Tag: routine change

How To Get Back Into Routine With Your Exceptional Child

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

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

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

A Milestone Achieved: My Exceptional Son Recognize His Own Fear Triggers

Michael did it to me again. He both shocked and surprised me in one breath, something that is commonplace for my  little boy. He has been struggling for a few months now with identifying what is causing him anxiety and anger, and seeing how the thoughts cause the actions he chooses to take. The other day though, he had a massive breakthrough. It was late Sunday afternoon. He had come back with his Dad from his usual busy day of going to his favorite shopping center, a father/son drive, tennis, and an outing to a fair that had face painting and rock and roll music. To say it was a busier day than normal is an understatement. I heard them come in from my basement office where I was working, and then the rush of excited little feet pounding down the stairs to share with me the adventures of his afternoon with Dad. This time though after quickly giving me the rundown and basic details of his day, the next words out of Michael’s mouth shocked me:

“Mommy, could we go walk around a shopping mall now? I know it’s raining so we can’t do a nature walk.”

He was happy, but I recognized an urgency in this voice I hadn’t sensed before. I quietly told him that it was five o’clock. He’d been out all day, dinner would be soon and he still had homework to do. Then, totally unlike himself he burst into tears:

“But Mommy, I have to go out. I can’t stay home. I don’t want to think about my vaccination on Tuesday morning. I need to be away from home so I don’t think. Please, please Mommy.” And he cried even harder.

Via: Morguefile



Are you as shocked as I was? He actually uttered those words. The vaccination in question was the HEP A/HEP B which is recommended for children in grade four like Michael, and we had talked about him getting it. I knew he was nervous. It was the same thing when he had blood tests and got his chicken pox vaccine, but we had talked about it on Thursday evening as Friday I had to sign the forms and return them to school for processing. I did not know he was still turning around all that stress in his little mind.

“Honey, you’ll have to come home eventually. You can’t stay out forever. I’m proud that you are recognizing your fears and how you cope with it. But we can talk some more .You don’t need to suffer alone. Here are some things you can do.”

And that we did. We went over what would happen, how he would cope and that his classmates and teachers would be there. I am still amazed and proud of how he is starting to connect things. Even when he talks about his “Stimming Lady” telling him what to do, he seems very much in control of where he wants to go and what he wants to do. He likes  reminders about expected behavior and what happens with good vs bad behavior. He is growing up. Another thing I noticed which pleased me. Twice this week unexpected things happened to our after school plans. Michael not only handled it well, but was calm and matter of fact about the change.

Exceptional Parents, how do your Exceptional Children handle change and anxiety? Are they learning to use words or actions to describe how they feel? Do they have strategies to manage it, sensory, verbal or  whatever works for them? The worst thing a parent can do is minimize the stress even if it is something small. Always listen. Always wait for them to finish talking or expressing themselves. Then offer strategies, show pictures or videos of what they could do. Remember, they are little sponges and will pick up what is being said to them over and over, good and bad. You are their role model. Until next time.

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