We did it! We had our first diabetes checkup and Michael passed (and us by extension) passed with flying colors! The doctor was very happy with his blood sugar levels and his overall health and complimented all of us for good teamwork. It was good to hear. We had been nervous about this visit, particularly as Michael has had his fair share of high and low blood sugars so we worried that we were doing something wrong. It was a little stressful at first waiting to see the doctor. Michael had some behaviors, but then we were settled into a quiet room where we waited for the doctor. We did not know what to expect so it was hard to prepare Michael. We did bring books for him to read, and after choosing instead to read the introduction to diabetes handbook we had gotten, played around on Google Maps until the doctor arrived.
After that while in the process, Michael did very well. We were so proud of him as he explained how he was adjusting to his new life. We explained how we were managing too, which these days is pretty good as we get the hang of things. The tough part is managing behaviors around the unpredictability of what is happening, and that is the autism side. Dad and I have different ways of handling these situations, and I think this had made Michael more anxious even though neither way is right or wrong. What I also realized after a very tough drive home and evening with fights, tears and anger, centered around Michael having a hard time hearing the word “no”.
For Michael this is usually the tipping point to all the fights we are having lately. He needs control and when he does not get his way (which we tell him is impossible all the time), we run into these power struggles. How can we avoid them? We keep reminding him to use his strategies, think before he acts, and take a minute to calm himself before responding. This is so hard for him to do. Self-control is challenging for people with autism. Add in the fact he was up in the night due to his cold and started the day early, and that did not help matters either. After his shower and right before injection and bed, he asked his Dad and I to please not give up on him. It broke my heart because I saw the constant reminders to use his strategies and the limits we were placing as showing love. He is starting to connect the dots, and has admitted it is hard for him though he wants to do the right thing. He asked me to do the right thing for him. I of course told him he is capable. He just needs to do it one time and then it will become habit. I or his Dad will remind him, but he has to make the choice to do the right thing. Suffice it to say we were all exhausted by bedtime, but at least now I can say that we know what needs fixing and will be better prepared for our next medical visit.
Exceptional Parents, how does your Exceptional Child handle the word “no” and any kind of conflict? Do they have good self-control strategies or is that something you are still working on? Regardless, you are not alone if you are struggling in this area with your child. Stay positive, get support and strategies for yourself to handle the rough times as well as for them, and remember, find a way to tell them when the dust has settled that you love them and are never giving up on them. They need to know you are in their corner always. Until next time.
I am a writer, speaker and parent coach whose son with Autism and Type 1 Diabetes has shown me a whole new way to see the world and embrace the joy of living in the moment! I believe in empowering parents to trust their own instincts when it comes to their children, and in helping them parent with love, respect and confidence on their own exceptional parenting journey.
For more information on my coaching services, for a FREE 30 min consultation, and to receive a copy of my FREE E-BOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY,” see my website: www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.