Adventures with Autism…
In my “Too Many to Count” list of “Things Tried” to help our daughter break out of her restricted-interest-rut, the one I share with you today beats all. Yes, mama pulled out all the creative stops with this one. It was going to be one for the record books I was certain. That did indeed turn out to be true!
When your child enjoys (count them) three things – done over and over all day, it can be maddening. In our case, it is (1) car rides (2) showers (3) cheese. A perfect day for Miss Carrie would be rising early, having a cheese plate for breakfast and then a long shower, followed by a very long car ride leading up to a cheese plate for lunch, followed by a shower and another long car ride. This sequence would continue until all the cheese, hot water and gasoline were gone, only to be replenished the next day because she is sure that an endless and free supply of these vital elements exists.
Fellow parents, you know what I’m talking about! Some call them obsessions or compulsions or perseverative behaviors or restricted interests. Whatever you call it, our kids are stuck doing it – riding Read full post »
Today will begin by defining what mindfulness is and what mindful self-compassion is, then we will be moving forward with exercises you can practice in future blogs. As we previously announced, we are going to be posting about Mindfulness on the 2nd Monday of each month.
Beginning with mindfulness…
In A Year of Living Mindfully, Richard Fields, PhD, highlights two aspects of mindfulness being: Awareness of awareness and attention to intention.
Fields also explains that, “Mindfulness is about embracing the now, good and bad. It is about not beating yourself up about lost opportunities and mistakes in the past. It is about loving and embracing the goodness in the life you have. It isn’t about pretending that all is rosy or replacing negative thoughts with positive. It’s accepting that life is full of good and bad, ups and downs, and that this is our common humanity. We all have adversity, we all have challenges. It is part of the human condition.” Read full post »
Reflections from Jim Sturms, parent
It is advice, a regret, and a thankful for what I now have.
Find your Inner Ring
Before Carter was born, we had a great circle of close friends that were the backbone of our social life – parties, weekend trips, recreational sports, dinners, etc.
We saw these people every month or even more frequently. They were our “inner ring” of social support.
Then we started having kids and the circle started to break apart into the “With Kids” and “No Kids” rings. We still saw everyone, but the folks with kids stayed closer to each other because we were all doing “people with babies” things. Our inner ring naturally shifted to the “with kids” subset and grew naturally from the parents we met at preschools and the like. The “no kids” people moved to an outer ring – our lives didn’t connect as often. A natural part of the transition to family life. Read full post »
An Interview with Parent Susan Sturms
Lynn: With the advantage of hindsight, what advice would you give to yourself as a younger/less experienced parent, newer to your child’s diagnosis?
Susan: First, I would be more inclined to give myself words of comfort and encouragement than to give myself words of advice. I would say, “Be kind to yourself”. Time spent researching therapies is important; time spent advocating for your child with the school system is time well spent; time spent interviewing and hiring behavioral therapists that are a good fit for your child and your family is a top priority. But time spent getting to know your child and creating happy memories of just being together is the most valuable investment of all. You are on a journey to a deep and beautiful understanding of the value of a human life. I won’t lie – it is difficult, painful, and lonely at times. But it will also include times Read full post »
The title of this blog series is “A Conversation With My Younger Self”. We wondered what parents and providers would say to their younger selves having the wisdom of hindsight and if there might be any words of wisdom our younger selves might have for us today. We begin with providers.
Anita Wright, Speech Pathologist
As a young professional, there was a lot I didn’t know or understand about autism. I should have taken more time to describe to parents the strengths their child exhibited, not just the deficits, not just the worrisome behaviors. I would have helped parents recognize and emphasize the positive aspects of their child and point out how we can build on those strengths to broaden the child’s skills in other areas.
As a parent, I’d remind myself not to be too quick to give up on teaching new things, even when the going seems incredibly slow. Time and persistence on a parent’s part can sometimes bring surprising Read full post »