On the Road With Autism

My journey of discovery. I welcome your comments!



Thought I would share

Some Tips for Parents of Children with ASD

  • Life as you knew it has changed
  • Along with your child’s gifts and talents you will have to support his/her learning challenges
  • Your own family values, beliefs, hopes and desires will lay the foundation for your actions
  • You will need to be an informed leader of a lifelong team
  • You will need to create this lifelong team
  • You will need to lead this lifelong team
  • Parents are
  • Responsible for the support and positive development of their children
  • They accept the child for who he/she is and find strengths and develop them
  • They guide (from their own experiences)
  • They coach (to build skills)
  • They mentor (to teach)
  • Offer wisdom
  • Offer safety
  • They encourage mind, body and spiritual well being
  • They celebrate the small step by step successes of their children
  • Families MUST
  • Learn everything about their child’s learning challenges
  • Become well informed about current state of the art interventions and strategies that will help support growth
  • Should learn how to evaluate the progress of an intervention and be ready to STOP it if it isn’t bringing about positive change
  • Need to learn how to develop independence in their child EARLY
  • Re-think their role as mother and father and add on teacher!!!
  • Stop doing and thinking for their child and instead build
  • Communication skills
  • Skills of daily living
  • Social Skills
  • Set Rules
  • Set boundaries
  • Set expectations
  • Teach other family members to become mentors, coaches and teachers
  • Teach home care-providers to become teachers not Nannies & Butlers!!!
  • Start early to help your child understand that they need to
  • Communicate, Socialize and participate in the family
  • The Child Must Learn
  • To dress themselves
  • Feed themselves
  • Shop for themselves
  • Cook for themselves
  • Maintain their own clean spaces
  • Maintain good hygiene on their own
  • Problem solve
  • Parents Must
  • Stop thinking and doing everything for their child including
  • Communicating
  • The longer the parent does it all, the harder it will become to encourage independence and success in
  • Home, School and the Community
  • When Parents Do it For them
  • The child never learns to solve a problem
  • Test out solutions
  • Find Answers
  • Develop plans to implement solutions
  • In the end they will ALWAYS need someone to Think and Plan and Do for them
  • How?
  • Start early (now)
  • Start small
  • Build gradually
  • Consider their current skill levels
  • Be Patient
  • Be Calm
  • Celebrate each small step towards independence
  • Acknowledge each and every communication intention: what they look at, what they point to, sounds they make, taking you to what they want and then EXPAND from there
  • Play with them and teach them to accept you as a play partner. Join them in their preferred activities and then EXPAND from there
  • Identify jobs they can help with in the home (putting away toys, putting clothes in drawers, putting dirty clothes in laundry area, helping to carry things in the store and them putting them away after shopping, empting trash, setting the table, making a snack and packing their lunch for school)
  • Teach them Daily living skills and require them to participate more and more instead of you doing it all.
  • Hand washing, tooth brushing, bathing, dressing, hair brushing, using utensils, using a napkin, pouring, stirring are some places to start
  • Expose them to community activities (parks, family celebrations, temple, stores, museums, art galleries, music events)
  • Start with short visits and with places of THEIR interests
  • Use visual supports in form of visual stories and visual schedules to show them how it will be in those places
  • When Parents
  • Expose their children to the community then the child engages in learning.
  • They learn social skills, language expression and comprehension, motor planning and problem solving.
  • Parenting is Complex
  • Each parent has to give up something when it comes to seeing that their son or daughter with a special learning challenge LEARNS
  • Each parent becomes a part of not only providing a safe environment in which to live but a TEACHING ENVIRONMENT in which to LEARN
  • So, parents need to sleep well, eat well, connect with each and form support groups, share ideas, find time to do the things they enjoy too!
  • Parents also need to be there for the other siblings in the family and encourage their unique strengths and talents

Keeping Your Apple Barrel Full (Well-Being)

We must take care of ourselves so we can take care of those we love or work with who have complex special needs.

  • Certified Mental Health Counselor, Lee Schnebly has a beautiful image for all of parents & health practitioners
  • She asks us to see ourselves as an Apple Barrel. If we give all our apples away (to our children, clients, students, neighbors, friends) & we are totally out then we will be unable to function effectively until we fill them up again. These apples represent our emotions.
  • They are many types of apples available. We ourselves have the responsibility for getting whatever apples we want & keeping our barrel full.
  • Our life’s activities can fill our barrel & also take away our apples
  • It’s all about balance & attitude
  • These Activities May Give us Apples: (Add them to your barrel)
  • Going to a favorite place
  • Reading a favorite book
  • Time with close friends
  • Time with family
  • Listening to your favorite music
  • Spending time alone
  • Eating Ice Cream
  • Dancing or Singing
  • Walking on the Beach or Mountain or Forest
  • A child learning, therapy working
  • A parent happy & satisfied with our work
  • Fair compensation for our work
  • Exercising
  • Finding a special someone in your life
  • Sleeping in once in awhile
  • BUT there are ACTIVITIES THAT CAN TAKE OUR APPLES AWAY (be aware)
  • Overworking/tired
  • Getting Sick
  • Having an argument with a loved one
  • Letting down a Family
  • Not being able to help everyone
  • Not making time to do our favorite things
  • Holding in feelings & not sharing
  • Being angry, anxious & confused
  • SO
  • Be sure to check in on how full your barrel is & make sure you are keeping it reasonably filled with the right kind of apples
  • Then you are developing well-being & when you are playing your best game, your child, your student or your client will benefit from all your efforts