So Spring has sprung on the calendar, although not officially with our weather systems here in Canada. Still, I could tell by Michael’s behavior, that his body is adjusting to the hour change (more daylight), and has a lot more energy than he normally has in the winter. This has also meant that his sensory system has shifted, so that he needs to move and groove a lot more in order to find his physical and psychological equilibrium. As he gets older, the great thing has been that he has been able to recognize what he and his body needs, most of the time to feel calm. When he has had trouble, I have been able to remember what has worked in the past. I have offered it to him and most of the time he has made use of a lot of the tools.
So, what has worked for our family and our Exceptional Child? Here are 5 ways that you could handle spring fever with your exceptional child:
- Use sensory tools: For us tools like a trampoline to bounce on, a swing (an indoor one in our basement or one at a park), as well as sensory massages such as Wibargher Protocol and Qigong Sensory Massage have been godsends to help Michael as well as Dad and I bond, and help restore some de-stressing for Michael.
- Making sure child is getting enough sleep: This is such a hard concept for so many kids on the spectrum, but getting a good night’s sleep is imperative to managing so much other stress. If you need help establishing good sleep hygiene, speak to a sleep specialist, psycho therapist or educator. When the family sleeps well, everyone feels better.
- Understanding the connection between longer daylight hours and child’s energy: I see it every year around this time, but may still be taken by surprise at the high energy output my child gives in the spring. He may not want to wind down for bed early and may put up a bit of a fight. What we have learned to do is to make sure that we have a busy structured routine to keep Michael occupied so even with the extra daylight, he will get tired at an appropriate bedtime.
- Winding down of routine means up of anxiety: Then there is the fact that school gradually begins to wind down with less structure and work as the months wind down to the end of the school year. This is hard for a lot of special needs children, and the best thing to do is understand this from the outset. If you do as a parent, you’ll know that their anxiety will be gradually going up, so patience with them is the best thing to show. Give them extra time for homework and other things in the home.
- Get outside: Finally, fresh air is so important for body, mind and spirit. It is important to do one’s best to get outside as much as possible during nicer weather so as to experience what only the fresh air can give- peace, serenity and a clear mind to work through problems.
Exceptional Parents, what tips do you have for helping your Exceptional Child handle Spring Fever? Remember, you know your child best and can be the judge of what strategies they need to do to help them get through the day. 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.