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Handling Ups and Downs With Your Exceptional Child When You Are Sick

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So it’s not the end of the world. I caught a sinus cold and have been feeling under the weather since Tuesday. I tried with all my might to deny that it was a cold saying to myself it was late season allergies, but I knew deep down inside. I hate being sick. Most of us do, I think. I am lucky that when I do get a cold it usually does not progress to worse. I do my best to use my usual remedy of day and night cold medicine, lots of liquids and resting when I can, in between work and motherhood.

However, the hard part of being sick as a Mom is when your child is having ups and downs and you are not at your strongest to deal with them. We’ve had a few moments with Michael this week where he was stressing, crying, yelling and I was pretty close to doing that myself. I have been feeling so tired, particularly at the hardest time of the day for most people- late afternoon-early evening. This is when I come home from work and Michael comes home from school. We are both usually tired to begin with, but when one of us is tired and has body aches, a sore throat combined with sneezing and coughing, well, it’s not fun. I always think of that old saying, “Moms can’t get sick.” It’s true only it’s not. We get sick, but we still need to function for the rest of the world even when we want our own Mommies to help us feel better.

So this week I’ve had to handle some difficult emotions and some anxiety with Michael when I was not at my strongest. It was challenging, but I realized that I could manage very well if I did one thing as Moms we tend to forget to do-ask for help. This is something all women have a hard time with, but it is so important that we pace ourselves all the time. Probably part of what got me sick was pushing myself a little too hard on the work and home fronts. I was reminded of how asking for more help around the house from Dad, Michael and in general taking on less and sleeping more, can make a world of difference.

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Not surprisingly when I asked for help and began taking little breaks when I could this week, I was better equipped to ride out some sugar highs Michael was experiencing, some anxiety about things happening at school, and better able to continue to place limits on inappropriate behavior at home and reinforce positive behavior when it happened. Recognizing my own limits when I am not feeling well, has helped me to better understand Michael’s limits when he is feeling out of sorts emotionally or when he could be coming down with a virus. I have been trying to find the positive in being sick this week. It has shown me the importance of rest, physical and mental. It has shown me the importance of slowing down. It has shown me what I need to keep and what I need to cut out of my daily routine to stay healthy. It is also teaching me patience with myself so that I could continue to have more patience with Michael, weeding out testing from real fears, and the importance of both of those things happening and how it is affecting his development.

Exceptional Parents, how do you both take care of you when you are sick and take care off your Exceptional Child? It’s not easy. But the worst thing you can do is be hard on yourself. Remember, this is your chance to practice self-care so that you can be at your best to help your child and feel back to your old self in no time. Your child will also learn respect for you as you respect yourself and respect for their own health and well-being. And before you know it, you’ll be back to your old energy level. 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. 

 

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Seeing The Big Picture in Your Child’s Negative Behavior

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Today I had one of those challenging days that made me turn to the heavens and say, “I know you are still laughing when I asked all those years ago to use me for a greater purpose.” Yes, I uttered those very words at a time in my life when I felt bored with my job, bored with my life. I felt like I had no purpose and though I was healthy, making a good salary, had a home, family and friends, felt that there had to be something else to life besides this. About three years after I wished that, Michael came into my life like a tornado. I’ve talked before how as a new Mom I wanted to do everything perfectly. My life finally had meaning for me, and dang it, if I wasn’t going to screw it up by not being the perfect Mom.   I had to be. Well, as Michael got older, like a lot of other new Moms,  I blamed myself when his development veered off the so-called “normal” track. In time I would learn all about autism, as now I am learning all about diabetes, but boy, what a long time it took me to understand all the moods, fights, tears, stresses and strains. What a long time it took me to understand that it was not all my fault.

I’ve talked about this in other blogs. I’ve particularly talked about how hard it has been to stay calm when Michael has pushed my buttons as a parent, doing everything physically and psychologically to test me and break me. And no, it is not because he is evil like I once thought in my angry confused state. It is because he is crying out for help.  It sounds hard to believe that when a child is being rude, disrespectful, aggressive or all of the above, they are actually hurting, scared, tired, confused or all of the above. But it is all true. I saw it with my own eyes today. I knew the day would end with stress when Michael burst into our bedroom at 6 am after falling asleep after 9:30. He was excited to play his new XBox before doing his morning injections and getting ready for school. Dad and I had told him if he insisted to not go back to bed, he would be tired and would need to go to bed earlier this evening. He had scoffed and disagreed. Sure enough coming home this afternoon, his tolerance for learning was not high. He was cranky, arguing with me about everything, and ended the evening with stalling at every turn, talking back, in turn forcing us to cut his bedtime routine short of everything but his evening injection and tuck in.

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Dad and I both cooled down in our respective corners while Michael cooled down in his, and in the end I had my suspicions confirmed. Michael admitted, “You’re right Mommy. I am tired. I need to go to bed.” It was so hard to sit through cursing, mocking, rudeness, but I knew in my heart of hearts he was crying out for attention. Earlier in the evening he said he was afraid to go to bed. He blamed a video he had seen weeks ago. I know that is only part of it. I think the monsters are closer to home. The monsters are his diabetes and anger. Learning to control them is challenging. And though Dad and I don’t want to scare him, we have told him how important it is that he keeps his temper in check now more than ever. We told him if his blood sugar goes up too high, he could end up in hospital. He is beginning to realize the importance of his health. We are reminding him of the wonderful strategies he developed with his educator. Now, he has to learn to use them. I was reminded tonight how important me staying calm was to the outcome of Michael calming down. I am learning how to see the bigger picture while not taking his anger personally. He is lashing out in the only way he knows how. With firm boundaries, love and consistent consequences he will learn to behave appropriately and reign himself in. Dad and I have to learn to be there for him when he is ready to move forward and apologize showing him we love him even when we don’t like his behavior.

Exceptional Parents, do you have a hard time seeing the bigger picture when your Exceptional Child lashes out? It is so hard. Some days are also easier than others to stay calm. It’s important to remember that we show our child how to treat us indirectly or not. If we are firm, consistent yet loving overall, they will learn they cannot push our buttons for long. If we constantly react to the bad and not praise the good, they may also not feel that they can do anything worthwhile. Show your child you love and are there for them when they start to use good ways to handle their anger. Show them you believe in them to make the best choices. And don’t beat yourself up as a parent. You are doing the best that you can. Your love for your child will carry you through everything. 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. 

 

Clearing the Air and Meeting Needs- Our Exceptional Family Making Peace With Our New Life

This afternoon I let out a deep breath that I didn’t know I had been holding. I think I had been holding on to this breath since September,  but particularly the last two weeks as our family went through a very tough two weeks coming to terms with personal and family stress. We had not had any time to turn off any of our stressors, so our whole family was on high alert. I remembered  the social worker at the hospital telling me that a lot of family with a diabetic  child end up developing PTSD (Post Traumatic  Stress Disorder) and to remember to take time out to care for myself and my partner to care for himself. When I told her about how both of us suffered from anxiety, and were pretty intense already and had strategies in place to manage our stress most of the time, she told me that it was good. We would probably fare better than most, as we were realistic about our strengths and limits. Still, the last two weeks I really felt like I was experiencing PTSD and wondered to myself, how could I bounce back from this?

That was when I decided to control what I could control. I reminded myself to only do what was necessary to survive. The rest would wait until I felt stronger again in my own skin. I would meditate and do yoga no matter where I squeezed it in. I would write and attend my writers’ meeting. I would make sure to sleep enough. I would make time to talk to my partner even if just five minutes a day. I would connect to other people even when my body wanted to run away. I would reach out to others knowing that that is the best way to get better-let others know you are out there. And then I prayed. I asked God for strength. I asked the Universe to lead me to the right people to help me, to help Michael, to help Dad, to help us all. I realized that even on our worst days, many things still worked out for the best. Beautiful things happened to me during the day with the kids I work with. Michael got an award at school for his bravery in handling his new diagnosis. Dad got some personal appreciation at his job and a friend reached out. Good is out there. We only have to look for it and believe things will get better.

What was harder to do was stay optimistic through all Michael’s tantrums and testing the last two weeks. The aggression was gone, but the attitude and disrespect was there. This weekend when I decided to calmly address his feelings and mine while he pulled out his strategies and we talked about using them, I was reminded that he was also acting out due to feeling powerless. So this weekend Dad and I responded with giving him some power with conditions, explaining what we expected and letting him handle the consequences of those actions, good or bad. And it worked. The weekend was a success! It reminded me of what weekends were like prior to diabetes coming into our life. I reminded me we could find our way as a family again. It reminded me to have hope. I had been scared to hope that things would improve until the winter. I was wrong. One baby step at a time with self care, respect for others, and using positive strategies and we are all getting back on track. Dad and I even managed a short in house date night yesterday!

Exceptional Parents, how often are you stuck in your family life with worry, stress and problems? How often have you lost hope that things will improve? If you have, remember you are not alone. Take things one step at a time. Eliminate anything but the essentials, and remember to put people, sleep and health above everything else. Also remember to trust that you know your body, your child and how your family needs to proceed better than anyone else. Things will improve. Don’t forget to celebrate the little joys even during the hard times. Your family is not exceptional for nothing. You will come through it. Until next time.

Do You Really See Me? Why Our Exceptional Kids Act Out

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Living in a world that is hard on the body and brain is not easy for exceptional kids, any exceptional kids. It takes its toll on their physical and mental selves, and sometimes when parents’ nerves are frayed from the daily struggle of life, they do not get much sympathy. A word, a facial expression, a tone of voice can be misinterpreted. Our kids have challenges interpreting social cues. This happens so much with Michael, particularly lately when he is feeling stressed. He will think I am angry or upset, when really I am tired. I will have to tell him or he will escalate in anger thinking I am angry. He is getting better at asking me if I am mad before jumping to conclusions. That is a good thing now, but it can still be hit and miss.

I have noticed that most of the time when he is feeling irritated or jumping to conclusions is when he is feeling lonely. He will get upset that I am not showing him attention or seem distracted, because he is feeling lost and does not know the next steps to take. Sometimes Michael may even take my genuine business for not wanting to be with him or help him out. I have had to explain that no, that is no the case. He is the most important thing in my life, but that I have other things I may have to attend to that are important as he loves his father and I, but has his things.

Self-esteem and self-worth are tied up in one for our kids. It is so important as parents that we show them how we value them as whole individuals, inside and out, no matter what else is going on. Obviously, we do not tolerate rude behavior. We need to teach them boundaries. But the most important thing to remember, is that we show them that they are worthy to us, and teach them to value us and others around them the same way. We show them how to show love and how to give love. We remind them with tough love that they have strategies to calm down with, as well as good and bad choices. We encourage them to choose the good ones. Mostly, we remind them that we are there always.

Exceptional Parents, how do you interact with your Exceptional Child? Do you really see them and do you know that that is all they want when they are acting out? Remember, they may not know how to get your attention for love in any other way. That is why regular bonding, talking and showing them interest will go a long way to having them see your love of them for who they are. It will also diminish the behaviors in most cases. Until next time.

Separating Autism from Tween Rebellion- Getting to Know Your Child

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Some days are smooth. Some days are easy. Some days I actually still find myself saying, “Really? No, really. I have to deal with this too? I love my kid. I am happy to listen when he has problems due to his autism. I am on board and learning more about diabetes every day. But now, now, he is going through the whole tween, “I want to be just like my friends in every possible way,” and  it is driving me crazy. See, for my kid add in an ounce of anxiety and his stress at not eating like his friends, not having the same exposure to certain toys like his friends, and his belief that his friends don’t need visual schedules to function smoothly like he does, have been, well, my downfall since the beginning of the school year in addition to everything else. I’m sorry to sound like a complainer and making this all about me. It’s not, but as I am the one who is supposed to be inspiring Michael to be more relaxed it gets tricky when he starts obsessing about being like his friends the second he gets off the bus.

I know. He is a kid. He does not know better. It’s up to me to keep my cool. Today I did. I don’t always. It’s easy when it’s not your child. I am great at my job for that reason. But sometimes as a Mom I just want to yell for someone else to take over. I don’t though. Michael needs me to stick by him, provide a strong adult example. He needs reminders to use positive behavioral strategies, relaxation techniques and know that he is loved. As an Exceptional Mom, I need to remember that I can be patient, loving, kind and stay in the moment with my child. By doing that I know that no matter what, he will have a calm fortress to run to. He will know I love him, yet have boundaries for aggression, anger and stress. He will know he can come to me when he calms down. He will know he is loved and accepted for who he is. He will know he is safe above all else.

Exceptional Parents, how good are you at staying calm when your child is coming apart? We all lose it from time to time. Don’t beat yourself up. Learn from your mistakes, take a deep breath, and remember, as long as you go back to being calm, your child will find their safe haven. Until next time.

 

Thinking Outside The Box- 5 Exceptional Parenting Tricks To Get You Through the Day

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Every once in a while every Exceptional Parent gets a day, a night, or a few consecutive days and nights of challenges from their Exceptional Child,  where they are pretty much crying out, why, why, why, is this happening? My child was fine, now they are giving me behavior after behavior. They are challenging everything I say or do. They are setting out to be difficult, it seems. Parents, there is always a logical explanation even when we are too tired or frustrated to see it. I have just personally come through a series of days like this with Michael. I blame it on several factors. One of these was the weather. It pretty much rained the whole long weekend and rain and Michael’s moods have never mixed well. It limits him doing anything outside in the fresh air. Being an active kid, this makes staying home and keeping busy even harder.

The second factor was him still being in the process of adjusting to his diabetes and managing sugar highs and lows. This weekend there were a lot of highs. I don’t know if  it was due to anxiety about not being outside, not having the routine of school and fears about some new nighttime stresses that have come up (or in spite of them), or maybe it was the fact that a new activity was started this week and though he was looking forward to it, this also was new and a little scary. The third factor was his preteen angst and rebellion to be more like his friends. This has been a biggie. It started way before he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and felt bad taht this singled him out from his class buddies. The peer group has assumed an all out importance, and as parents we are battling it now. I think part of the reason he is even staying away from church is that his buddies don’t go. The tween years are hard on all kids. Add in a mix of autism, diabetes, and anxiety, and any kid, and thier parent, would have challenges with behavior, temperament and such.

Still, I was pretty much in stress mode all weekend long handling one challenge after another with Michael.  Family outings were sacrificed, couple time with my partner, and writing time for me. It was not easy. So what helped me survive and help Michael and my partner, through this tough weekend besides wine you may ask? LOL. A few things worked. A few didn’t. Here are my survival tips for Exceptional Families on those challenging long weekends:

 

  1. Have a plan on paper: Yes, it’s like a battle plan. Lay it out for your child, other children and partner. This is how we are going to proceed. Yes, your child may rage against this. Explain that they can help plan it with you, but a plan needs to be there so that peace can reign. Then do it.
  2. Cry and take time alone to recharge: Let it out Moms and Dads when it is safe to do so. Let out your emotions through tears, a journal, a walk. You will be recharging your battery and emptying yourself of pity so you can better help your child.
  3. Give your child tools to empower them: When your child is calm, give them tools to empower them. If they like social stories, let them choose stories that help explain difficult emotions. If they need to have a place to vent, help them make an “Anger Box” to write and share difficult feelings that they can write down and express with you. If they need a sensory corner, make one with pillows, a tunnels some squeeze toys that they can use to regulate.
  4. Reach out for professional help for your child: Does your child have therapists, a team at school? If not, can your local health center or pediatrician refer you for psychological resources to help your child? Follow up on it. Also, do some research on your own via reputable internet sites, as well as through other families and what has worked for them.
  5. Take it one day at time and know tomorrow is a fresh start: I saved the hardest tip for last. This is so hard when you’ve had a series of rough days as an exceptional parent. However, it is SO important to never give up on your child progressing and learning from their mistakes. You are their best advocate. If you don’t fight for them, who will? If your partner and yourself are both burned out, seek individual and couple counseling. You need it to be the strong parents your child needs. Also, get some weekday or weekend help for your child in the form of a mother’s/father’s helper who can take them out while you recharge. This is good for them (change of scenery and person) and good for you.

Exceptional Parents, have you ever felt like giving up on Exceptional Parenting and that you weren’t the parent your Exceptional Child  needed or wanted? Did it ever seem too hard or overwhelming? You are joined in this by all parents at one point or another. Remember,  stay in the moment. Do the best you can. If uncertain, reach out to your community, and breathe, and communicate with the Universe asking for answers. You will find your direction and things will turn around for the better before you know it. Have faith. You are never alone. 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 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.

 

Exceptional Thanksgiving- 7 Things All Exceptional Parents Are Grateful For

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As I sat crying in my home office last night after a particularly trying afternoon and evening with Michael, it may sound strange to say that I was also feeling thankful at the same time. Thankful for a stressful and trying day? Has she lost her mind, you may be thinking? I’m happy to tell you that I did not lose my mind. I was very aware of what I was thinking and feeling. I was letting off some steam and emotion, but at the same time was realizing that even in the low moment, I no longer felt Michael’s stress and anxiety issues were all my fault. I also no longer beat myself up over and over that I am a bad mother. I also no longer got angry when I realized I could not write this blog post up last night. I was simply too tired and drained. So I went to bed early with no guilt-Mommy or parent coach or writer guilt. Wow. That was huge for me.

This didn’t just happen overnight. It has been a process I have been building towards for the last four years. It’s really in the last year or two only as well that my Mommy and work guilt go away when Michael is overwhelmed. I feel bad and frustrated for him, and bad and frustrated for me. That is it. What a relief that I can process that emotion more clearly. It makes it easier to move, learn from what we may need to still introduce or remind Michael of, and what we can all learn from it. That’s right. As annoying and tiring as it is to ask myself that amazing question Oprah Winfrey has asked herself in the past when handling tough situations and emotions, “What can I/we learn from this?” What I have been learning from Michael sugar highs and lows with diabetes and his anxiety management which is not always the greatest, is that we really need to make sure he has the proper tools to handle his fears. And yes, there have been new fears developing. I suspect they are related to the lack of control he feels in his life, now more so than ever. We have been reminding him of what tools he already has, and trying to help him fin new ones that work for him. He has come up with a few on his own. We are also seriously revisiting adding some anti-anxiety medication on to his arsenal of strategies.

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As hard as it is to live with him when he is in super anxiety and anger mode, I worry so much more now about his stress and what it could cause. As his sugar levels go up, there is more risk factors with diabetes too. Staying calm myself in these moments is not always easy, particularly when I am tired myself.  I have had some good moments this week and some not so good moments, but with a new educator helping us in the home as well as trying to give Michael control where I can, things are starting to get better. With Thanksgiving around the corner for this Canadian gal, I am reminded even with all the turmoil our Exceptional Kids bring into our lives what can we learn from this? What can they? Here are some things I think every Exceptional Parent can be thankful for this Thanksgiving (and every other):

  1. No matter what health issues they have, your child is alive and with you. All moments are not negative ones. Seize the moments when they are laughing, happy and in their element. Don’t forget, that is who your child really is. That is how you really are as their parent too.
  2. Accept them no matter what and show them what they have to be grateful for in their life. Show them you love them always and are thankful they are in your life.
  3. Our Exceptional Kids show us what really matters and what needs to be fixed. Work on fixing it in them and in yourself.
  4. Have fun family time not devoted to therapy. Cook, go on a walk, to a park. Be thankful for the regular family moments you can always have.
  5. Our kids remind us how to practice better self-care, celebrate difference more, and accept the things we can’t change.
  6. Exceptional families learn not to sweat the small stuff and celebrate the little victories. These are big victories for every child.
  7. Exceptional parents know that their Exceptional Children teach them so much about seeing all the  growth, strength and true beauty in themselves as well as in their child.

Exceptional Parents, what are you thankful for with your Exceptional Child? Remember, it’s what we choose to see that will affect how we see the world. Our child will mimic our example of that world. Even on very hard days and weeks, choose to see hope, love and positive endurance in your child and in yourself. You and your family will grow and be able to spread that joy to other families struggling to find gratitude. Until next time.

 

 

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Autism Awareness Month and And How to Admire Your Exceptional Child’s Unique Brain

difference.jpegI realized when I woke up on Sunday morning that it was not only already October 1st, the beginning of another month, but also another beginning: the month of celebrating and bringing attention to Autism Awareness in Canada. It is not enough that people know about autism and want to help children hone their strengths and work on their weaknesses. It is also important that people are reminded that those with autism do not need or want to be changed. They do not need to be fixed. They need to be understood for the way their unique brain perceives the world, and the quirky way they see things happening around them.

As parents, we all go through the “why my child?” at the beginning of their diagnosis. We are worried about them standing out, being different than other kids, and about all the little things that they need time to learn over their peers. We fear autism. It is apart from us, from who we are, from how we learn, unless of course you as a parent realize that perhaps you have autism too or are close enough on that spectrum to see markers. It has happened. Then, as your child grows, you begin to see how they perceive the world, and the gifts or strengths they have, can really make a difference and make them a contributing member of society. Sadly, when less was known about autism so many individuals were at first written off by the medical community as not being able to wokr or live independently. Think Temple Grandin and Donna Williams. They are both teachers, writers and Temple Grandin is a animal scientist who talk and inspire families of autistic individuals with hope and excitement about the possibilities as long as we pay attention to what the individual can do instead of what they cannot. This is mandatory.

As Michael’s Mom, a title I love to be known by, I am proud to tell the world of his different brain now and share how he sees the world in his unique way, sometimes amazing, sometimes funny, sometimes annoying, but heck, aren’t we all a little of each at tiemes? The first thing that surprises people is how social Michael is, and they fall in love with his joy for life, navigating, food and music. He is helpful, active and wants to explore. When I told him he had autism, I also made sure to tell him he can do anything he puts his mind too, as long as he adapts learning it to the best way he learns. People around us in our family and society are seeing that. They are seeing there are so many different ways to teach and learn. This is the message I want to leave people with this month. Do not limit your child ever due to their autism. Do not listen to people who try to discourage you from what they may not do. Go with your gut as their parent and advocate. Help them find and hone their passions. Praise all their efforts, and above all, let them be your guide in the world too. See the world through their eyes and fall in love with it. You have been given a gift to have a special child like this. It will open your eyes to seeing the world in a whole new way and take you down a path you never thought possible. Help others see this too. Until next time.

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.

 

 

Navigating New Exceptional Fears And How To Help Your Child Feel In Control

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So we are settling into a pretty good routine at home with Michael. He is calmer than he has been about school and is enjoying doing homework. This is a really good thing for him and for me to experience. Socially with friends things are going well too, but as with any child, there are always little things that creep up to challenge the family with autism. The latest one for us is Michael’s anxiety and fixation on particular incidents that upset or scare him, then flashing back to those events at bedtime. Yep. Just when the bedtime routine seemed perfect, now something that Dad and I thought was a one time fear has now began rearing its head at bedtime. What is it you ask? Well, I heard Michael watching a video on You Tube during his IPAD time before bed the other night that sounded highly inappropriate. There was no violence or swearing, but the language was disturbing and I did not trust the direction it was headed in. I calmly told Michael to close it. He fought me at first, and I saw the little glint in his eye. Ha, ha, this is naughty. I want to see it because I’m not allowed. But then I said the magic words that seemed to work. “I don’t want you to get scared.” Of  course, I realized only after I may have planted the seed in his very impressionable brain that the video was scary. At that moment, I just wanted him to close it without a fight and didn’t worry about how it would sound. Too late.

He has been fixating on that video ever since Monday, and now says to me that the facial expressions of the people in the video scared him. He also says he dreamed of the people in the video coming to kill him. He refuses to go on You Tube and in order for him not to freak out at bedtime, we have had to come up with new strategies for him to relax. He cried last night that he was scared to close his eyes and sleep. Thankfully with his massage, a bedtime story and relaxation music, we are teaching him how to distract himself from this video, but it is amazing the impression it made. He didn’t even finish watching it, yet his fears are on high alert. This has reminded me how sensitive he is, and has always been, to events or people that upset him. Having strategies in place to work through fears is what we are doing, and I will be asking his educator to talk to him too. I worry often about OCD and Michael’s tendencies in this area. At least, he is making progress towards talking about and moving toward fixing his fears with new tools.

Exceptional Parents, how do your Exceptional Children handle fears and phobias? How do you help support them in this area? The most important thing  is to remember that this is a big deal for your child and never to dismiss the fears as small. Work with them on finding strategies that work to put them back in control of their bodies and minds: deep breathing, meditation and yoga, relaxation music, talking, exercise, and distraction to something else, are all good. In time, you and your child will see what works for them. 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 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.