Tag: parenting children with autism

An Inside View Into My Son’s Way of Thinking About His Autism-The Quirky, The Fun, The Challenging

The last few days have been really interesting ones with Michael. He has been calm, listening well, and telling me he is listening for his rewards. But he has also been staying in control of his emotions and letting me help redirect him when he needed help managing things. It has been a relief to see he is finding his emotional equilibrium again. I worry so much when aggression is present, but am starting to see my part in helping exacerbate or move it along. I am also seeing my part in helping tone it down.

The most interesting thing to happen was that Michael began to tell me where he comes up with a lot of his ideas and the things he says. The latest thing he is saying is “Mommy is made up of clay. She is soft with soft hands and face and legs.” When I asked him where he learned this, he said he came up with it proudly. He loves clay and he loves me. It’s kind of like when he tells me he wants to write a story and later is talking about wanting to work at home in an office like me, but instead of writing he wants to design maps. I am so flattered that he is copying me and emulating some of the good stuff. God knows, he has copied some of the bad stuff like language I have said in anger that I regret. It is wonderful to see him developing like this.

There are still the times he challenges me with minor behaviors to see how far he can go, but most of the time now we are settling into a nice relating back and forth again. I have heard many  “I love you’s” and “You’re the best mother ever.” It’s nice to hear. There are times I feel I could do more, say more to make things better for him though he is doing well. I think every parent wishes that. But parents of exceptional kids, are always on the lookout; what could we improve? Michael’s sensory issues are out of whack so am talking to the OT to see what we could tweak there to help him. Yet through all of this, as I tell people, he is still raising me to be more aware of myself as a mother and person, of my own boundaries, issues, strengths and weaknesses. He is and always will be my champion.

Exceptional Parents, do you often  have an inside view into your child’s mind with autism? Do they grant you that willingly or do things sometimes slip out that you see or hear? Regardless, whatever way you find out about it it is a gift. It is a gift to see how our child’s brain feels things and sees the world. It gives many more tools to learn to help them get what they need so that they can learn and become the best they can be. Until next time.

 

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Autism Is A Gift That You Help Your Child Unleash

I was warned that one day Michael would catch up on many of his milestones. I was even told that he would zip through developmental stages, and start to catch up to peers. I was told the process could be accelerated. I knew this logically, but emotionally on weeks when my little genius is driving me crazy like this week, it is harder to take. Yes, there I said it! And that means a lot. As a writer and artist as well as a parent coach, it takes a lot for me to say that another human being is driving me crazy when, well, ask my friends, I’m pretty crazy myself. But you see, that’s what I love about me. I love that I don’t adhere to someone else’s definition of happiness. I love that I don’t  try to fit in and be something I am not anymore. I did that for twenty odd years. It led me to two depressions,  self-hatred, and caused to try to live someone else’s version of what my life should be. Like many people, I found out that I was not only my own worst enemy, but also my own prisoner and  only I could unlock the door to my cell. What a relief to be out in the open now.

This is truly the artist in me speaking. I also love how I am seeing that it is when I think outside the box, when I color outside the lines in my own life, that true beauty and happiness is found. I feel I am truly being me, and I’d like to think, I can help others be truly them, as parents to their exceptional children and as individuals. Michael is the one who finally freed me completely. My writing and poetry started the process, and is basically what kept me sane in those twenty years. Michael completed the project and continues to help me see I am on the right path. His inner beauty, his light, shines through on all the darkness in the world.  I know it is hard soul work parenting a child, any child. One who has autism means that as a parent we need to do extra soul work, and be extra gentle on ourselves. Only then can we give our children what they need to grow.

Exceptional Parents, are you both amazed and frustrated by your Exceptional Children on some days? Do you sometimes scream to the heavens, why me? I can’t do this! I can’t be the parent he/she needs. They are amazing and they need someone stronger, better, wiser.  Well, guess what parents. You are the right parent. You know your child, for better or worse, and you know what they need when they need it. Take a break once in awhile to recharge your batteries. Step away from parenting to see more clearly. Ask for help and support. But never give up on your child or yourself. They have  amazing potential, all of our children, and your job is to discover that potential and help unleash it on the world. But first parents, you need to find your own potential, your own light. You have it. And when you find it, you will see how it will get you through the rough times and you and your child will persevere. Until next time.