Support

All Articles in the Category ‘Support’

Parental Self-Care and Autism

Ah life. Just when I think I’ve learned enough to graduate summa cum laude from the school of hard knocks, it reminds me that I am not done yet. There is always something new for me to learn.

Case in point: I took the day off from work to wrap up some matters related to my child’s “transition to adulthood”. By the way, at age 18, she is now officially known as “my adult” rather than “my child”. Sorry, but (unofficially) she will always be my child. Just as I am still my 81 year old mother’s child.

But back to that fateful day . . . I was feeling pretty good about crossing several things off my continuous-loop To Do List when I decided to text my husband and ask him to pick up a few things on the way home. (Tick tock. First decision)

On second thought, why bother him? I had the day off and that child, I mean adult of mine, would love to Read full post »

Life After Out-of-Home Placement: Interviews with Parents (Part 2)

Dillon is a happy thirteen year old young man with significant behavioral challenges who recently moved to a group home. His mom Sara shares their story with us today.

Lynn: What led to your decision to seek out of home placement?

Sara: I felt that out of home placement was something that would happen around age 18, but for us it came five years earlier than I had expected. My son Dillon is non-verbal, and a joy all the time, except for when he was screaming and biting himself, and later screaming and biting himself while attacking me. It was hard to determine the precise point at which my own lack of sleep and lack of ability to care for him got to be so profound as to be dangerous for him, for me, for our mother-son relationship, for my other kids. When ordinary life is hard, and it continually gets more difficult in small increments, it is impossible to remember that there might be a line, let alone know when you have crossed it. And when other people tell you that you can’t handle this, it is easy to defend all your choices, defend Read full post »

Life After Out-of-Home Placement: Interviews with Parents

As my own child transitions to young adulthood, I look to those who have gone before me for guidance and support. In this week’s blogs, we discuss out of home placement from a parent’s perspective. Two veteran parents, Joy and Sara share their stories with us this week.

Audrey is a beautiful teenager with ASD who is also deaf and has a history of significant behavioral challenges. She recently moved out of her family’s home. Her mom tells us how the family is doing.

Lynn: How is Audrey doing since she moved to her group home. How did the adjustment go? Was it easier or harder than for her than you’d thought?

Joy: The transition for her has been remarkably smooth. I had lots of scenarios in my head before she moved – from complete disaster (she’d be upset and distraught all the time and unable to calm) to very Read full post »

Separating Autism from the Person with Autism?

Kat and Arthur 2015I crave information about autism. I am parent of a child with autism and I work closely with individuals and families living with this complex disorder. 

I read a lot. I listen to parents. I seek to understand those who are diagnosed. My cup is not full. I am still learning. 

There are so many different opinions, viewpoints, experiences, and perspectives that I must often remind myself that perception is reality. No two people with autism look alike. Nor do their experiences. So if I want to continue to learn and evolve, I need to keep an open mind so I can absorb the many facets of how autism affects us all. 

When I read this blog by Carrie Cariello, titled I Know What Causes Autism, I smiled. This is a Read full post »

Keeping Your Cool- Tips for Parents of Kids with Special Needs

Today we welcome guest author, Beth Crispin, fellow colleague and parent, who shares with us some valuable tips on keeping our parental cool when things heat up with our kids. For those who don’t know her, Beth is a health educator at Seattle Children’s and mom to two great kids:

“I am the parent of Mateo age 10, who was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in 2009, and Grace who is a typically developing teenager. We live in Shoreline Washington where we make it though our challenging days with a lot of flexibility and some laughter.” 

They say that it doesn’t matter if there is a real or paper tiger, the physiological response is the same. Your adrenaline starts to pump, your breath becomes rapid and blood rapidly flows away from the thinking center of the brain to the extremities (preparing you to run!). As a parent of a child who has explosive meltdowns, I often find myself dealing with the impact and aftermath of stress. While I can’t Read full post »