Tag: special needs chidlren

Keeping Busy and Having Choices-How This Has Helped My Son With Autism Handle Anxiety Better

Michael has a lot of anxiety. I have talked about this in previous posts, and will touch on it from time to time as it is an important part of what he and many other children with autism must live with every day. I constantly am amazed though by how well he does lately in handling his anxious thoughts and feelings. He is beginning to ask questions about techniques he could use, remembering he can’t hit his head, the wall, or other people or things, and where he can go to calm down. What most impresses me is how he is connecting activity and movement to regulating his emotions and calming down.

“Mommy, I changed my mind about baking tonight. Can we go to the park and finish playing tennis and bake another night. I need to move Mommy.”

I am so impressed with him and how he is learning to read his body and mind. I am impressed with how good his tennis game and other physical skills are improving, and even though I cringe when I hear how hard on himself he is when he misses the tennis ball, or gets stuck on a word in reading, I am calmly able to point out to him it’s ok, we all make mistakes. Lately, he has been saying it back to me if he hears me saying it to myself. What is striking me is how far he has come in identifying his feelings, his likes, and dislikes. He will tell me who his “real” friends are, “my best buddies are”, and who are friends that he is not as close to. He does not want hugs “because I am a big boy”, but at night wants cuddles for a few minutes. He is my baby, my preteen, and my teenager all in one.

Where we are still grappling with is Michael’s difficulty letting go of worrying about the future. He will come up with elaborate scenarios of what will go wrong, what he will hate on a field trip, at an activity, and I will have to remind him one day at a time. He will also experience something he does not want to hear from me, and will say, quite dramatically, “now my day at school will be ruined tomorrow.” Again,  I tell him stories of how I used to think that way when I was little, and how I suffered a lot because of it when I did not need to. I teach him strategies like taking it one day at a time, looking at the positive things in his life, and venting about it for a bit before moving on. What is helping Michael  is something I had completely overlooked prior to the last few months; giving him the floor to be heard and a choice of what he can say and do. That freedom is helping him handle anxiety a lot better.

Exceptional Parents, what kind of surprises do your Exceptional Children throw your way? How have they impressed you with their insight, ability to cope, and intelligence? Do you remember to give them a positive choice in how they could respond to things? Do you let them talk and have the floor? This will make a big difference in their ability to handle things in their world. Until next time.

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

What This Exceptional Mom Learned When She Underestimated Her Exceptional Child

So yesterday morning Michael did it again. What, you ask? He surprised me big time, and made me feel like a fool for underestimating his ability to listen and follow rules. My child has always been quick to get ready in the morning. But never never would I have thought with ten minutes to go until his school bus came, would my child have been able in pajamas to finish breakfast, get dressed, and brush teeth by the time the bus arrived a short time later. He not only did it and was just finishing a quick pee, but when I raced in upset to tell the bus had arrived, even managed to tell me he’d be right out. Of course, I hadn’t heard that. I was having a stressful morning and thinking the worst, that this would once again be a morning we would fight about him being ready etc. He would have made the bus wait an extra five minutes tops. But I sent the bus away. When I came back inside, there stood a fully dressed and shocked Michael that I hadn’t given him a chance.

I was ashamed of myself for thinking my child couldn’t be ready on time, but I had also told Michael that in future, he needed to be ready waiting outside with me on the driveway when the bus came. On the drive into school we talked about how rude it is to make people wait. We both learned a lesson about trust, communication, and waiting. It was surprising and impressive to me that I could have this discussion with my little guy, and then I remembered, Joanne, he is a smart and creative little boy. If you stay calm and explain things to him he will get it. Don’t be afraid to trust him. Don’t be afraid to trust your instincts as his Mom. That was the problem. Lately I have been so stressed with work, home, parenting, and trying to do it all so darn well and perfectly. Nothing is perfect, including life. As parents, we need to let go, coast a while, be patient with our kids and ourselves. If work isn’t going how we want it to, pray, breathe and stay positive. Open ourselves up to better things and better things will happen. It’s the same with parenting. We need to open ourselves up to our kids, be patient and kind, and  really see what they need. Chances are they will reflect that positive vibe back to us.

Exceptional Parents, when have you last underestimated your child’s ability to deal with stress? Remember, they are only as strong as you give them credit for, and they will surprise you if you give them the benefit of the doubt. How do you feel when you are given the benefit of the doubt? Your child deserves that and more. None of us is perfect. We need to learn from our mistakes and not be afraid to move forward from there. Until next time.

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