Category: sensory help

Understanding Sensory, Processing and Other Exceptional Issues With Your Exceptional Child

When your child has a brain that is wired differently, life is extremely challenging for them and for you. As they grow up, you learn different ways to understand each other. I have had to painstakingly explain to Michael how my brain works and he has done the same to me. Sometimes, it is done patiently and easily on both our parts. Sometimes, it has been more challenging. But one thing I can say is that the things that have helped me understand Michael better have had to do with looking at real articles, talking to or reading articles and books by real autistic people, and of course, touching base with my neuro diverse son and hearing from his mouth what works. So, through my own trial and error, here are ways I have managed to troubleshoot sensory and processing differences that Michael has and try and understand him better:

1) Observe my son in all his moments, happy and sad: Sometime we neuro typical parents will misunderstand a sensory issue that means our child is upset or excited. Once we start to watch our child more closely in all settings, we will begin to understand more why they do what they do and what the need serves. If not, we know we need to ask more questions.

2) Ask your child questions: Yes, some children are limited verbally, some are non-verbal, and some are so verbal they can’t stop talking. However, this does not mean that it will be easy or hard for them to answer how they feel and why. It may take many conversations, but really show your child you are meeting them where they are and respecting their personal ways of regulating with the world.

3) Try out a variety of sensory friendly toys and options: Don’t be afraid to try out different sensory friendly toys like hand fidgets, sand, bubbles, things like trampolines, swings, activities like swimming, dancing.  You need to see if they are hypo or hyper sensitive to stimuli and if they need to move more or less. Does light or movement bother them? Do they seek it out? Understanding this means understanding how your child needs to be in the world to feel better in their body.

4) If they need to rock, flap or vocalize let them: Another way to help your child, within reason and within what the setting is too, of course, would be to let them do what they need to do to  regulate. If rocking, jumping, flapping or vocalizing helps them find balance in themselves, we must understand that they need to do this. Of course there are settings where they need to learn to have quieter options or move to a place where they can make sounds or move. Again, this means your child will realize you understand them and what they need to do to handle outside and internal stimuli better.

5) Read articles, books, blogs or talk to other neuro diverse people: The best way to understand how your child’s sensory system works is to talk or read about other autistic, adhd or other types of different-brained people to get a glimpse at this mind from the inside out. I remember the first time I did this how insightful it was to me. I learned how to help my son find moments to release the pent up energy in a healthy way. I was humbled talking to this individual and I continue to be when reading articles or talking to other neuro diverse people in person.

Exceptional Parents, how do you support and help your Exceptional Child handle sensory issues or sensitivities? I think the first place to start is in thinking we need to fix our kids. That is not the case. They are not broken. They merely have a different way of seeing the world than we do and need our understanding, compassion and interest to help them see that they are fine the way they are. When we make the effort to support and love our child, they in turn learn to love and accept themselves and the wonderful gift they are to us and to the world. Until next time.

 

 

Musical Michael-How My Exceptional Tween Regulates and Soothes with Music

As with any tween or teen, Michael loves to unwind and regulate by listening to music, all types of music, though his favorites are pop rock and hip hop. Seeing him listening to music on his portable radio with or without headphones and sometimes watching music videos, I am reminded of myself at that age. Even his rocking while listening to music reminds me a little of me. Ok, I didn’t rock the way he does as I don’t have autism and it was not in a stimming sort of way, but I see his love of the music, beat, and how it soothes and excites him at the same time. He does not look much different than any teen or tween when he is doing it.

The thing is getting him off the electronics is tough. As for any kid today, the allure of its immediacy is only too great. I am glad that though his tastes are changing vis a vis parks and going to stores, he at least will still do long walks with me and I am looking forward to doing bike rides together this summer when we have more time. Still, even with it being difficult to get him out of the house, I like the fact that he connects so easily to music. He reminds me of me when I was his age. “Michael, who sings that song?” “Michael, what is the title of that song?” And 99% of the time he knows the answer to both questions. He also likes to talk about what my favorite songs are. The other day in the car when a song came on we both liked he said, “Hey, that’s cool. We both like the same song.”

I truly believe, especially with the all the tumultuous emotions Michael is experiencing in puberty so far, that music and song lyrics are one of the things that are keeping him grounded. He also has something additional to discuss with me. As his tastes change and he moves away from the sporty young boy who wanted to kick the ball in the park with me, I can now have discussions about musical genres, directions, and other topics he likes to bring up when we are in the car together or on long walks. This is where I am still able to bond with him, to share and ask him what he is feeling, and to remind him he is loved, respected, and that I am there for him.

Exceptional Parents, has music helped build a bridge from your child to you when they were little or older? For many children, they sing before they talk, so music plays a very important role in communication. For others, parents and their child/dren can learn songs together, talk about different genres, and share how music helps them heal from trauma and stress. Whatever the way it is used, music can really help a child learn, regulate and find their way in the world with other people.  Try and see if this is something you and your child can bond over. Until next time.

 

5 Ways To Stay Calm And To Help Your Exceptional Child Cope With Sensory Issues

Ah sensory integration issues. This is something Michael has struggled with since birth, and still struggles with today. I don’t know if it is the heat, the beginning of the school year, or something else, but Michael always has lots of issues with sensory issues at the beginning of each season. This year is no different. I am seeing a lot more OCD stims coming out with checking things, going over things in a certain way, and having a hard time stopping himself from moving and getting to the next step. Sequencing has always been challenging, but never more than when his sensory system is off. This morning we had a fight as he could not get moving to do his morning routine fast enough. When he did finally move, he was fast, but not before we’d had words. He is too old now to want to do a visual schedule or write out a schedule with words by hand or on the computer. So what did I finally suggest to avoid having another stressful morning? A verbal agreement on how the morning would proceed with times set, as well as a small reward if he finished early- a chance to play some video games on his new Nintendo DS that he earned for good behavior and self-control.

This process of discussing things with Michael has come about after many times of fine tuning my own emotional system and learning what does not work to help him redirect himself and me redirect myself. Here are the 5 ways I have learned to stay calm and show Michael what he can do to redirect himself towards a more successful path:

  1. Breathe: Always breathe before you say or do anything. That pause usually helps us make a more positive choice.
  2.  Have a Centering Strategy In Place- Mantra, Walk, Close Eyes, Or Place That Calms: Next I have always tried to picture a positive centering place where I can find my equilibrium and have encouraged Michael to do the same- taking a short walk around house, rocking, thinking of a positive mantra etc.
  3. Don’t Take Other Person Seriously: This is hard to do, but I have learned not to take what Michael says personally when he is upset and have taught him to do the same. When we are angry, we sometimes forget to breathe and think before speaking. This is mandatory or we end up saying things we don’t mean.
  4. Worst Case Scenario: What is the worst thing that can happen? Thinking this usually puts a problem, even a big one, into perspective. We see it is not so bad, and we come up with better solutions.
  5. Apologize After Argument And Learn From It: This is both the easiest and hardest thing to do. We need to admit what we did wrong with our child’s behavior plan, and learn from it. We also need to hold ourselves accountable for our behavior as we hold our children responsible for theirs. This is how we will all grow stronger.
    Exceptional Parents, how do you help your child handle sensory sensitivities, especially when there is a time constraint? It’s not easy for sure, but as long as we remember to stop, pause and then respond, we will be making decisions based on seeing what it is our Exceptional Child needs most. With sensory integration, it is usually compassion, a structured plan, and an understanding of when the child is in and out of control. In time, as a parent, you will find your child’s rhythym and be able to help them learn to manage their emotions better. 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.

 

Managing Sensory Issues And Helping Your Older Exceptional Child Self-Regulate

Michael is having a really hard time managing his sensory issues. I have not seen him this bad since he was a baby. Whether it is due to puberty bringing things on, the new medication he is on that is helping  with hyperactivity, but causing other OCD like anxiety, or the hot humid weather turning cool, turning hot and humid again, it is anyone’s guess. Anyway, I am a little at a loss. The old tools we directed him to don’t always work, or as he has said, he does not want to use them.

“How come the other kids at the park don’t need a fidget too not to pinch or squeeze their parents? How come the other kids don’t need a massage to calm down?”
Yep. Puberty and self-awareness is happening. BIG TIME.  And though I am so happy that Michael is so aware, it is also hard because I have to be the one to tell him that he is different and needs to find different ways to control his impulses that could hurt or anger people who are not us. Other kids don’t have these impulses as their brains are not like his. We would never want him any other way, only that we want him happy, balanced and feeling safe and calm in his own body and mind. But this is a process. I am learning that too, one day at a time.

I am also learning how to troubleshoot again with a tween who has sensory, anxiety and aggression issues as well as hyperactivity. Not an easy thing for either of us. However, this tween is also funny, creative, thinks outside the box, is so bright and remembers details from years ago that many people have forgotten seconds after hearing it, and has so much to offer the world-his creative abilities in cooking, music, art and navigation.

So what ways can I help my little guy calm his sensory nervous system, this the first week of school? Here are some tried and true ones that have worked for our hugger, squeezer, exuberant little boy:

  1. Deep pressure massage: As long as your child will sit, it is definitively worth while being trained to do the many massages that are out there to help children with are under or over responsive to touch.
  2. Weighted blankets and vests: I have yet to personally try these tools, but am looking into trying one or both as tools to help Michael regulate. They have worked well for many children with sensory processing issues.
  3. Bear hugs and Burritos: This would be hugging your child with deep big bears and applying pressure slowly as they instruct you to. Burritos would be rolling them (or helping them) roll themselves in a blanket while pretending they are a hot dog between two buns. They could also try this themselves. It is very regulating, and works well with younger children.
  4. Fidget toys: For some kids mouth or hand fidgets make all the difference in helping with their energy level. Fidget spinners can work wonders too. It’s all about discovering what your child needs.
  5. Sports and Movement: One of the best ways to help your child regulate is by sports- swimming, soccer, playing at the park, basketball, anything that interests them physically is great. Michael loves running through the splash pads at local parks, particularly some where the water spray is more intense. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your child.

Exceptional Parents, what sensory tools have helped your Exceptional Child  self-regulate at the beginning of the school year? I would love to hear some of your tricks of the trade. In the end, it’s all about what works to calm your child. This means listening to them, watching their cues,  and moving forward from there. 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.

Join Or Fight The Stim – That is The Question

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Stimming or stim- a self-stimulatory behavior that pretty much all people with autism do to regulate their nervous systems, handle stress, anxiety, noise and excitement in their own way. This is something all of their neuro typical parents fear. Why? Well, when they are stimming they are not responding to us most of the time. They are lost in “that world” the world where non autistics don’t go, the one where we as parents do not feel wanted, the one we fear as that was where our children were as babies  when they were unreachable pretty much most of the time. As they got older, whether they became verbal or not, chances are they got more reachable, they joined us in our world and we felt, great our child is here now. Let’s teach them. Let’s have a relationship with them. But did we join them in their world? In short, yes.

With Michael, this was something I fought for years, stopping him stimming. He likes to rock and “clink” his chewy or any other kind of soft toy. He carries it everywhere, and if he is told at school, camp or at an activity to put it down he will. He will also put it down for logistics like eating, showering and toileting, but he will need it the rest of the time. I fought for a while to try and get him at first to stop stimming, not understanding that it is as essential as breathing for him as it is for all autistic people. You see, I was afraid of stims, and as a parent I still have to stop myself when he is stimming from panicking a little that my little boy will be so happy doing that he won’t want a relationship with me. I used to even tell the grandparents when he was younger to interrupt the stim and try and stop it. I’ve known better for years now. The only thing I do tell him, and that is as much for his making his way easier in the world, that he should stim a limited amount of time in public when he is with other people and do more at home. I tell Michael this both so he could be more in the moment with others, and also so he does not get comments and stares from people that do not understand. When he is home he can stim when he likes. This particular weekend he admitted he got carried away stimming and ended up going to bed late. Dad and I gently reminded him even at home, he has control over it, and can decide when to stop.

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As a parent, it took me years to change the mindset of seeing this practice as helping my child. I read and continue to follow many wonderful blogs written by autistic adults, one in particular that talked about stimming parties he had with his autistic friends. Last night at bedtime, I spoke to Michael about this. His response? “Wow, Mommy. That sounds so cool. You mean a party where I could stim with my friends?” It has really opened up my eyes about what Michael and other people with autism need. I also have some wonderful friends who though not autistic, have had mental health issues themselves like me. Their brain also works a little differently than the so-called norm. One of them once said to me, “Have you ever tried joining Michael in the stim? Do the dance Joanne.” How beautifully put. And I thought, yes, yes. She is right. As soon as I stopped fearing the unknown to my brain, that was when my relationship with Michael deepened. I wished I had known this when he was younger, but at least I learned it in his early childhood years. I now see how his stims are a part of him, just like his interests and his physical appearance, just like his smile and the rest of his personality. There is not one thing I would change about Michael. He is perfect in every way. I want to help him be successful at life, handle our world the best way he can. As I’ve said before, it’s a stressful world for those of us without different brains and sensory systems. For our kkids, it’s a daily battle to get through it sometimes. They,  and the adults with neuro developmental differences around us, are the unsung heroes of our times.

Exceptional Parents, do you “do the dance” with your Exceptional Children or do you fight it? It’s scary I know. You don’t want to feel you are losing them again. Here’s a secret. You won’t. You’ve shown them how cool our world can be with you and other loved ones in it. There’s neat things for them, even with all the stress that goes with it. So join them in their world once in a while. Let them take you by the hand and guide you on the adventure of what things look like from their perspective. If they see you trust them, they’ll trust you all the more. Happy trails ahead. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach whose son with autism 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.creatingexceptionalparentingg.com, and for a free 30 minute exploration/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.

 

It’s Spring Break-How To Structure It In Town

Today is the first day of Michael’s Spring Break, and Spring Break for a lot of children and their families. For Exceptional Children Spring Break can be a great time, but there are also  moments when it is hard on them. The trick is providing the right amount of structure with some downtime. The thing is, Exceptional Children need both just like all other children, but they each they own formula for what works. After all, they are just individuals like each of us. So, how does a parent know where to start? Well, in my case, following my parenting gut, I know what works best for Michael. He needs a lot less structured time than when he was younger, as well as some unstructured time. Dad and I have been learning how to fine tune some of his schedule to give him a mix of both. The thing is, we have to find the right combination or we will all have a  really hard day with sensory overloads, anxiety and stress. What are some basic things parents can do to structure Spring Break? Here are 5 things:

  1. Plan out week on calendar: Plan out the weekly activities on a calendar or schedule. Make sure there are indoor and outdoor options as weather can be finicky, as well it allows for flexibility.
  2. Decide how early or late starting your day: Some kids are super excited they are up super early (like mine). Some kids like to sleep in. See in advance where your child falls and adjust your own sleep and wake schedule. You’ll be grateful you did!
  3. Make play dates in advance: If your child has friends or you have friends with kids their age, consider scheduling one or two play dates to get them out of the house. This will help with socializing.
  4.  Let them have in unstructured or down time: In this time, let them do whatever they want, including stimming if that helps them unwind and balance their sensory system.
  5. Schedule in some parent down time early am or late pm: It’s important for Moms and Dads not to burn out so self-care is important too. It’s your vacation too as you are spending quality time with your child/dren, but it can quickly go out of hand if you are tired and stressed. Self-care is just as important this week as during other breaks like Christmas or Summer.

 

Exceptional Parents, how are you spending Spring Break? What are some of your tricks for enjoying it and surviving it intact, you and your child? All jokes aside, it really can be a fun time even if you stay in town and it seems less glamorous. Remember, it’s your attitude as a parent that can make it fun or not. Be adventurous, relax when you can, and don’t be afraid to have fun! Until next time.

How to Handle Anxiety And Sensory Issues in an Older Child

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This week has been an interesting week with Michael. Well, pretty much every week is interesting. Some weeks are more challenging than others, good and bad. Last week was a good week overall, but I did notice a lot of anxiety in Michael. The good thing is he is learning to express himself better and talk about his feelings. The bad thing is that the same measures that used to work (offering him sensory massages, pillows to squeeze and showing him his exercise ball) don’t always work. He will sometimes actively fight me on even trying these techniques. This is what I am calling the curse of the tween hormones, with a touch of autism. I add the last part for a little bit of humor to get us through the tougher moments when Michael is pretty arguing with us about everything. This morning it was when he would do his chores so he could accumulate money to buy his next toy. Weekends are tough as the structure changes, and though it has been nice taking a break from extracurricular activities, Dad and I now he needs them again. The brain break was good, but physically for stress relief and sensory reasons we see how he really needs to move.

It’s tough though, as he is at the age when he does not like challenge. Our school physiotherapist warned us that due to a mild hypotonia, he may not like being physically pushed to go a little farther. But in order for him to get strong and build muscle,  he would need to move as this would help him. When he moves, just like any child, he also burns energy, feels more relaxed and positive, and handles stress and sensory issues better. It’s a tough balance, and one I am slowly learning to navigate as the mother of a tween. In all areas, he is growing up, pushing us away in daytime, and then pulling us closer at night. Sundays he dreads going back to school even though he is doing well. It is the pushing of limits. He wants to play it safe, as we are trying to teach him that only by taking risks can he make progress. I find that by giving him some freedom, I am helping him learn his own power. But then I must remind him, these are your strategies to calm down. Let’s write them on a paper. Let’s look at pictures of the equipment. Now you try what works.

Exceptional parents, what sensory issues/anxieties are your experiencing with your Exceptional Child? Are they close to or at the tween age or younger? You will see your child move through cycles, no matter what age they are. There will be good days and bad days. There will be victories and setbacks. The most important thing you can do is remind your child that though there are rules they have to follow with you and adults around them, they also have a measure of control over their life, their anxiety, and their sensory issues. Praise them when they make a good choice. Calmly redirect when they stumble. And if you need a minute, give yourself a time out to breathe and move forward. Only if you are calm and centered, can you help your child move forward into independence as stress-free as possible. Until next time.

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 session. www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com

 

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Navigating Social Interactions And Helping Exceptional Children Handle Rigidity

Over the weekend I took Michael to a local winter carnival. It was overall a success, but there were some moments, where Michael as usual, through me some curve balls as far as behavior and comprehension was concerned. Some of it was vintage Michael.  What I mean was that with some of it  I am truly seeing is part of his particularly quirky character and how he approaches people. This is both part of his very social and friendly self where he asks everyone their name and introduces himself, and where I see the traits that are part of his autism side, the side that has a hard time reading other people’s facial expressions and looking for cues in the environment to know what is going to happen. He also talks loudly, which I know is part of his family background, (we all talk loudly in our family), and but it is also sensory and due to anxiety. As a parent, I walk the line of trying to teach Michael to balance these two sides of his personality as he is getting older. It is not always easy.  Then I have the task of disciplining him when he says, “I can’t help it. I have autism.” I almost laughed and cried the first time I heard him say it. It is impressive and frustrating that he would say that to try and get away with bad behavior. He is learning now though, that there are limits and how to navigate them.

I am seeing a lot of control issues though lately around perceived mistakes that he makes and others make. He cannot tolerate these. The swearing he does is when we do things he does not like, to his father, I or another adult making mistakes. With other adults, he does not swear out loud though, which is a good thing. In his view, these are when things are not done or said perfectly. I feel so bad for him that he has to see the world so black and white, yet frustrated for myself that it is hard to break into that and show him flexibility. I imagine all that extra stress he carries around with him due to these self-imposed demands. Only call me this name, repeat the phrase like this etc. I know this is his way as it is for a lot of people with autism, to control a world that is uncontrollable and moving at a speed that is often too fast and complicated for him and his nervous system. I sometimes stop in the course of my day and see what a crazy fast-paced world we live in where things happen in seconds and you have to cope, act, react appropriately. Information comes at all of us constantly. Demands are placed on all of us to perform faster in our jobs yet with more accuracy. There is so much to do, so little time. We feel bad when we take “time off” which is not really off.  Our electronic devices are with us and/or we are thinking about what we need to do next.

Rear View of Boy Sitting at Home

Unplugging is something I am starting to do more of in 2017, and want to slowly introduce my family to. A lot of friends are starting to do this, friends with neuro typical kids. People sense the difference in mindset. This goes beyond daily meditation and yoga and weekly exercise. These things are hugely helpful in staying mindful and present-centered. That is the place from which we make the best decisions. But every once in a while a total mental health break is important too. Detach and head off into nature, curl up with a book, play a board game with family. Stay in the moment and learn how to relax and unwind again. This is mandatory for our Exceptional Children and for us as parents to recharge our batteries and be able to model good problems solving skills and a happier and more balanced life. We will also be able to help our children more when we ourselves are relaxed.

Exceptional Parents, how do you unplug and stay more in the moment? What are some tricks you’ve learned to show your kids? Whether they have autism or not, these are challenging times for our children. They need our help to find ways to relax, stay on task, and read the world around them. Kids with autism have it harder for sure, but it is never impossible. Start with small steps by modeling your own problem solving skills and how you get out in nature to unplug. Soon they will be able to follow suit and learn ways to handle stress better. Until next time.

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 session. www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com

 

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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.