Monday, October 29, 2012

For parents with children/ adults with Autism

Many of my personal clients have heard me quote a definition of success by Sir Winston Churchill:

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another, without  loss of enthusiasm."

If you are the parent of a child on the Autism Spectrum, and feel that all hope is lost, fret not. Understandably, it is a taxing situation, to say the least. But there is a path that leads to contentment, which is not complacent.

To illustrate this idea, regardless of your background, if you search across the first chapter of the book of Joshua, found in the Jewish Torah, or the King James Version of the Holy Bible (only authorized version of Bible, btw), you will find that The Word sais over and over, "only be strong, and of a good courage." Amongst many things, the chapter signals to trust in the LORD.

Some may say, "gee, thanks BUDDY!" with a sly smile.

But I say on what do you stand? and do you get rest from standing there? Being able to rest at the deepest level gets us recharged to deal with our lot. Your clear idea of what kind of attitude works for you best should be written down. Be sure to include the following key ingredients, really high expectations (no matter what), hope, patience, self-control, forward-thinking, honest with self, commitment, sense of humor, outlets, communing with God.

 In the case of the parent of a child/ adult with Autism, ask some basic questions that may lead towards further brainstorming on how to raise the quality of life of your child.

  1. Are there more extreme kind of sports, or more attention-demanding activities that your child can partake in? Basketball is great, and should be part of the mix, but skiing, surfing, sailing, dancing like you mean it, creating art, indoor rock climbing, kayaking, camping (with fishing), would all  be much more fun. Likewise, martial arts (with the right Master), knee boarding, water skiing, etc. are all big ticket draws.
    1. Look for increases in contentment after each activity. It will show itself as a certain restful state of being on your child. 
  2. How low, or narrow have my expectations been? How has that mindset influenced my attitude and my actions as a parent?
  3. Write 2-4 long term goals for your child. Then create your first daily goal checklist. Do this on computer, preferably with excel software, or google drive spreadsheet, make it look professional, type in the 2-3 daily goals with check mark boxes next to them. It is important you make this look neat and visually appealing. Next, make copies, and make all adults aware of where they can find the daily goal checklist sheets. Finally, ensure there is a team effort that is realistic in terms of sticking to these goals you all came up with. 
    1. If you want the child to progress, there needs to be lasting commitment that is repetitive. You have to push the envelope. 
    2. See if a hybrid Special Educator Coach can facilitate in helping. Life Skills Corp. has these special kind of elite coaches across the Connecticut, New York, New Jersey areas, as well as island-wide in Puerto Rico. See LifeSkillsCorp.Net
So even if you feel that failure is all around, and that improvement is a steep, uphill path, "be strong and of a good courage." Remember, when Sir Winston Churchill was leading England in World War two, and Germany was bombing them, it seemed that all Hope was lost. But it was not. Yet, imagine if Churchill's mindset would have shifted downward?!

 Put your trust in the Rock of Ages, and subscribe to being enthusiastic with high expectations, regarding raising the quality of life for your child. Don't be complacent in bringing new and challenging environments to your child, or family member on the Spectrum. In all things, be a dispenser of love, warmth, and support. They will gravitate to you, and you all will be super facilitators in helping them achieve their long term goals daily.

Yet, I can see how may could mistake complacency for contentment.

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