Spring Break has been going well so far. There is just one thing I am working on. It requires, as does so much of parenting a special child, being a detective. I am learning how to spot Michael’s triggers that set off anxiety and aggression, and helping him recognize what strategies and tools he needs to handle it. The first thing I have to do is stay calm so I don’t lose it as he is losing it. The second thing is to make sure he has strategies already at his fingertips to know he has help to calm down. The trick has been getting him to find what strategies work. He has some now that he uses regularly, and if I try to catch him at the beginning of the snowball, I can gently remind him to use the other ones. He has been doing well so far using his tools or asking for help and reminders what to do. This has made an enormous difference in how the day goes.
Michael has always been so sensitive to when I am stressed or angry. It has usually escalated him or caused behaviors. Of course, he has to learn to handle things he does not like, or sometimes misconceptions of how I am feeling-think how individuals with autism have difficulty with understanding social cues or the perception of other people. It is confusing, but I am starting to be able to tell when Michael is acting out, not in control of himself due to inability to focus, tiredness, possibly low or high blood sugar, and/or side effects of medicine. I am also learning how to tell when he is trying to pull my chain which fortunately and unfortunately he can do so well. It is all a balancing act as an exceptional parent. Michael for his part too is juggling a lot and we remind him (Dad and I), how proud we are. He is handling diabetes, new medication and therapy interventions while puberty is exploding around him. I am in awe of his cooking, baking, mapping, musical proclivities which are coming back, and the fact that in spite of the fact there is aggression and stress, there are also many moments when Michael still makes us laugh, think about life in a new way, and appreciate the delightful human being he is when he is calm and in control of himself. He asks questions about the world around him and is curious about learning. For this, I am extremely grateful.
Exceptional Parents, are you in control of your child’s outbursts and able to understand where the difficulty regulating is coming from? Are you still able to appreciate the good moments they have? Remember, life is adventure, and your exceptional child will teach you so much on it. Go along for the ride with them, and let the influence go both ways. You will grow together. Until next time.
I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com