when things are going well like they have been for me with Michael, I still question and second guess myself sometimes. Michael will remind me faster than I him , “Mommy, you’re doing a good job.” I have taught Michael well and his self-esteem is strong. So is mine in every respect pretty much, even as a mother. There are those moments when I lapse though and am hard on myself. More therapeutic things could have been done. More I love you’s could have been said. But now I stop myself. I am enough. He is enough. We are enough. When I stop to take a rest by a nice bath, a good book, a night out or listening to music, I remind myself that I am strong, beautiful and doing the best that I can. Michael is doing all of these things too. I have taught him how to take care of himself and now he reminds me.

White Hot Mug on Book Near Linen

Exceptional Parents, how often do you recharge and take respite at home in your territory? Your child needs to see you prioritizing that as they prioritize their relaxation, health and well-being. It’s only by doing that, that both of you will grow stronger and healthier and be able to tackle the big issues up ahead. Until next time .

Are you looking to make changes in your special needs parenting life? Do you need support on your journey?  I am a writer and parent coach who is passionate about empowering parents to trust their own instinct when raising their exceptional children with autism, and remembering that parenthood is as much a journey for us as childhood is for our children. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation Session, see my website: http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

Looking to beat the winter blahs? Download my FREE EBOOK: “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS

Surprises On The Autism Path-Development and Revisiting Our Own Limitations

Today I finally read the Occupational Therapist’s report on Michael’s progress in his last OT Workshop. He participates in many of these sessions that work on fine motor development with hand writing, manipulating objects, cutting and pasting in crafts as well as gross motor strength. I have learned over the years that all these skills the rest of us NT people take for granted learning, are hard for kids with developmental delays and autism. As tears threatened to fill my eyes, I read, as usual, how Michael mastered yet another skill like cutting a shape out of construction paper, or twirling a pencil, which is something he could not do in the fall when he started. There are always so many obstacles he overcomes and everywhere on the paper it is written how cheerfully he cooperated and how much fun he had. My heart both breaks for the difficulties he has to face in learning things the rest of us take for granted along with the pride in his victories and the gains he has made.

But then the hard part for me as an Exceptional Mom comes. The part where the therapist mentions “continuing his gains” by practicing the following exercises at home whenever we have a chance. And they are never difficult or expensive per se. But Michael would never do them with me. I always would feel like a failure as a parent that I could not continue the therapist’s work at home on weekends or holidays or summer vacation. Yesterday morning was no exception after I read the note. Except. Except something amazing happened. He was home on a “Snow Day” the whole day. The weather was terrible. I had to work. After playing the inevitable games by himself and watdching a movie he was getting antsy. I sucked in my breath and decided to dare it. I suggested going to Pinterest and finding a craft activity together that we could do. I almost fell  off my chair when he agreed. He blew me away! He did most of it himself and when I praised him, I saw the look of pride, happiness and excitement that he had created something. He even complimented me on my craft abilities, which suck by the way. I told him that and you know what he said?
“Mommy, don’t say that. I think you’re good at crafts.”

The child raising the parent. The child trying something new when the parent had almost given up. I was shown an amazing lesson by Michael today. 1) I am not a failure as a Mom if I can’t get him to do crafts and 2) I should never give up trying new things, with him and alone.

Exceptional Parents, what kind of surprises are your Exceptional Children capable of if you throw them a curve ball or something different? Don’t give up on something because it has not worked in the past. Keep trying. Keep believing. And always know your child will surprise you for the better if you give them the chance. Remind them they can do anything as can you!

Are you looking to make changes in your special needs parenting life? Do you need support on your journey?  I am a writer and parent coach who is passionate about empowering parents to trust their own instinct when raising their exceptional children with autism, and remembering that parenthood is as much a journey for us as childhood is for our children. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation Session, see my website: http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

JANUARY SPECIAL: Refer a friend to a six month program, and receive 2 one on one coaching sessions with me at 50% off

Looking to make a fresh start in 2017 with the way you handle anxiety in your special needs family? Download my FREE EBOOK: “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS

 

 

Using Autism As An Excuse To Not Listen-When Exceptional Kids Reach The Next Level of Awareness

“I have autism Mommy. That’s why I can’t listen.” This would have me laughing completely, but I am feeling very frustrated. As Michael utters these words, he is smiling. He knows very well that he is using the “autism excuse” to get away with something. He is smarter than even I thought, and I think my kid is pretty smart.

“No, Michael. Autism is not an excuse to not listen.  Now what are you supposed to say and do?” He sighs and then the words come out.

“I’m sorry for not listening Mommy. I will clean up the mess.”

“Ok. I accept your apology. Now clean up this mess and you can go and play.”

He had made a mess with some food then tried to get out of cleaning it up. That was the excuse this time. Another time he had tried to use the autism excuse on something else. It was quite funny actually. However, this is presenting me with a problem I did not think we’d have this soon: Michael’s total awareness of his autism and how it makes him different. He first learned of his autism about a year ago. Sometimes he even uses it to make negative comments about other boys who are weird. They are neuro typical boys, and I think that Michael may not know how to articulate that he feels uncomfortable around them. He will only say things to me like “I want to be with my friends from school, not new kids.” The new kids are usually at church or parks or camp or other places. He has noticed over a year ago that he is different and does not know how to talk to these kids. We are working on demonstrating how to have a conversation. But is coming along slowly. Adults are easier to talk to. They give him time to answer back or let Michael talk on and on about what interests him. The smile and indulge him and are amazed by him. He is like a beacon of light to them. I see it in their faces when he talks.  Kids his own age will either turn to me questioningly and walk away. It becomes challenging for all of us. They do not know what to make of him anymore than he of them.

2 Persons  Holding Their Hands

Still this level of development is exciting to see. Michael is learning how to test boundaries, to express his likes/dislikes, and as usual, to throw curve balls my way. I am so proud of how far he has come, and though being sneaky is not something parents are traditionally proud of, well everything Michael does that shows me how aware he is points to me how far he has come. It’s like when he doesn’t want to talk about his day or have me kiss him. He is acting like a typical preteen or tween, and to that I say: Thank you God and God help me in the same breath! This is where my parenting has to get creative. He needs his autism supports, firm boundaries, but he also needs to navigate tween hood like any neuro typical child would. Most adults agree with me. My challenge is finding the right balance as his Mom.

Exceptional Parents, what kind of awareness do your Exceptional Children have? There is no wrong or right answer. They are all at their own level, and have their own strengths and weaknesses. Just remember to find the balance between their autism and their regular kid behaviors. Don’t let them use their autism as an excuse to escape responsibility and the world, but support them with strategies to be the best they can be. Until next time.

Are you looking to make changes in your special needs parenting life? Do you need support on your journey?  I am a writer and parent coach who is passionate about empowering parents to trust their own instinct when raising their exceptional children with autism, and remembering that parenthood is as much a journey for us as childhood is for our children. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation Session, see my website: http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

Looking to make a fresh start in 2017 with the way you handle anxiety in your special needs family? Download my FREE EBOOK: “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS

 

 

An Inside View Into My Son’s Way of Thinking About His Autism-The Quirky, The Fun, The Challenging

The last few days have been really interesting ones with Michael. He has been calm, listening well, and telling me he is listening for his rewards. But he has also been staying in control of his emotions and letting me help redirect him when he needed help managing things. It has been a relief to see he is finding his emotional equilibrium again. I worry so much when aggression is present, but am starting to see my part in helping exacerbate or move it along. I am also seeing my part in helping tone it down.

The most interesting thing to happen was that Michael began to tell me where he comes up with a lot of his ideas and the things he says. The latest thing he is saying is “Mommy is made up of clay. She is soft with soft hands and face and legs.” When I asked him where he learned this, he said he came up with it proudly. He loves clay and he loves me. It’s kind of like when he tells me he wants to write a story and later is talking about wanting to work at home in an office like me, but instead of writing he wants to design maps. I am so flattered that he is copying me and emulating some of the good stuff. God knows, he has copied some of the bad stuff like language I have said in anger that I regret. It is wonderful to see him developing like this.

There are still the times he challenges me with minor behaviors to see how far he can go, but most of the time now we are settling into a nice relating back and forth again. I have heard many  “I love you’s” and “You’re the best mother ever.” It’s nice to hear. There are times I feel I could do more, say more to make things better for him though he is doing well. I think every parent wishes that. But parents of exceptional kids, are always on the lookout; what could we improve? Michael’s sensory issues are out of whack so am talking to the OT to see what we could tweak there to help him. Yet through all of this, as I tell people, he is still raising me to be more aware of myself as a mother and person, of my own boundaries, issues, strengths and weaknesses. He is and always will be my champion.

Exceptional Parents, do you often  have an inside view into your child’s mind with autism? Do they grant you that willingly or do things sometimes slip out that you see or hear? Regardless, whatever way you find out about it it is a gift. It is a gift to see how our child’s brain feels things and sees the world. It gives many more tools to learn to help them get what they need so that they can learn and become the best they can be. Until next time.

 

Are you looking to make changes in your special needs parenting life? Do you need support on your journey?  I am a writer and parent coach who is passionate about empowering parents to trust their own instinct when raising their exceptional children with autism, and remembering that parenthood is as much a journey for us as childhood is for our children. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation Session, see my website: http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com. SPECIAL OFFER:  NEW YEAR’s SPECIAL: Refer a friend to a six month coaching program, and receive one individual coaching session for 50% off. 

Looking to make a fresh start in 2017 with the way you handle anxiety in your special needs family? Download my FREE EBOOK: “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS

 

 

Recognizing When I Need A Break As An Exceptional Mom

So the other day Michael asked if he could show me a new way home from school. I had picked him up at school as he had a swimming lesson directly after school. The week before had been stressful at the lesson and I was tired. It had been a short, but busy work day and I had stopped in to buy groceries before picking Michael up. Maybe that was why when Michael told me to turn right like his bus did and not left, that I let out the swear word and felt my anger explode out of me. Michael grinned and then I realized my mistake. I apologized for swearing and then seeing where I was redirected myself out through the small streets and back the way he had meant to tell me. We were both tired and a little distracted and mistakes happen. Still, where did all the anger come from? I realized I hadn’t been sleeping much and was feeling a little stressed. I also realized I needed to do something for me and practice some self-care which was lacking this week. I realized I needed to get back to exercise and yoga. At least I was still meditating. That was what had given me the strength to apologize for my blunder and turn the rest of the afternoon around as I teach Michael.

But what I also realized is that that woman who was hard on herself is gone. The woman who would call herself a bad mother was gone. The one who said she couldn’t this anymore was gone. Thank God. Wow. I’d come a long way from three years ago when I was so hard on myself. And it was because I didn’t know how to be anything else. I didn’t know when I was burning out, or when I was being a martyr, a victim. Now, I recognize when I am not practicing proper self-care and when I need to get on the bandwagon of recharging my batteries. When I start thinking, “I have to cancel that lunch,”  “I can’t exercise today,” or “I can’t go out.” That is my self-sacrificing side coming out which, if not tempered with a firm, “Joanne, you need to take care of you by doing this today,” will fizzle and burn out and then I’ll be no good to anybody. I was so happy I recognized I was there the other day with Michael. And I stopped, paused and reminded myself: You are going to make time for you this week. And that is what I have been doing. Lunch with friends on Thursday, and later today, I will be going to a spa near me for a Hamamm experience: hot tubs and saunas. This is what helps me recharge. I actually have made a habit to go every January to this Hamamm as it is like a reset for me. Next thing will be booking a massage in February.

Exceptional Parents, do you notice when you are running on empty? What are your signs? What are your child’s? The great thing when we notice our own signs of wear and tear is that we can teach our Exceptional Children to notice theirs and find ways that they can unwind and recharge their own batteries. You’ve come a long way as a parent when you see you can do this. It means you are seeing your own humanity and limits, and this will help you connect to your child in an even more intimate way. Until next time.

Are you looking to make changes in your special needs parenting life? Do you need support on your journey?  I am a writer and parent coach who is passionate about empowering parents to trust their own instinct when raising their exceptional children with autism, and remembering that parenthood is as much a journey for us as childhood is for our children. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation Session, see my website: http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

SPECIAL NEW YEAR PROMOTION: Refer a friend for a six month coaching program, and receive two personal one on one coaching sessions with me at a 50% price discount.

Looking to make a fresh start in 2017 with the way you handle anxiety in your special needs family? Download my FREE EBOOK: “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS

 

 

 

How Exceptional Mom Calm Makes All the Difference for Exceptional Children

Today Michael was home on a PED DAY. As usual I made sure to structure it with him so that he would know what to expect. He is getting better with leaving some unstructured time, but I find for both of us, particularly as I work at home, that we need on again, off again time where he is alone, I am with him, and then I am alone working. He knows Mom gets up early to work. Mom works while she is not with him. And Mom works at night. I remind him that having your own business and working from home means that and also that this way I am flexible to be there for him too. There is a lot of juggling, but both of us are getting the hang of it.

What I have been finding more and more lately is how when I am calm about anything it registers on a deeper level in Michael. Obviously, he is surface calm too seeing me laughing and we make jokes together. This morning we even had some affectionate moments when he was hugging and kissing me. These don’t happen that often anymore as he is getting older and starting to push away. I treasure them when I have them. He senses how happy I am to be with him and how calm. He picks up on my vibes. Likewise, the other day I was a little stressed and he picked up on that too. The challenging behaviors started coming out. It’s tough. As parents, we try to hold it together, but sometimes we just collapse and yell, swear (guilty of that one recently) and feel like we have failed. But we haven’t. We have simply seen what is not working and observed the difference in our child.

Michael asks lots of questions. He is curious about everything and everyone. I both love it and sometimes am exasperated by it. Still, I realize this is the only way to learn. By asking. By trying. By being. Isn’t that when I started making headway in my life? Yes, it was when I stopped being afraid to ask questions. When I stopped being afraid to try and conquer my anxiety and my fear. That is when I was reborn and now, hopefully, after a challenging December can start imparting that peace to Michael and others in my family.

Exceptional Parents, when you stop and are calm no matter what, how does this affect your Exceptional Child? Watch them next time; their face, their mannerisms, their voice, their body language. Don’t be afraid to just be with them no matter what else is happening. You are their most important connection even when they are angry at you. Show them how much they are loved by keeping calm body, mind and soul. Until next time.

Are you looking to make changes in your special needs parenting life? Do you need support on your journey?  I am a writer and parent coach who is passionate about empowering parents to trust their own instinct when raising their exceptional children with autism, and remembering that parenthood is as much a journey for us as childhood is for our children. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation Session, see my website: http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

Looking to make a fresh start in 2017 with the way you handle anxiety in your special needs family? Download my FREE EBOOK: “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS

Differentiate Between Sensory Sensitivities, Boredom and Challenging Behaviors-Let Your Exceptional Child Lead the Way

I used to think I knew Michael one hundred percent. I used to think that surely all the books, articles, and experts I’d talked to about him and his various behaviors could give me an accurate peak into his mind pretty much 24/7. Then I saw that wasn’t the case as he got older. Yes, I know a lot. The books and articles accurately describe a lot of what Michael and kids like him experience, and his therapists know a great deal. But none of us really knows Michael or the individual with autism better than the individual himself. Maybe another person with autism could come closer than us neuro typical parents, educators, and experts. So this has helped me greatly to trust that Michael will usually know what is right for himself.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This does not mean that he does not need guidance and rules to follow like any kid. Believe me, he has tried and continues to try to get his own way with staying up later, not wanting to listen to us, etc. But I see that when I give a little as far as asking him how he is feeling, he will give back more. Some days I have less patience than others. I shared a great quote on Facebook yesterday about pausing and showing patience before we respond to our children. This is hard when we are tired and low on energy, but mandatory. It is the way to their hearts and souls as it is to ours. Understanding and giving them space will go a long way to help us as parents understand what they are going through. I now can tell the difference when Michael is having real sensory sensitivites, experiencing boredom, and showing challenging behaviors. When I look back, I can now see the pattern and know where he needs help.

Exceptional Parents, how do you know what is going through your Exceptional Child’s mind? You don’t know everything, but you definitively have an idea. To get more details, you need to let your child open up to me in a way that only they can. Let them express how they are feeling and with time you’ll recognize if they need space, a hug, sleep or new strategies to deal with sensory issues. The important thing is to give them the steering wheel and let them steer you to where they need help. Until next time.

Are you looking to make changes in your special needs parenting life? Do you need support on your journey?  I am a writer and parent coach who is passionate about empowering parents to trust their own instinct when raising their exceptional children with autism, and remembering that parenthood is as much a journey for us as childhood is for our children.

For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation Session, see my website: http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com. For a limited time, I am also offering a special New Year’s Promotion: Refer a friend for one of my six month programs, and receive 2 one on one 1 hour coaching sessions with me for 50% off the regular price. Don’t be afraid to move forward while parenting your exceptional child in a happier and healthier way.

Looking to make a fresh start in 2017 with the way you handle anxiety in your special needs family? Download my FREE EBOOK: “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS.