Category: Holiday issues

Holiday Madness Descending- How To Cope In Your Exceptional Family

‘Tis the season for fun, family, festivities and sensory overload. Yep, it’s the holidays, and as much as Exceptional Families love the holidays like Neuro Typical Families do, our kids usually have a harder time. It’s not that they don’t enjoy the family gatherings, gifts or other traditions that go with it. It’s usually all of the above combined that will send most Exceptional Kids (and their parents), over the edge into over stimulation and meltdown mode. So, as an Exceptional Family, what can you do to help your Exceptional Child cope better with the holidays? Here are some ideas:

  1. Structure what you can: I know, the holidays are all about unwinding and NOT structuring, but our kids need some kind of structure in order to function in the way they are used to functioning in day to day life. Make the structure natural for home life, but give them some sort of idea as to what will be expected of them.
  2. Prepare them for the craziness: Talk to your kids either verbally or with pictos, about what the holiday entails. This means discussing what is expected of each of us by family, friends, and with other traditions so that will know what is happening.
  3. Form your own family traditions: This hard been a hard one for me. I was always a stickler for doing everything the same way I or Dad was brought up. However, we learned with an Exceptional Child we would need to adjust our way of thinking so everyone would have a good holiday. Now my main concerns are health, happiness and fun all around. As long as those conditions are met, I know we are on the right path. This means allowing down time for our child as well as time spent with family and friends.
  4. Set aside down time as a nuclear family: I am a firm believer in ‘safe days’, that is, days where there is not too much stimulation from family or friends, so that the day runs smoothly and Michael feels calm (as do Dad and I). Let’s face it, every parent worries when their Exceptional Child is having a hard time, so if we learn to give time for our child to stim, regulate, and do what he needs to do, everything else will fall into place.
  5.  Take time for yourselves individually: It’s important that Exceptional Moms and Dads take time for themselves to recharge their batteries before doing anything else as individuals. It’s only when we feel calm and centered, that we can pass that message on to our children.
    Exceptional Parents,  how do you cope with the holidays in positive frame of mind?  It’s important that no matter what, you learn how to regulate your behavior and your family’s and remember that everyone being comfortable is the best way to go. Happy Holidays! Until next time.

Feeling overwhelmed as an Exceptional Parent? Don’t know where to turn for tips, and ways to survive and thrive during the whole journey? You are not alone. I have walked and continue to walk this path myself. As a writer, speaker, parent coach and Mom to a son with Autism, ADHD, and Type 1 Diabetes,  I can help you through all the twists and turns that parenting an exceptional child require, while keeping your sense of humor intact, your sense of self and relationships intact, and helping you see that not only are you raising your exceptional child, but they are raising you to be the best human being you can be. You are each other’s advocates for a better world. For more information on my coaching packages, contact me at http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.  

Exceptional Halloweens and How To Make Sure Your Child Stays Safe and Calm

So over the years you could say I have learned what NOT to do on Halloween with Michael. He has, of course shown me what does not work. I have also, sometimes with planning, sometimes accidentally learned what does work to make the evening enjoyable and safe. Discussing in advance how far out and how long you will stay out walking, for example, is one important thing to do. This avoids fights and meltdowns over when to come home. Another good thing is going over the “trick or treat” script with your child as well as what is the social protocol when someone opens the door. I had forgotten to tell Michael when he was little NOT to walk into the house and start chatting. Some kids are social and don’t understand that this is not proper and could even be dangerous.

As far as what I accidentally learned though, that was more interesting. I learned, for instance, that Michael could see scary costumes and decorations and actually like them. I also learned that Michael has a lot more walking stamina so I make sure to be rested and dressed warm for our Halloween outing. I also learned that he likes to give as much as get. He really enjoys giving out the Halloween candy to the trick or treaters before heading out himself.

On that note parents, here are some things to remember when planning your Halloween outing:

  1. Make sure child knows the Halloween protocol for safety and security.
  2. Make sure you have a set start and end time to avoid meltdowns.
  3. Make sure your child knows the social rules of trick or treating.
  4. Be prepared for your child to teach you things about what they like and don’t like.
  5. If possible, invite a friend to go with your child. It’s company for them, and company for you too with another adult present. 😉

Exceptional Parents, what are your tricks of the trade for a successful and happy Exceptional Halloween? Remember, even if last year’s was a disaster, you can learn from what went wrong. You now know what NOT to do, and you can gently show your child too. The most important thing to remember is to be safe, rested and stay together. Getting an early start and finishing before everyone is too tired is also important. In the end, your instinct as a parent will help to guide you best on how to help your child have a fun time. Happy Halloween! Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with Autism, ADHD, OCD  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.

 

 

Our First Dual Diagnosis Halloween And What We Learned

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So we survived another Halloween at our house. Michael had a blast at school and did relatively well at home with Dad and I. Still, there were instances of not listening, being impulsive, hyperactive and fights and tears that we thought we were past now. It occurred to me tonight when it was all over though, that we needed to structure how these special days unfolded, especially now that we have diabetes to contend with. A little routine with expectations on paper as well as going over rules in advance is something that Dad and I will opt for next year so that things are more clear. Michael knows what to do, but gets muddled when he is overstimulated. We also are harried and stressed in anticipation of the evening. And this year, I was both excited for and dreading Halloween due to his new diabetes diagnosis. It has changed our previous life completely. Things like carb counting, sugar levels and such are now part of our daily vocabulary. Before, it would just be “don’t eat too much chocolate. It’s not good for you.” I know every holiday, especially for this first year, will be like this for me. But I do not let Michael know I am nervous on the inside. I am also learning how to take it in stride. We are all adjusting to two diagnoses, and possibly three as ADHD is again being raised as a third condition. We will see.

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What I learned tonight is that Michael is doing the best that he can with what he has got. I also learned that Michael really needs boundaries, a schedule and scripts for much of what plays out on special nights. When things are not clear he tries to overcompensate by taking over as his anxiety goes sky high. I am finally seeing just how to nip this in the bud for future holidays and help him learn how to regulate and find his own solutions. He enjoyed trick or treating with his friend, and in the end it all worked out.

Exceptional Parents, how do you handle over stimulation with your kids? What are your tricks of the trade? The important thing is to go with your child’s flow and personality. See what works to help them understand how things are going to unfold. Also, it is imperative to have an exit plan if the child cannot handle the environment anymore. Parents have to follow up with what they say. Your child will learn to respect you and themselves if they have these boundaries. 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. 

 

New Things to Do To Have An Easier Holiday With Your Exceptional Child

I sometimes forget how hard it will be for Michael over the Christmas holiday period, even with the structure we do put in. He gets overwhelmed by the all the activity, food and open time, plus this year a few extra birthday celebrations were added in. It has been too much for him and too much for Dad and I. We attempted to have a quiet New Year’s Eve in to make things easier on Michael, but it backfired in a big way. Maybe the distraction of people would have been better. Two days into the New Year and I and Dad are exhausted. With another week to structure and keep him busy, I have learned several things to keep in mind for next year. We will try in the hope that it will help us and Michael enjoy the holiday more:

  1. Schedule in a downtime activity every day: Crafts, movie etc. I am going to insist he do that so as parents we can have a breather as much as him.
  2. Look into a winter camp for a few days: He may need some artificial structure before school particularly on a long break.
  3. New behavior tools in place (which we have started doing): Whatever behavior tools you have in place may need to be modified as your child grows and matures.
  4. More time for me to chill: I admit it. My self-care sucked last week. The moments I wasn’t with Michael I was working, so by New Year’s Eve I was mentally fried. Next year, I will remind myself to take time to relax at night, not work.
  5. Make time to really be present for Michael: This sounds like a contradiction to many of the points above, but really I know, we all know that challenging behavior happens when our kids feel we are listening to them otherwise. Where is he getting this message? Maybe our time together feels forced to him or he is testing his strength in the family. Either way, Dad and I are making an effort to really be with him when we are and asking him to share what feelings he can since he is capable.

Exceptional Parents, what do you plan on doing differently for the next holiday if your holidays were rough or are still going rough with your Exceptional Child? As a matter of fact, you can start implementing many of these strategies right now in yours and your child’s daily life. Remember 2017 is your chance at a fresh start. Until next time.

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. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation, see my website: http://www.exceptionalparenting.net.

Do you want to make new changes to your anxiety management strategies in 2017? Download my FREE EBOOK on “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.exceptionalparenting.net/EBOOKS.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Different Tools to Help Your Exceptional Child With Challenging Emotions

We are pretty much at the mid point of the holidays now. Michael has adjusted somewhat, yet there are still the difficulties with scheduling and knowing what is happening next. We cannot replicate school with the standard visual schedule up on the wall where very little changes, nor do we want to. I used to want to when he was younger. He would suffer so much in those days being away from friends and his routine. Now though, he is happy to be home, well I mean away from school. He doesn’t like staying home, but that is another blog post altogether. 🙂 He is learning how to structure his own free time as well, but what I find difficult sometimes is how to help him learn to handle his stress and anger. He is becoming increasingly annoyed at reading social stories, and insists that a visual schedule at home with times and what we will be doing is for babies and that is not him. At least he still writes down stuff on a calendar! What to do?

I started thinking the other day of what tools I have used that have worked to help Michael and not help him. As a parent and parent coach, I make sure to learn from both. I have found generally, that the techniques below work very well for helping guide you and your child through the challenging times:

  1. Look at what led to the behavior: This works every time. When we look back, we will see a pattern. In EIBI Or ABA, they call this ABC’s: Antecedent, Behavior and Consequence. All parents of children with autism know this well. What was child feeling before the behavior? What behavior resulted from it? And what was the consequence for them? A lot of parents unintentionally respond to negative behavior by giving in to the child, yelling themselves, or by calming child down and not letting the child learn to do it. It’s important to see where we fall in this dynamic.
  2. What worked in the past? What haven’t you tried? This is another good one. Sometimes in the heat of the moment as parents it is hard for us to stay calm and focused. Afterwards, we can look back and remember what worked to help the child the last time?  It’s a good idea to write it down so we have it on paper.
  3. Spending quality one on one time  really listening to child: This is a great preventative measure in most cases to challenging behaviors. It doesn’t mean giving in to their every whim to keep them happy, but being present for your child will help them feel more secure, and less likely to engage in troubling behavior. This needs to be done regularly. Enjoy sharing with them an activity that they love. Michael loves to talk or play tag and hide and seek with me.
  4. Keep snacks and water handy: Sometimes challenging behavior can be headed off at the outset if the child is not hungry or thirsty. If they are regularly being kept busy and are fueled with good food, they will be that much more able to get a grip on their emotions.
  5. Getting enough sleep and rest breaks in the day: This is super challenging for busy active kids, but it is important they have periods of activity and rest. Schedule it in advance, and make the rest period fun. Set them up with a favorite book or movie or video. Be nearby to monitor.

Exceptional Parents, what are some of your best tools for helping your Exceptional Children? Remember, the most important one of all is love and unconditional acceptance of them, in good times and bad. This does not mean condoning bad behavior. This means reminding them that they are capable of holding it together and doing right, and of course, encouraging them and praising them when they do get it right. That will also help move everyone to success. Until next time.

Are you looking to make changes in your special needs parenting life in the New Year? Do you need support on your journey?  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, see my website: http://www.exceptionalparenting.net.

Want to start the New Year off on the right foot with handling anxiety and stress better? Download my FREE EBOOK on “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.exceptionalparenting.net/EBOOKS.

 

 

After the Festivities Are Over-5 Ways to Fine Tune And Help With Difficulties

 

As you will all see this post is late today. VERY late. I am in “Christmas Recovery” mode which lasts for two days before we go into “Birthday Recovery Mode” for Michael with which I need another day’s recovery, but that is a separate post. 🙂 Like most families with exceptional kids, the holidays are beautiful and stressful all in one breath. There are the moments you see them sitting quietly and listening and you take a breath in and are able to talk to family. Then, there are the other moments when, well, you look forward to coming home and having that nice glass of wine when they are finally asleep. I had many of both moments throughout the day yesterday. I had my discouraging moments when I was kind of feeling sorry for myself among my family whose children are neuro typical and listen. Then of course, I immediately felt guilty. Guilty due to the fact that Michael, and all kids like him who have autism or are exceptional in some other way, are doing the best that they can. It is not an excuse for rudeness and disrespect. We had a talk yesterday about how he needs to follow the rules, and if he is having a hard time he needs to tell us. I also reminded him, as he knows about his autism, that it is not an excuse to be used to misbehave. We know he is capable of more than what he is doing. We spoke some more this in the am. He is so anxious, has a lot of difficulty regulating himself and friendships are challenging though he is starting to learn how to play and talk with his many good friends.

What did I learn this holiday? Well, every year I look at what our family did right and what we did wrong. I tally them up and keep it in mind for the next year. This year, my mind is in a better place. I not only accept that there will be ups and downs in the next two weeks, but I am using better ways to cope with my own feelings of success and failure as parent. We all have those moments. We are human. What are the ways I fine tune my own thinking for future holidays? Here are 5 of them:

 

  1. Each day I do the best I can with what I have: This is my new mantra. I have moments when I doubt myself and my mothering, but I remind myself what I remind Michael: do the best that you can and go with your instinct.
  2. Get as much sleep as you can or grab a rest here or there: Sleep is essential. The first two days of the holidays I slept a total of 10 hours, never mind the bad sleeping of the nights before leading up to the holidays.What I did instead to make up for it, was grabbing a rest on the couch when Dad was with Michael. He did the same. This morning I felt much better waking up after seven hours of sleep.
  3. Laugh at the silly things: Our kids do SO many silly things. As long as it is not rude, it’s alright t to laugh. Hey, sometimes even the rude things are a little funny like when Michael repeated back to me when I was getting upset, “Mommy, you’re not using your strategies.” Just don’t laugh out loud.
  4. What went right? What could I change? This is where can see what strategies worked in preparing their child for a family visit and which didn’t. Don’t beat yourself up. I learned that arriving near the beginning of my family gatherings at a house is easier on Michael even if he gets bored and we have to leave early. Coming in midway like we did this year was too overwhelming for all of us.
  5. Have a wind down routine after if you need to: Oh yes. Now after two days of celebrating with both our families which is wonderful but exhausting, I make sure to take my glass of wine or spirits (or both) with me and curl up with a good book. It’s my way to unwind from the two days and tell myself, “Girl, you survived and learned what to do and not to do.”

Exceptional Parents, what are your holiday survival techniques? How do you recover alone and as a family? Another great thing is to not be afraid to cry or let out anger in a constructive way. The holidays are not picture perfect for anyone, except in the movies. I also highly recommend popping into online parent support group and attending any in person ones you are a member of in the new year. Comparing notes with others in your shoes will remind you that you are not alone. You and your families are doing the best that you can. Until next time.

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. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation, see my website: http://www.exceptionalparenting.net.

It’s the holidays, one of the most beautiful and crazy times of the year! Do you need new strategies to cope with anxiety and stress? Download my FREE EBOOK on “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.exceptionalparenting.net/EBOOKS

 

 

 

Exceptional Children And Exceptional Patience-5 Ways This Mom is Learning to Stay Calm And Move On

 

This is the time of year that is difficult for most Exceptional Parents and their children. As I’ve blogged before there are lots of things happening that are unpredictable-parties, change of sleep and waking hours, visitors coming in and out, and the routine of school and work being momentarily interrupted. This causes stress to a lot of Exceptional Children who are used to their routines which provide a lot of comfort. If anxiety is high, knowing what to expect next can help, not knowing what or who will come by is a great source of stress, and this can set off all kinds of behaviors and issues. The thing is, it is always best to try not to get the whole family in an uproar in the first place by not having stressful events occur or at least occur less. How do I keep calm and move on modeling a more relaxed way of being to Michael? Here are 5 ways I am learning to do this:

  1. Breathe and stay in the moment: Obvious one I know, but that was always hard in the past when Michael would start escalating. I had a few bad nights with him last week when I forgot this, so I now I remind myself every morning to do this when I am calm, usually after prayer and morning meditation.
  2. Don’t react to obvious button pushers: All kids will test and try things; swearing, spitting, spilling things, hitting. Calmly with no eye contact ask them to stop, clean up, and remind them of negative repercussions if they don’t listen.
  3. Model the behavior you want them to imitate:  A direct no hitting, no slapping and warning of walking away if child continues, is the way to go. This is hard, but stay strong. The behavior gets worse before it gets better as the child will see how far they can go.
  4. Be mindful of what you say and how you say it: Our children are so perceptive. We not only have to watch our choice of words, i.e. no swearing,  our tone, but also how we say things.  For example, the other day I accidentally chipped some paint off of a wall in our house while cleaning it. I said to Dad, “oh well, we need to paint it anyway.” Michael turned it around the next time he punched a wall when angry  and we told him not to do that. He responded: “It’s ok Mommy. It’s an old wall. It needs to get fixed.”  I corrected him and reminded myself that intentionally or not, kids misinterpret.
  5. Have fun with your child even with the ups and downs: This is challenging. There have been days I have wished I did not have to defuse situations. I have wished I could  call someone up last minute and say, “here’s all yours for the day!” But there are good moments in between. Lots of them. I savor these, and I know when he senses trust Michael relaxes and lets loose in a positive way.

Exceptional Parents, what are your calm down strategies to stay level as a parent? Remember, unless we have it together, our kids won’t be able to learn to get it together either. We are Exceptional Parents for the long haul, and with any luck, we will show our kids such a great example of being present, handling obstacles, and learning from their mistakes, that they will be reminding us one day if we slip up. Until next time.

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 Google Plus. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation, see my website: http://www.exceptionalparenting.net

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

The Push Pull of Challenging Behavior-How Exceptional Kids Test For Love

 

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Every December things seem to come to a head in our household, and not in a good way. I’m not sure if it’s the excitement of Christmas, Michael’s birthday, or Dad’s and my increased excitement and stress moving around getting last minute things done before the holidays, but his challenging behaviors seem to worsen. Last year was the worst December for us as the weather was warm and Spring like. For Michael, it spelled confusion-no snow to play in, weird thundershowers and dressing. I was not prepared for his reaction to it. I found myself bawling on Christmas Eve for the end of vacations. This year I am readt. I have always seen a pattern, and how at holidays Michael, like all exceptional kids, has more difficulties with filtering out things around him. Every year I know I have to be on alert to some extent to help Michael navigate this difficult time. I am prepared and ready to help Michael, with the rest of his team at his school and beyond, learn to manage the increasing rise of anxiety and his need for control, especially at this time of the year.

I am always reading and learning about new things, new ways to help Michael. Most parents know that kids test with challenging behavior for several reasons. They want to escape doing something they don’t like,  they are in pain of some sort and can’t communicate it, and they are looking for attention. Michael, like all kids, has at one point acted out for all of these reasons and still does. He is smart and finds our triggers all the time. Then, it’s a matter of Mom and Dad not reacting. I see his challenging behavior happening more now as a way to find his place in the world. His need for control is so great, down to every last detail of where we go, how he needs to help close doors, what we say. It is exhausting for him and us. Teaching him it is alright not to know, that Dad and I are in charge to help him, is what we are working on along with getting him to manage his anger when it bubbles over. Anger is alright. Screaming, hitting and yelling are not. It is all about consistency in everything with both parents doing things exactly in the same way. For Michael, we cannot budge an inch. Not always easy. We are learning. We have our good days and bad, but Dad and I now check in, I let his school know when we have tough days and they are a great support and we go from there. Most important, I don’t have any expectations of perfection from Michael, myself, or his Dad. We go with the flow and laugh at the little things. We respect each other, and I keep in mind that we can still enjoy this time of year, but need to be realistic that the days won’t always go smooth. We cross that bridge when we come to it.

Exceptional Parents, how do you handle challenging behavior as the holidays approach? Do your best to keep your child organized and give them outlets for their energy- sports, play outside etc and try to connect with other exceptional families, in person but even online. Remembering you are not alone is essential. Most important of all, check in daily with yourself and your partner, how you are both doing emotionally. Take care of your own mental, spiritual and physical health. Be firm about aggression, but try and remember that when things are going well, to emphasize that with your child. They will take away some positive examples from the holidays and relax a little too. Until next time.

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

 

Gratitude and Sharing In The Community- Teaching My Exceptional Son About Love and Faith

 

It’s been a difficult journey, trying to teach Michael about things that are not concrete, things like spirituality. But never has Michael needed it more than now, when he is struggling with finding his own voice, power, and feeling like he has control making decisions. I can see that he is on the cusp of puberty, and has been there for quite a while. He has been questioning many things his Dad and I have said for awhile now, but when he started questioning his spirituality and religion, I knew he had come into a new realm in his development. It makes me sad that we can’t pray together like we used to, and that he is not taking what I am teaching at face value anymore. Yet, I have to say I am proud of him for asking questions, for challenging me. It is exhausting sometimes, particularly when the big questions calmly asked are interspersed with days when everything I tell him to to do is questioned and results in exchanging words. However, this shows me how he is maturing and becoming his own person. He also patiently listens and watches what I do. I see his maturity.

We have yet to put his rosary in the car. He asked me this a few weeks ago, so that he could see God there.  I admit I keep forgetting to do it. Tomorrow I will bring it up and offer to let him put his up next to mine. He will also once in awhile ask questions about God, about prayer and about the state of the world we live in. He asks about homelessness, people struggling in poverty. I do my best to answer honestly trying not to trigger more anxiety. He lives and breathes enough of that everyday.  I am happy to answer these questions, but he does not want to pray with me. Still, I take it as a promising sign that he is being open minded when I pray out loud and he does not get angry like he used to in the fall.  He is seeing so much turmoil with some of his closest friends now and trying some of this out at home. He is re-enacting some strange games. He rolls his eyes when I put on Christmas music. He is a mini teenage, I think. Still there are great amazing days when I see how his intelligent mind works. These days help me through the emotionally difficult ones where he and I struggle to understand one another through the maze of autism and anxiety.

Exceptional Parents, how are your children handling the lead up to the holidays? Is this a difficult time of the year for them and you? For many families it is due to the structure going down and uncertainty about what is coming. Do your best to be there for your child, listen to them, be clear in your expectations, and let them observe you taking a positive and proactive view in practicing what you believe, physical or spiritual. Until next time.

 

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

 

School Concerts, Singing and Joy To My World-Exceptional Pauses at Busy Times

 

So today is Michael’s annual holiday concert. He and his class were practicing the song and poem they will be reciting. He was told to practice it at home but he did not want to. He is all practiced out. As is usually the case, he is nervous for the concert, but I know once he gets on stage he will do amazing. He has a great voice that projects, and a wonderful stage presence. He is so relaxed and natural up there. But it is always the anxiety and the what ifs that trip him up.

Change is hard for Michael. Changing from one season to another, school to vacation and back again. And the change of routine before the fall school session ends always has its challenges. This year it is coupled with our doing bathroom renovations and this week, Mom misplacing her keys and fighting a cold. That meant no after school outings which has been difficult for Michael. He did the best he could under the circumstances, but he is desperately trying to organize the next few days. I haven’t been much help as I’ve been preoccupied with work and house things, and trying to figure out when I’m going to wrap presents and do the holiday baking. Tomorrow is a great opportunity for us both to slow down a bit, not worry about work or planning, and enjoy the day together. I look forward to it as I know connecting has been, and always is, challenging for Michael and I at the beginning of the year.

Exceptional Parents, how do your Exceptional children do at school concerts or with performing? Is that easier than one on one for them or do they shy away from the spot light? The most important thing that a parent can remember is to make sure they are encouraging their child to always do their best, and to tell your child that you are proud of them for trying, no matter how things turn out. Also, take time like school concerts to really stop in the season and pause. Talk, really talk to your child and put their mind at ease about what will be happening. This is a hard time for kids with autism, as it is for their parents. We must always realized though that if they and we are tense we cannot learn well and grow together. So relax, unwind and sit back and enjoy the show. Until next time.

 

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

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