Category: education/ school

Exceptional Resources to Help Your Exceptional Child Thrive In School from Education.com

 

So once in a while I come across or am contacted by great organizations that are all about helping all children, including exceptional ones, learn and thrive in various environments. Education.com is just such a site. In the summer, I came across one of their fun summer experiments to do with the kiddos, and now have had a chance to look at another two worksheets called “Kayak Preposition Word Search.” These sheets basically were created to help children from as young as kindergarten and onward in elementary school learn about the proper use of prepositions in a sentence. They have also found a fun way to do this. After all, a lot of our kids will sometimes think of learning as hard boring work instead of an adventure. Resources like these make learning fun and adapt it to kids of all ages.

The Kayak Preposition Word Search has various templates which make learning words and prepositions fun and interesting. (https://www.education.com/worksheet/article/list-of-prepositions/) There are five (5) different templates that a child could choose from when learning about their propositions. There are the insect themed worksheets,  the young girl kayaking themed worksheets, the sea creatures themed worksheets, the dancing themed worksheets, and the fall themed worksheets. A child can zero in on their interest and learn at the same time. Here are two PDF’s with show the themed worksheets. The first one is an example of a “Prepositions Word Search.” The second attachment is the “Prepositions Word Search Answer Key.”

As parents we get to see how fun and learning go together and teach our children the same thing. The whole Education.com site has tons of great ideas that can help parents make learning a cool and interactive experience for their kids. I will be checking out some of these worksheets with Michael when there are PED DAYS or holidays, and there is time to explore new ways to learn and engage with the world at home.

Exceptional Parents, what resources do you use to help engage your Exceptional Children? Do they like learning online better than in books? Are they word smiths or mathematicians? The important thing is to discover what fuels them and makes them want to learn and know more. You can also adapt these types of online resources, as remember, no one knows your child better than you. You are the best advocate. Until next time.

Disclosure Statement: I received the  PDF samples included in this blog post from Education.com for review purposes only. I was not compensated in any way for my writing. The opinions stated here are solely my own.

 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 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 towards their child.

For more information on my coaching services, see my website: www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com, and for a free 30 minute consultation session contact me at joanne@creatingexceptionalparenting.com. Also to receive a copy of my FREE E-BOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” click on www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS.

 

 

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Last Day Of School-How Exceptional Parents And Their Kids Can Stay Sane

back, bus, education

So today is the last day of school for Michael and it was a challenging send off. When he was younger it was the sadness of it being the last day he would be seeing his friends. Now, he is sad that he has to go in and not start summer vacation early even though it starts the next day and continues for 8 weeks. Sigh. You can’t win with kids sometimes. After much directing, fanfare and standoffs occurred, Michael finally left for school. It is hard for exceptional kids when something old is finishing and something new is beginning. Dad also made the mistake of discussing something that would be happening tomorrow and that caused anxiety. I gently reminded him that with Michael it has to be one things at a time on his schedule so he knows what to expect. I will fine tune tomorrow in a schedule for Michael and Dad as I will be at work, and this way they both know what will be happening. Things usually go well, but the first few days of summer vacation are tricky until we have the summer schedule down pat.

Over the years, we have tried various things to help ease Michael from one change to another. Dry erase boards, calendars, schedules of all types. I will be using them this year too, fine tuned with some new tools. As I’ve mentioned before, Dad and I, (particularly me) are learning to talk less and speak very clearly. This has made a difference in not escalating Michael’s anxiety and sometimes even nipping it in the bud. When I see I am about to lose my patience, I will step away and let Dad take over. Dad will do the same. It is hard not to lose your temper when your child is deliberately pushing your buttons. Yet, I see why. He is testing his limits with us, and trying to get control in a situation he feels very little control in, for example going to school when he would rather stay home, leaving behind a toy he is not allowed to take. He is also seeing if Dad and I will stay consistent with the rules we have put into place. Many of them he does not like as he did not have a say in them, but at the same time, I can see he is craving the structure and the facts we have very specific limits placed on behaving in a certain way and getting a certain result. We have given him choices and options for a long time. It worked for many years, giving him choice. Now, in the last year it just ended up causing more complications and anxiety. Michael is beginning to see that he experiences less anxiety when he knows what the outcome of a given action will be. So do we as his parents.

Exceptional Parents, what are your sanity saving busters for coping with that last day of school with your Exceptional Child? How do you and they structure the first few days of summer vacation? Remember, as long as you do what works to decrease yours and your child’s anxiety levels, you are on the right track. Most of our kids LOVE structure so make sure to put as much in as you can. If you have a child that craves less of it, make sure to still have ideas of activities that will appeal to your kids. You will get through calmly to the other side, I promise. 🙂 Until next time.

How To Handle End of School Year Anxiety- Yours and Your Child’s

Over the years end of school anxiety has gotten better. I am lucky that Michael understands what is happening, what he has control over and what he does not. He will always be a kid who worries about which class he is, which teacher he will get, and yes, he will worry about summer camp, even if he is returning to the same one from the previous year. This is not the case this year, but it is all good. Still though, even with this advantage, it is still difficult. Combine that with hot weather usually, and as a parent you have a child who is wired, stressed and hyper. The only good thing about the cool rainy weather is that Michael and I don’t have to contend with that element this year, but the other ones are in place. So what’s a parent and child to do to handle this time of the year gracefully without too many screaming fests? Here are some tips I have picked up over the years:

  1. Make a schedule of the summer ahead of time: Yep, once again write it all down, print it on computer, put it on a tablet or draw/laminate it. You know what works best for your child. And even if they fight you on it, (been there, done that, am currently renegotiating that) say it is for you as well an do it. This removes A LOT of the stress.
  2. Look at the positives: Help your child see the positives at this time of the year: playing outside when weather is nice, field trips, end of school parties/bbq’s etc.
  3. Have a reward system set up: This is good if there are lots of behaviors. If they have something positive to earn by end of the day, it will change their mindset.
  4. Talk or don’t talk: Some kids feel better talking about their stress. For others, this only feeds it. Find out where your child fits on this continuum and do the one that will put their fears at ease. Set aside a time each day to talk without interruption. For those that get overstimulated and anxious with too much talking, set a time limit and boundaries. We will decide that on this day. I will give you an answer etc.
  5. Lots of physical activity and movement: Have them move around a lot doing sports, going to a park, jumping on a trampoline. This will let them handle a lot of the anxiety that comes with pent up energy.

Exceptional Parents, what are some of your words of wisdom for dealing with your child’s end of year anxiety? Remember, for everyone the techniques may be slightly different and need to be tailored to your unique child. Also, don’t despair if they do not work right away. Any new system (behavior or reward) takes time to take effect and for the house to get used to doing things a certain way. Have patience, take care of you, give your child a chance to adjust and together you can both face the summer with optimism. Until next time.

Doctor Visits, More Exceptional Changes Ahead, and Love All Around

 

Michael had his ten year wellness visitits with his new pediatrician the other day. It went extremely well. Michael loved his old pediatrician, and was nervous understandably about having a new doctor. She was and is, however, in a word outstanding. First of all, she let him do the checkup standing up and moving around. She let him ask her all kinds of questions and answered them, and in five minutes flat gave me some wonderful autism social skills websites, told me about some interesting findings about autism that she learned from seminars and therapists, and let Michael take home a fidget toy for good listening. She also strongly suggested we have Michael evaluated for ADHD and Anxiety. She feels he has more ADHD Symptoms than Autism now and with the right controls and possibly medecinewe could help him futrther Everything inside me froze. I have been suspecting ADHD since he was a child along with Autism, and have had most professionals disagreeing that he has it. Some have said there is a possibility, but this is the first doctor who outright said she feels strongly that we should evaluate him. She was surprised y how quickly I agreed. I told her my own suspicions, and told her as well my dilemma with medication, but that we were willing to explore. She uttered that it is not something she recommends outright or feels is always necessary. It is necessary, however, to look at all avenues. She looked at me and said it’s important to prepare myself either way. It was sweet of her to be so kind and honest. I looked right back and told her that I knew there are co-morbid conditions with autism and am prepared to accept whatever else Michael has or develops. He is, and always will be, my child whom I love and will advocate for. I also told her, I take things one step at a time and I teach Michael to do the same.
Afterwards coming home Michael was very upset about the possibility he could have something else that may require him taking medication. He promised me solemnly he would listen to whatever I say so he would not need to take any medicine toolbox, and that the new people he would eventually meet would join “Team  Michael.” They would  be more key players to help him be his best self at home as well as at school. We had a calm discussion and a lovely afternoon and evening, but afterwards when Michael did fall asleep I found the shock of it all hitting me hard. You know as a parents your exceptional child will have many things to deal with as will you.

 

But the fact of starting over with a new condition and learning about it, though I do know quite a lot thanks to friends who have filled  me in, was disconcerting. I realized I was in a little bit of shock, like I had been with his Autism diagnosis even though I had seen that coming from a mile away. I would need time to wrap my head around learning about Michael’s other potential condition should he have it, and what to do to help him. Medication and the thought of it also terrifies me. I am having to deal with my own fears about making the right decision when one professional told me meds would be a disaster, another things it would be a great part of the toolbox, and a third is undecided. Where does that leave a parent? Basically with using her gut, and trusting in that feeling to do right by her child. The sheer weight of having your child’s life in your hands is daunting. When they are exceptional, you are even more scared to make the wrong choice. You know what I have come to learn, however? With love and trust in yourself, you will always make the right choice to help your child and family. That calm I showed Michael is there inside of me. It does not mean I am not scared, sad, worried about the future. But I trust in God, in the Universe, to give me the strength I need to help Michael go where he is supposed to go.

Exceptional Parents, what shocks have you received concerning your Exceptional Children and their mental and/or physical health? How did you put their fears to rest while doing the same for your own, if you managed to? It’s ok if you are angry, scared or worried. It’s ok to even show a little bit of that. Share it with a trusted adult who can help you work through your feelings and focus on taking things one step at a time. Let your child see you strong, focused and proud of them. They are little warriors no matter what, and remember how whatever they have or do not have, is just one small part of who they are.  They are in big part the wonderful child that has helped you see that potential lies deep in all children if we just give them the chance to show us. Until next time.

 

I am a writer, speaker, and parent coach. As the parent of an exceptional child who is raising me to lead a bigger life and purpose, I understand the challenges nonetheless of raising a child who truly thinks out side the  box and has difficulties at times with the way many others see the world. My passion is helping parents to handle the challenges of raising their children to be fully functioning in our world, as well as teaching them the miracles that their child truly is in spite of the difficulties. I truly believe in helping parents lead lives of hope, health, and balance for their own sake and that of their children’s and family’s. For more information on my coaching programs or to book a FREE 30 MINUTE EXPLORATION session with me, see my website: www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

It’s Spring. The weather is changing and sometimes exceptional children have a difficult time managing big emotions. Is your family struggling to handle emotional challenges? Maybe you need to tweak the way your family handle anxiety? If so, download my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS

 

How Sensory Regulation Helps With Challenging Behaviors

 

I began to see a big shift in Michael the day he began to notice he had sensory issues and how he could handle or regulate these. The first time was about four years ago. He was having issues when he first came in from school, a usual difficult time of the day for all kids, but particularly kids with neuro developmental issues or autism. We began working with a great Psycho Educator who suggested, based on his activity preference, what she called a “calm box or corner.” In this box would be objects like squeeze toys he could use and beans to play with, all these to handle with his hands which helped calm him down. The “calm corner” was similar for his central nervous system. It had toys like this as well as stuffed animals to squeeze, a ball, a boxing punching bag if he was angry etc. There were also pillow that he could put on top of him or around him like a fort. As well, it could include his swing and trampoline and a play tunnel to run through. And guess what happened? After talking with him about his feelings of anxiety and overload and how he couldn’t come home and yell and throw things, one glorious day Michael connected the pieces. He came through the door, looked at me and I could tell he was wiped out. He said:

“I need to go downstairs to my calm corner and run through my tunnel.”

He was six years old! I was so glad he was beginning to make that connection of body and mind and learn to start regulating. Michael’s sensory issues even now interfere with his functioning sometimes. We are now back to using gum which helps him focus, stay calm in situations where he is nervous or tired. We have also ordered him some vibrating toys as he likes to clink toys against his chin and if no toy is available use his hand. He was starting to leave a red mark which was worrying us so we have now implemented that. The exciting this though is when Michael started connecting the dots and was able to communicate his needs to Dad and I. From there, we have all been able to come up with tools together where Michael gets the final say as to what works.

Exceptional Parents, are you struggling to help your Exceptional Child regulate their sensory issues? Are they exhibiting a lot of bad behaviors due to this? You are not alone. It happens to all of us at one time or another. Just remember to try and communicate with your child. Ask them how they are feeling and help them learn to be their own little detective in figuring out how they can meet their sensory needs. If you play detective as well, you will be able to see what sets them off and what helps them. It will be the gift of a lifetime when they have tools to handle the difficult times in their life. And you as a parent will be calmer and happier seeing your child manage their stress so well.  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: February is the month of love. We show love to our children, partners and friends But what about to ourselves as parents? Do you know how to practice self-care and truly love the amazing parent and person you are? If you need support in this area of your life,  until Feb. 28th I am offering a FREE ONE HOUR one on one coaching session, as well as a second one hour one on one coaching session at 50% off regular price. Give yourself the gift of self-love, and learn some great tools to begin to put your needs first so you can parent in balance. Contact me at joanne@creatingexceptionalparenting.com or 514-827-7175 to book your Skype sessions. 

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.

 

 

 

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

 

 

How To Get Back Into Routine With Your Exceptional Child

Well, for most of us today is the day kids are back in school and some parents are back at work. It is a happy day for some, not for others. You know your ages. 🙂 But all jokes aside, it is a struggle for a lot of families to get back into routine. All people, with and without children have a hard time getting back into the swing of things after vacation, but with kids you have the extra thing of getting them organized and ready for school. We all know what does not work for us or our kids, but what are some of the true and tested things that do work? This is tricky. With Exceptional Children, a lot of the traditional stuff the rest of us use may not work or even make things worse. In our house we’ve used a combination of a few things, and every year Michael tries different strategies himself, good and bad, in preparation for the first day back.

  1. Get a good night’s sleep the night before: This is a no-brainer for all us, but something many forget. If you are tired the first day back, things will be harder. The best scenario is to make sure your child and you get a good night’s rest. If that can’t be managed, if parents are rested at least they will have more patience to help their child.
  2. Remind your child about seeing his/her friends if that is incentive or some other thing they like at school: For some Exceptional Children, seeing their friends is great incentive, especially if they have not had a chance to see them over the holidays. For others, maybe they like the bus ride or some other subject at school or recess.
  3. All kids are feeling the same as them: This is a tricky one due to theory of mind, but I’ve found as Michael has gotten older he will appreciate hearing how he is not alone in stress about “back to school.”
  4. Remind them of future PED DAYS/Spring Break or give immediate rewards for a good first day back: Again, teaching them to look forward to something works too if they are able to understand this concept. For those who can’t do this yet, the promise of a favorite activity, treat, or other special reward can go a long way to helping motivation and a positive attitude.
  5. Give them (and yourself) time to adjust: The first week back for everyone will have its challenges. Go in knowing that. Try to keep your sense of humor as a parent. Give yourself little rewards at the the end of the day for making it through- a bath, reading a chapter from a favorite book, watching a favorite show etc.

Exceptional Parents, what are some tried and true methods that have worked to make back to school work for you and your family? Remember, as long as rest, patience and love are involved in some form you can’t go wrong. You will find the right formula and adjust it to your family and household. Go easy on yourself too when you make mistakes. You are only human after all. Happy first week back! Until next time.

Peer Relationships and Understanding Real Friendship-How Far My Exceptional Son Has Come

 

Last night at dinnertime Michael started talking about what happened at school during the day. He spoke about a violent altercation one of his classmates had with the teaching assistant. The behavior technician came in and the child went with her and was removed from the class. This is something that does happen from time to time at Michael’s school as the children have emotional challenges. It is well handled, but I was still worried about its effect on Michael. He told me he was smiling when the boy did it, but when I asked him if he thought it was funny he said no. I reminded him to think how he would feel if someone did that to me. “Oh boy. No, that’s terrible Mommy!”

But that was not what shocked me. What surprised me was that Michael is pursuing this boy in friendship. I have heard about this child from time to time how he will tell Michael he does not want to play with him, go away. My heart goes out to my little guy, even though when he recounts these stories to me he sounds more surprised that his “friend” would do that to him and puzzled as well. This opened up the floor for me to talk to Michael about what real friends are, and which people are either not your friends or casual friends at best. I asked him if the three really close friends he speaks of and has play dates with would ever have treated him the way this boy did. He said no. I asked him if they enjoyed playing with him and didn’t avoid him as this boy does. He agreed, yes they played with him all or most of the time. It was rare they did not want to play with him. While I was so happy that I was having such a regular conversation with my son about friends, it broke my heart that my little guy was trying to win someone over who clearly didn’t see him for who he was. I repeatedly, and in a gentle way, told Michael how special and good a friend he was, and if this boy didn’t see it, he wasn’t meant to be his friend. I reminded my little guy to cherish the good friends he has and not run after those who are not interested in him.

Exceptional Parents, how do your Exceptional Children do on play dates with friends or at school with peers? Are they chasing after kids that are not really friends? Hopefully they have found two or three really good friends and understand what friendship is. If not, it will come. As a parent, all you can do is encourage them and remind them how special they really are.

am a writer and parent coach at “Exceptional Parenting/Exceptional Balance.” I am 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. You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and GooglePlus. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation, see my website: http://www.exceptionalparenting.net

One of the hardest and most stressful times of the year for special needs families is fast approaching. Are you and your exceptional family ready? Do you need new strategies to cope with anxiety? Download my FREE EBOOK on “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.exceptionalparenting.net/EBOOKS

Video Game Joy And Fine Motor Enjoyment-The Next Milestone To Celebrate

How many parents of kids with and without autism celebrate them playing video games? Let me see a raise of hands! I didn’t think so. And if I didn’t have a son who did not struggle with fine motor stuff, crafts and building, I would not have cared. What made me excited about Michael’s blossoming interest in playing video games with his Dad and doing Dooki and other craft building with construction paper, scissors, scotch tape, and glue, is that it means he has turned a page in his development.

In the last month, I have seen how he is gravitating to doing things that are challenging for him, and better yet, he is liking doing it. He proudly showed me his cutting skills the other day. Today he talked again about the special game he would play with the craft toys he made himself. He saved that special game to play with his father. I am awed and amazed developmentally and social skills wise. Michael will always love movement, sports and going out places. Yet I see a change in him as he is approaching his 10th birthday. Maturity is moving alongside rebellious moments of testing me and telling me he does not want to listen sometimes or does not like what I say.

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How did I manage to help him? I can’t take for credit for this one, other than saying I have always encouraged exploration of different toys, ways of doing things, and learned to be patient when Michael has hit a standstill or is stuck. I will demonstrate or talk about things and let him come into his own. Here though, I credit all the fine motor with his school, therapists, and the wonderful extra-curricular activities where there were fine motor and craft components. As for the video, there I credit his peers who he copies and likes to emulate. His buddy last year loved Star Wars and now Michael does too. It is the same thing with Legos now and other toys. I love it. He has his own mind, but is slowly becoming interested in what those around him like to do. He has emerged from his shell, and is coming into his own little person. There are frustrating moments still, but we handle them together on the same page now.

Exceptional Parents, what new developments do you see your Exceptional Child doing? All our kids are moving forward in one way or another. Sometimes we are so busy we may miss it. Don’t worry. Take a deep breath. Look around you. Look at how far your child has come in learning, and praise them for that. Celebrate every little victory. They deserve it. Until next time.

Tired of anxiety controlling you and your child? Download my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.exceptionalparenting.net/EBOOKS