Author: Lynn Vigo, MSW, LICSW

Mindful Monday – Critical Thoughts and Self-Compassion

Coffee-with-views-of-the-rainCritical Thoughts and Self-compassion

Insecurity often underlies critical thoughts and in our achievement-oriented world, it’s easy to feel as if we don’t measure up. If a core belief at the heart of critical thoughts is that we are “not good enough”, it could be that we’re using an unrealistic measure of our worth. If in our mind’s eye, we associate perfection with what we “should be” then we set ourselves up for disappointment. It’s fine to have goals and ambitions but we shouldn’t make self-acceptance dependent on them. Read full post »

Whose CHOICE is it Anyway?

dandelionI’m so confused.

As the parent of someone with autism, being confused is not new to me. Autism is confounding for the best and brightest among us. Just ask the top researchers and providers in the field. And with few solid answers, questions abound.

Old questions persist about what causes autism and what the best-fitting treatment is for each child. It seems we’ve moved past some of the early controversy about what causes autism and have separated the “wheat from the chaff” when it comes to evidence-based treatment. With advances in genetics, we’re getting closer to being able to target treatment to a child’s unique profile.

With broadening of diagnostic criteria to include those “on the milder end of the spectrum” came new questions about whether autism is a disability or a personality difference. Some self-advocates declared themselves “autistics” and turned people-first language upside down while others voiced that their Read full post »

Mindful Monday – Think Before You…

Think Before You . . . Speak, Text, Email, Tweet

Seems today the old saying “think before you speak” needs updating to include reply all, text, tweet, etc. It’s so easy to fire off words without giving them much forethought. Another old adage, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it” also seems to have gone by the wayside (which I think is an idiom).

We now have the ability to deliver lightning-fast replies and feel a sense of accomplishment when we get those pesky emails and texts out of the way. Do you ever go back and read what you’ve sent? Ever catch a typo (thanks, autocorrect) or realize that your quick words might not have captured what you intended to say or might be confusing. Ever get a reply text that only says, “?” meaning, “I have no idea what you’re talking about”.

With in-person conversations, do you ever feel a need to fill a pause rather than let the silence be? May be that at times, working in a service profession as we do, we feel uncomfortable with the quiet, Read full post »

A Day in the Life of an Autism Center Scheduler

Most parents are familiar with the direct service providers who work at our center but have not met those who work “behind the scenes”. Arguably the busiest people in the building, our schedulers are the ones who keep this place running. Today we take an inside look at what this critical role entails and answer a few questions we get about scheduling.

First, let’s introduce you to Ingrid, Andrea, Kira and David, the Fearless Four:

SchedulersThe day starts with taking messages off voice mail including any from providers calling out sick. The team huddles to determine the day’s priorities such as ASAP-rescheduling for sick providers or calling to see if anyone can take a last-minute-cancelation appointment. Our goal is to not have any holes in the schedule. Of an eight hour day, about five are spent on the phone calling those on our waiting list, returning calls, and fielding questions about what can be expected in an appointment. Calls also are made to schedule families for our monthly First Steps and Next Steps classes and prep is done for our Autism 101 and Autism 200 series. Read full post »

Resilience – What is it and Why Does it Matter?

We hear a lot about “resilience” among those who live with chronic adversity. What exactly does this mean and why does it matter? Two veteran parents/providers take a look at this topic as it pertains to parents of children with special needs.

Therese and Lynn are moms of adult daughters with special needs. Therese’s daughter, Sabah, is now 32 so she has had many years to reflect on how parents build resilience in the face of adversity. She recalled the early years when she felt the guilt that many moms feel and her focus was on “fixing her” with many therapies and interventions. At the time, she wasn’t aware that she was grieving but she was. She wondered “why me” but also thought “why not me?” It was in Sabah’s teenage years that Therese shifted the focus to her quality of life. One thing that helped was that her family never did treat Sabah as disabled and always included her wherever they went. Therese also always had expectations of her daughter, not by any other yardstick but her own, meaning that she knew she could learn and grow toward whatever her capacity might be. Read full post »