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Autism Blueprint Podcast
30 minutes | 23 days ago
10 Common Areas Autism Parents Get Stuck | ABP Episode 95
We’re in the family room today with host Janeen Herskovitz, talking about the areas where autism parents get stuck. In her private practice, where Janeen provides therapy and autism parent coaching, parents often have the most difficulties in these areas. In this episode you will discover: The most common areas where parents of neuro-diverse children have the most difficulty. Why every moment does not need to be a teachable one. How managing your own emotional state can help your child with theirs. How to re-frame your child’s regressions as part of the journey. Show Notes: 10 Common areas autism parents get stuck Not explaining transitions to your child BEFORE they happen. Assuming that a proper diagnosis is not needed. Trying to make every interaction a teachable moment. Overloading your child with therapies/activities: You are doing enough! Not having a full understanding of your child’s issues/disabilities. Learning to manage your own emotions. Viewing your child’s off days as regression. Putting your own needs last/not taking enough downtime, self care. Translating your child’s expression of big feelings. Lack of personal boundaries. Mentioned on the podcast: Join the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page Learn more about Autism Blueprint Podcast’s Host, Janeen Herskovitz. If you’d like to schedule one-on-one coaching sessions with Janeen, contact her here. Additional episodes that might help: The importance of a proper diagnosis Managing your own feelings as a parent Developing boundaries The importance of Self-Care Listen to this episode: The post 10 Common Areas Autism Parents Get Stuck | ABP Episode 95 appeared first on Puzzle Peace Counseling.
56 minutes | 5 months ago
Marriage On The Spectrum | A conversation with Janelle Harding about navigating relationships with someone on the autism spectrum |ABP episode 92
We’re in the master bedroom today talking with relationship coach, Janelle Harding. We’ll be discussing the issues that come up in a marriage with someone on the spectrum, as well as tips for connecting with your child. In this episode you will discover: How autism affects relationships, particularly romantic ones. Tips for connecting with someone on the autism spectrum. What a meltdown looks like when we break it down. (And a free handout) What is “unmasking” and why it’s important. Meet Janelle Harding Janelle is a transitional life coach for married couples with a partner on the autism spectrum. She is the owner of Grace and Compassion Life Coaching and focuses her work on rebuilding the personal identity of the wife, and creating harmony in marriage through getting to know one another through the lense of autism and rebuilding the marriage foundation. Mentioned on the podcast: Join the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page To get in touch with Janelle, text/call 614-353-9735 Join her on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Grace-and-Compassion-Life-Coaching-Janelle-Harding-Advocacy-LLC-105448504498615 email her: email@example.com FREE download: Meltdown Cycle Listen to this episode: The post Marriage On The Spectrum | A conversation with Janelle Harding about navigating relationships with someone on the autism spectrum |ABP episode 92 appeared first on Puzzle Peace Counseling.
47 minutes | 6 months ago
Kitchen Table Talk | Honest conversations about autism parenting | What autism parents are learning from their COVID experience | ABP episode 91
Welcome to Autism Blueprint’s Kitchen Table Talk- a series of episodes where my husband, Joe, and I share some of our experiences living with autism over a cup of coffee at our kitchen table with you. So pull up a chair and join us. In this episode we will be talking about: What autism parents are learning from their COVID experience. We posted a question on our facebook group to find out how the COVID pandemic and quarantine have been effecting our families. We’ll be sharing your responses in today’s episode. And the answers may surprise you! The stressors of school starting up again in the midst of a pandemic. Valuable lessons Janeen has learned from Joe along the way. How our upbringing and experiences in our families of origin can shape how we respond to an autism diagnosis. Meet Hosts Janeen & Joe Herskovitz If you’ve been listening to the podcast, you’ve met Janeen, (click here if you haven’t) but you may not be familiar with Joe, her husband of 25 years. He’s been an autism dad for over 22 years, and is a retired Social Studies teacher with St. John’s County, Florida. He enjoys spending time with his family, playing ukulele, cooking, hitting golf balls in the backyard, and rooting for Philadelphia sports teams. Joe & Janeen decided to start recording together after talking one day and wondering if their conversations could benefit other couples trying to navigate their own “new normal” in an autism household. Mentioned on the podcast: Join the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page If you’re interested in becoming a coaching client and working one-on-one with Janeen, send her an email: firstname.lastname@example.org Listen to this episode: The post Kitchen Table Talk | Honest conversations about autism parenting | What autism parents are learning from their COVID experience | ABP episode 91 appeared first on Puzzle Peace Counseling.
34 minutes | 7 months ago
A Sibling’s Journey | A conversation with Juan Santos | ABP Episode 90
We’re in the family room today talking with Juan Santos, a professional counselor, relationship expert and autism sib. He’ll be sharing his immigration story, relationship tips, and his experience growing up with a sister on the autism spectrum. In this episode you will discover: What gets in the way of building healthy relationships. How to strengthen your own relationships. How Juan’s immigrant story helped inform his life and his practice as a therapist. Some excellent advice for autism siblings. Meet Juan Santos Juan Santos is a professional counselor and owner of Santos Counseling, PLLC, a group practice in Greensboro, North Carolina. He specializes in helping people build healthy relationships. He is also the host of the podcast, A Counselor’s Journey To Private Practice. Mentioned on the podcast: Join the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page Juan’s private practice website: Santos Counseling, PLLC Juan’s podcast for private practitioners: A Counselor’s Journey To Private Practice The episode where I was a guest on Juan’s podcast. Juan’s YouTube channel: Counseling Talk | Making Psychology Simple Listen to this episode: The post A Sibling’s Journey | A conversation with Juan Santos | ABP Episode 90 appeared first on Puzzle Peace Counseling.
41 minutes | 7 months ago
Kitchen Table Talk | Honest Conversations About Autism Parenting |Get To Know Janeen & Joe
Welcome to Autism Blueprint’s Kitchen Table Talk- a series of episodes where my husband, Joe, and I will be sharing some of our experiences living with autism over a cup of coffee at our kitchen table with you. So pull up a chair and join us. In this episode we will be talking about: Our new podcasting equipment; and discovering how to use it as we go along. What we attribute our 25-year-long marriage to The changes we’ve made in our household so we can be happier parents. Baseball, death, COVID, heart attacks and of course, autism. Meet Janeen & Joe Herskovitz Janeen & Joe with their beloved pup, “Baci” If you’ve been listening to the podcast, you’ve met Janeen, (click here if you haven’t) but you may not be familiar with her husband of 25 years, Joe. He’s been an autism dad for over 22 years, and is a retired Social Studies teacher with St. John’s County, Florida. He enjoys spending time with his family, playing ukulele, cooking, hitting golf balls in the backyard, and rooting for Philadelphia sports teams. Joe & Janeen decided to start recording together after talking one day and wondering if their conversations could benefit other couples trying to navigate their own “new normal” in an autism household. Mentioned on the podcast: Join the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page Pics of Ben drawing in the sand at the beach: Listen to this episode: The post Kitchen Table Talk | Honest Conversations About Autism Parenting |Get To Know Janeen & Joe appeared first on Puzzle Peace Counseling.
36 minutes | 8 months ago
Building A Long Term Care Plan For Your Child | A conversation with Scarlett Kibbey | ABP Episode 88
One of the scariest parts of raising a child with a life-long disability is planning for their care after you’re gone. And if you’re one of those parents, you may not know that there are things you can put in place now for your child that will help your family financially, assist them in their independence, and ensure they are cared for when you’re no longer here. My guest, Scarlett Kibbey helps parents put these things in place for their families. In this episode you will discover: What state and federal benefits your child is eligible to receive today and in the future. How these programs differ when your child is under 18 and an adult. The history of the Medicaid Waiver in Florida. How to find out what benefits are available in your state. What is a special needs trust and why you need one. What guardianship is and why you may need to get it. How Social Security (SSI) works and your child’s eligibility. Meet Scarlett Kibbey Scarlett is the founder of The Special Needs Guidance Group; A private consulting agency that helps parents build a support system for their child by providing Medwaiver consultation and assistance in the state of Florida. She has a bachelor’s in Psychology and has over 12 years experience as a Medwaiver Support Coordinator with the Agency For Persons With Disabilities. Mentioned on the podcast: Join the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page Scarlett’s Website: The Special Needs Guidance Group Scarlett’s Facebook Group for Special Needs Parents Florida Medwaiver Info Able Accounts To find the waiver agency in your state, go to: http://medicaidwaiver.org/ OR google: (insert your state) agencies for persons with disabilities, or special needs. Listen to this episode: The post Building A Long Term Care Plan For Your Child | A conversation with Scarlett Kibbey | ABP Episode 88 appeared first on Puzzle Peace Counseling.
38 minutes | 8 months ago
Self-Care For Autism Parents | A reverse interview with Luminara Serdar | ABP Episode 87
Self-care can be really difficult for autism parents, but it is SO necessary. In this episode, Autism Blueprint Podcast host, Janeen Herskovitz is interviewed by Luminara Serdar from Autism Transformed as part of her online summit: Autism Recovery Summit 4: Healing Brain, Body and Being. In this episode you will discover: Why self-care is so important for autism parents. How you can start taking better care of yourself today! Why it’s about more than downtime and date nights. How intention, mindfulness and healthy boundaries play a role. Meet Luminara Serdar from Autism Transformed Mentioned on the podcast: Join the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page Luminara’s Website: Autism Transformed Autism Recovery Summit 4: Healing Brain, Body and Being. Listen to this episode: The post Self-Care For Autism Parents | A reverse interview with Luminara Serdar | ABP Episode 87 appeared first on Puzzle Peace Counseling.
17 minutes | 8 months ago
How To Build Your Parenting Village | Autism Blueprint Quick Tips | ABP Episode 86
Welcome to Autism Blueprint Quick Tips; A mini episode where I share a quick nugget of knowledge to help you on your autism journey. This episode is sponsored by the Autism Blueprint Classroom where you can download free resources, and purchase online courses and videos to help you survive and thrive as an autism parent or professional. Join the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page Today’s Topic: How to Build Your Parenting Village What is a parenting village and why do you need one?How to choose the people and resources that will be part of your village.Lesson’s learned from Janeen’s life about the importance of a village. Transcript of Episode Before I get started today I want to respect that there may be a few stories and topics in this one that could be triggering. I’ve come to realize both as a autism parent and as a professional trauma therapist, that just talking about difficult things can be triggering to some people. SO I want to take a moment and recognize that because many autism parents have post traumatic stress responses because the nature of our parenting is so stressful and may include some of the events I’ll be discussing today. SO if you are triggered at all by stories of kids going missing or family members getting critically ill, this may not be the show for you today. SO I just wanted to start with that so you know what to expect. Why is building a village important? I often talk about taking care of yourself as an autism parent. And one of my biggest suggestions is to build your village. It is said that it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a bigger village to raise a child with autism and this village is more for your sake than anything else. Building your village is crucial because autism is hard enough- then life happens; a loved one dies, a job loss, an unexpected diagnosis, a major global pandemic…lots of things can happen and when they happen on top of our already complicated lives, they are even harder to handle. But if we have our village in place, this gets just a bit easier. There are two times in our family’s life when having this village in place was necessary; when my son was 13 and he went missing behind our house in the woods, and two years ago when my husband had a heart attack and required bypass surgery. I’ll describe how our village helped in these two situations in a moment but first I want to address HOW to assemble your village, then I’ll weave in some stories about how it helped. Identify the key players These may include Doctors, sitters, respite workers, family you can trust, safe people, therapists for your child and for you. When my son Ben was younger, Our personal village includes a functional medicine doctor, a pediatric dentist that specialized in working with kids with disabilities, the grandparents, my friends, my husband’s softball/poker playing buddies, pharmacists, and my church prayer group; these players all have different roles and it’s important to be very intentional about defining these roles. Let’s talk about that next … So when my husband had a heart attack in the middle of the day two years ago, I was at work and he was home with our son- who just so happened to be taking a nap at that time. Luckily he called both his mother and 911 and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. During this time we had the support of friends and family who knew our situation, and came to our aid very quickly. Our parents and respite workers were already in place to come over and help with Ben so I could get to the hospital and know he was taken care of. We had friends drop off food, and come to the hospital to make sure we had the support we needed. These were people I knew I could count on. Family and friends who didn’t live in the area sent texts daily, called and sent cards, which really makes such a difference when you’re going thru something like that you don’t think it does when you’re doing it for someone but I can tell you on the receiving end it was wonderful. Then there was a neighbor who the day after my husband’s heart attack came over to borrow something- when I told him what had happened, he said “Wow, hope he feels better”…and he never checked in again to see how we were doing. Never even asked how Joe’s surgery went. But that was okay because I already knew he was not one of my key village people. So because my expectations were realistic, I wasn’t surprised or disappointed when that happened and instead of dwelling on it was able to focus on my own family as they got support from the people we had come to rely on. SO this bring me to my next point; keeping your expectations realistic which is crucial. Keep expectations realistic. Know who to tell what. Some friends will check in but will not really be there because they either can’t or don’t now how. That’s okay. They are not your key players. These can still be friends, but they aren’t going to be your autism village friends. or example, if you have friends who you tell autism stories to but they have that deer in headlights look and either try to compare your experience to theirs or change the subject quickly or even worse feel pity for you, they are not your village people. But they still might be people you can grab a beer with or go to a movie or forget you’re a special needs parent with. The real friends are what I call safe people. A safe person has three main qualities; they don’t compare your life to theirs. They have good boundaries and will be honest when they can’t help or can’t call you back rather than ghosting you. And they won’t use things against you or make you feel guilty or manipulate you to get what they want/need. Now you may be saying well then I don’t have anyone safe in my life.And if that’s the case, I’d encourage you to find a therapist and start working on that. And don’t be surprised of you only have one or two poplin your life who would be considered safe. Thats’ okay. But be intentional about who those people are and rely on them accordingly. I’ve had many clients who have been disappointed over and over by friends and family members who let them down , and when we dig in a bit we usually discover they aren;’t safe people. So I ouwld encourage you to think about who in your life you could add to your safe people list. Reaching out for and accepting help Feels icky and un-comfy but is crucial. Plus, there’s the feeling of- oh great I’m in need. Again. I get it- I’m a helper by profession and by nature. I grew up with two first responders as parents. It’s in my DNA to help but not ask for or receive help. But this was something I had to get over if I was going to survive the autism parenting world. When Joe had his heart attack, I had to rely on several people who knew this about me and did things without asking- our friends Julie and Dom came to the hospital and brought gifts they knew would make us laugh. My mom and dad offered to watch my son the day of the bypass surgery so I could be there all day. I had other friends and family members who had never watched my son offer to help out- and I took them up on it because Ben usually require two sitters at a time to keep him safe- and with this highly emotional situation, I knew we ran the risk of a meltdown. It was really lovely to see the village I had assembled come together and help- without me even having to ask. But I also had to ask- I had to call my friend Jaycie when I needed a good cry and someone to just listen. I had to ask my clients to be patient with me as I took a week off. I had to ask my coworker Katherine to make a few calls for me…and believe me it would’ve been easier to say- thanks but I’ll take care of it….but when asked “what can I do to help?” I was honest and gave people tasks to do that I needed done. But I wasn’t always able to ask for or accept help. If you don’t have a history of accepting help, people will think you don’t need it. Being “strong” means being able to accept and ask for the help you need. Sucking it up and acting like you’re okay does not equal strong. The people who knew me best, told me it was time to accept their help b/c they knew I wasn’t good at that, and they sprung into action. Another time when my village sprung into action was when my son who was 13 at the time, got out of the yard and went missing behind our house in the woods. This stime we needed police, helicopters search and rescue dogs and luckily he was found safe after about threee hours but I don’t need to tell you, it was probably the most frightening 3 hours of my life. At that time his doctor came to my house and waited with us so he would have a familiar face there when the EMT’s checked him out, neighbors who I had never even met were out helping to look for him, and at the time I was part of a church that reached out and sent food, prayed for his safe return, and checked on us the next day. I even had a friend who came to pick up my daughter who was 11 at the time, and texted to say she was keeping her overnight so we would have one less things to worry about. Having these people in place meant that we had a community of people who cared and sprung into action the moment we need them. So these are two extreme examples of why a village is necessary for your autism parenting journey- but they are important for the mundane everyday things as well. We rely on sitters and respite workers to help us with Ben so we can have some downtime as parents. If you don’t have anyone to watch your child for you at least for a few hours a week, please hear me when I say it was a difficult thing for me to do, but once I did it, I wish I had done it sooner. I think B
34 minutes | 9 months ago
Beneath Behaviors | A conversation with Samantha Moe about the challenges of parenting kids on the autism spectrum
We’re in the family room today talking with parenting expert, Samantha Moe about how to handle challenging behaviors in your children. In this episode you will discover: How your emotional state can affect your child’s. The difference between meltdowns and tantrums, and how to approach them. What could be going on in your child beneath the surface when they act out. How to help your child learn to regulate their emotions. Meet Samantha Moe Certified parent coach and speaker, Samantha Moe, has coached parents on how to help their children calm, connect, and cooperate since 2004. She now provides continuing education, advanced training, and parent coach certification for family service professionals who support intense kids and their families. Samantha is the creator of the Mad to Glad Blueprint, a revolutionary brain-and-nervous-system-based approach to positive communication and parenting that works to soothe and even preempt intense kids’ most challenging behaviors. She holds a Master’s degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Minnesota and possesses a background in interdisciplinary training in sensory integration, play therapy, and emotional integration. Mentioned on the podcast: Join the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page Samantha’s Website: https://samanthamoe.com/ Free report: Beneath the Behaviors: 11 Reasons Emotionally Intense Kids Act Out Previous episode with Samantha: Listen to this episode: The post Beneath Behaviors | A conversation with Samantha Moe about the challenges of parenting kids on the autism spectrum appeared first on Puzzle Peace Counseling.
67 minutes | 9 months ago
Food For Thought | A conversation with Denise Voight about how nutrition can help your child’s brain work better
We’re in the kitchen today talking with Denise Voight about food and nutrition. Denise is a clinical nutritionist who specializes in helping individuals with autism and ADHD, and she knows a ton about how nutrition affects your child’s brain. In this episode you will discover: What is functional medicine and functional nutrition? What are toxic foods and how to eliminate them. Why food has such an impact on the brain and how it processes. How food can influence behavior in children. Where parents should start in making changes to their child’s diet. How to talk to your child about eating healthier foods. How to read labels on the foods you feed your family. How to choose high quality supplements, and how to know if your child needs them. Meet Denise Voight, MS Denise Voight, MS is a Clinical Nutritionist with a Masters of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine specializing in Nutritional Intervention for autism spectrum disorders and ADHD. She is an expert in applying scientifically proven food and nutrition therapies to improve health, symptoms, and behavior in children. Connect with Denise: Website: https://www.denisevoight.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/denise.voight/ Mentioned on the podcast: Join the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page My Spectrum Heroes Supplements enter the code: autismblueprint for 20% off your order! Denise’s course: Nutrition Intervention For Autism Listen to this episode: The post Food For Thought | A conversation with Denise Voight about how nutrition can help your child’s brain work better appeared first on Puzzle Peace Counseling.
29 minutes | 10 months ago
Exceptional Education | A conversation with Caitlin Sweetapple about getting the right educational support for your child with autism | ABP Episode 83
We’re in the classroom this week talking with Caitlin Sweetapple. Caitlin is the Director of Education at Shrub Oak International School, and will be talking about how to get the right educational support for your child. In this episode you will discover: How Caitlin’s experience working with students on the autism spectrum, fueled her passion for helping our kids.Why play is important for learning.What every parent should make sure is part of their child’s educational plan.Advice for new homeschooling parents during the COVID-19 quarantine.How to deal with school refusal, anxiety, and fears of regression. Meet Caitlin Sweetapple Caitlin Sweetapple has been working with students on the autism spectrum for over 10 years. Caitlin is one of the founding teachers at Shrub Oak International School and is ecstatic about her new role as Director of Education. Her mission has been simple; foster positive relationships with students, in order to lead them into a lifetime of learning and success. Caitlin has taught students aged 3-21 years old in various special education settings. She has also taught undergraduate courses at her alma mater, Manhattan College. Caitlin received her Master’s Degree in Belgium from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, where she had extensive training from some of the top leaders in the field of special education and adapted physical education. Mentioned on the podcast: Join the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page Shrub Oak International School Listen to this episode: The post Exceptional Education | A conversation with Caitlin Sweetapple about getting the right educational support for your child with autism | ABP Episode 83 appeared first on Puzzle Peace Counseling.
11 minutes | 10 months ago
How To Help Your Child With Autism Sleep Better | Autism Blueprint Quick Tips | Episode 82
Welcome to Autism Blueprint Quick Tips; A mini episode where I share a quick nugget of knowledge to help you on your autism journey. This episode is sponsored by the Autism Blueprint Classroom where you can download free resources, and purchase online courses and videos to help you survive and thrive as an autism parent or professional. Join the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page Today’s Topic: How To Help Your Child With Autism Sleep Better The importance of sleep for your child and for YOU.How sensory issues can affect sleep.The reason my child wouldn’t lay back down in the middle of the night.How your child’s gut plays a role in sleep. Transcript of this episode One of the biggest problems I hear about from parents is getting their children to fall asleep and stay asleep. My own son would stay up for days without sleep when he was younger, and that meant that I wasn’t sleeping either. I probably don’t have to go into the importance of sleep for you, the parent, but in case you need a reminder, sleep is necessary for all our bodily functions to run properly; your emotional state, attention span, moods, and even your immune system, are all affected by the amount of sleep you get- or don’t get. It’s definitely important for your child to get the sleep they need, but I think it’s even more important for you, the parent to get the sleep you need. There are lots of reasons sleep can be difficult for the average person; and while these are important, I don’t want to dwell on them too long, because the reasons kids with autism have trouble sleeping could be different. But these are worth mentioning, because somethings we can’t see the forest for the autism trees- we spend a great deal of time thinking it’s the autism when it could just be something very simple. Sleep and screen time The amount of screen time your child has before bed, what they’ve eaten or not eaten, and the temperature of the room can all be things that will affect anyone’s sleep- Let’s remember that melatonin, which is a hormone made by your body- affects our ability to sleep. Our bodies are designed so that when it gets dark outside, our eyes notice and send a message to the body to release melatonin. This in turn makes us sleepy. Which is why fixating your eyes on a screen- computer, tv or brightly lit tablet- can affect our body’s natural response to want to sleep. I find it helpful to stop screens about two hours before bed and instead have a different activity such as reading, or listening to soft music. It’s also helpful to have a bedtime routine, where your child will begin getting themselves ready for sleep- epsom salt baths, soft pajamas, choosing books to read together and teeth brushing are just a few activities they can include in their routine. I also recommend you create a checklist of these steps so they can rely on them and so they will be the same each night. Eventually, you’re helping the brain understand that when the body engages in these activities, your brain is settling down to sleep. To sleep with, or not to sleep with While it’s ideal to get our kids to sleep in their own beds, without us, it’s often very difficult for our kids on the spectrum. So, there is absolutely no judgement here if you lie own next to your child to help them sleep, or if they even sleep with you. The key is to really think about what makes more sense for you, the parent- there was a time when it was more important for me and my son to get a full 8 hours of sleep so I could work and he could get up for school in the morning, rather than teaching my child to be self-sufficient in his sleep habits. So for several years I would lie next to him so he could settle down, and when he was asleep, I would sneak out of his room and go to my own bed. Often I would be so exhausted I would fall asleep next to him and not bother to get up. If you’re doing this, please don’t let a doctor, behaviorist or anyone else shame you about it. You need to do what you feel is best for you. Now, there came a time when I got tired of this, and made it a point to help my son fall asleep on his own. But this will ebb and flow for us based on how he feels. Ben has some autoimmune and digestive issues which flare up at times, making it even more difficult to get his body to regulate when he needs it to. So this brings me to my next suggestion, which is to give you child the benefit of the doubt. Aim for understanding Remember that your child is not purposely trying to make your life miserable. And while kids often want to stay up for fear they might be missing out on something, if you can make a bedtime routine that is enjoyable, and make sleep a natural part of the rhythm of life rather than something that you punish your child for then they don’t do it correctly, you’ll have a better outcome. Punishing a child for not eating or sleeping is not recommended as far as I’m, concerned because if they aren’t doing it, there is a reason, and your job as the parent is to get to the bottom of that reason. If you’re able to ask your child about why they aren’t sleeping, and really listen to what they have to say, you can come up with some solutions together. For example, my son is very limited in his verbal expression but I am able to ask if he want the bathroom light on or off, and he is able to tell me. And his preference can change from night to night. It’s a good idea to go through the senses and address each one- our children’s sensory issues can often make it difficult for them to settle down. Some like pajamas, and others can’t tolerate clothes when they sleep. If your child is a bed wetter, the diaper or pulp could be a distraction from sleep. If you have an OT ask about brushing therapies and other deep pressure exercises that can help the body settle down before bed. This is also where weighted blankets come in. Some kids love them and others, not so much. Because it was difficult for my son to express his needs or even sometimes anticipate them, I would often give him a choice of two things “PJ’s or naked?” “two pillows or one?” “just the sheet or fluffy comforter?” Even if your child is non-verbal, they can still be taught to choose between two choices. If they can’t, get your speech therapist to start working on this skill, even if it’s pointing to their preference. Address the senses Next, address the temperature of the room, amount of light and smells. Our kids are super sensitive and can often hear things others cannot. So we found a fan that made a lot of white noise in my son’s room, was a great solution so he wouldn’t hear us still up in our small house. Additionally, he loved having it blow on him as well. Some kids do really well with bed tents. My son didn’t seem to like the bed tent, even thought he loved playing in it during the day- it wasn’t conducive for his sleep. Essential oils such as lavender can be effective in helping the body relax. While i’m not an expert in oils, I would caution against using synthetic scents as many of our kids can’t tolerate them. Sleep and your child’s biochemistry The next thing I want you to consider is your child’s biochemistry. The greatest issue my son has that interferes with his sleep is his digestion. When he was younger, he would wake up in the middle of the night and want to stay sitting straight up. he would refuse to lie down. For a while I thought this was defiance, but after speaking with his doctor, she told me that many kids on the spectrum have acid reflux. Once we started medicating for this issue, he started sleeping through the night. We also used two pillows to keep his head elevated to elevate any of the discomfort associated with the condition. And it worked. Additionally he tends to be very gassy, so some gas x or other stomach remedies can often be helpful. I’m not a doctor so before you go giving your child these things, always consult with your doctor first- even if they are over the counter remedies or supplements. If your child is taking an antibiotic or anti fungal, this can cause them to be up at night as this is changing the PH in their guts which in turn affects the entire body. So if your child starts getting up when they never used to, consider what you may be doing differently. Supplements and medications Sometimes our kids just can’t settle their bodies down no matter how hard they try. In my son, for example, his adrenaline seems to be in the on position at all times and this can resulting anxiety and difficulty resting. So for us, medication was needed, and we had very good results with small amounts of a blood pressure medicine called clonidine. This was a game changer for us, as it allowed him to fall asleep and stay asleep, which in turn was better for everyone. There are also some great supplements, like GABA, 5HTP, taurine and other amino acids that can help the body feel more relaxed. Magnesium has a calming affect on the body- but there are many different kinds, so please always check with a doctor- particularly a function medicine doctor, who understands how these work in the body- before starting anything. Some supplements can have an even stronger affect than meds. Melatonin is one of those supplements that you want to use with professional guidance as it can mess with other hormones, depending on your child’s age. It also has the effects of making you sleep hard for a short period of time and then feel wide awake a few hours later. Keep in mind that every child is different and will have a number of factors that affects their ability to metabolize meds and supplements, so one size never fits all. The last piece of advice I want to leave you with is to remember th
33 minutes | 10 months ago
Autism and Single Parenting | A conversation with Nichole Wilson | ABP Episode 81
We’re in the family room this week talking with Nichole Wilson. Single parenting is especially difficult when you’re raising a child on the autism spectrum. Nichole will be sharing how she manages raising her daughter and running a magazine for autism moms. In this episode you will discover: Nichole’s personal autism mom story.How she balances work and parenting.Why building your village is so important.What she has learned about choosing men and healthy relationships.Why a sense of humor and ability to reframe are so important.Her greatest advice for single parents raising a child on the spectrum. Meet Nichole Wilson Nichole Wilson is the founder of Autism Moms Are Beautiful and Editor-In-Chief of AMAB Magazine. She was the Ms. Pearland, 1st Runner Up in the 2020 Texas Regency Pageant, a Saturday morning radio host at 953jamz and a published author. Mentioned on the podcast: Join our FREE Monday evening COVID-19 support group HEREJoin the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page Autism Moms Are Beautiful Magazine AMAB Facebook PageAMAB Group Page Nichole’s Facebook Page AMAB on Instagram: autism_moms_are_beautifulPublications: Song: Autism Moms Rock YouTube Video of Autism Moms Rock Book: Autism Relationships Matter *Book: Made To Overcome: Single Parenting Edition * *Disclaimer: although we do receive a small amazon referral commission for each of the mentioned books, we would still recommend them if we didn’t. The Autism Blueprint Classroom An online platform for videos, courses and resources for autism parents and professionals. CLICK HERE to learn more. Listen to this episode: The post Autism and Single Parenting | A conversation with Nichole Wilson | ABP Episode 81 appeared first on Puzzle Peace Counseling.
34 minutes | a year ago
Autism Parenting During COIVD-19 | A conversation with Tosha Rollins | ABP Episode 80
My guest this week is Licensed Professional Counseling Associate, Tosha Rollins. Parenting a child on the autism spectrum is challenging, but especially during the time of COVID-19. We’ll be discussing her recommendations on how to get through it. In this episode you will discover: How Tosha became a therapist who specializes in autism. How emotional regulation starts with the parents. The unique challenges of a late diagnosis (when you child is older)How to give our nervous system what it needs in times of crisis. Meet Tosha Rollins, LPC-A Tosha is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in South Carolina, who specializes in autism. She is the host of the Autism in Action Podcast, and author of Autism Unspoken Until Now. She has two sons on the spectrum, who are 18 and 20 years old. Mentioned on the podcast: Website: www.tosharollins.com See our COVID-19 Facebook Live video & join the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page Apps: CALM , the gratitude app Autism In Action PodcastBOOK: Autism Unspoken Until Now The Autism Blueprint Classroom An online platform for videos, courses and resources for autism parents and professionals. CLICK HERE to learn more. Listen to this episode: The post Autism Parenting During COIVD-19 | A conversation with Tosha Rollins | ABP Episode 80 appeared first on Puzzle Peace Counseling.
11 minutes | a year ago
Maintaining Your Sanity As An Autism Parent During Quarantine | Autism Blueprint Quick Tips | ABP 79
Welcome to Autism Blueprint Quick Tips; A mini episode where I share a quick nugget of knowledge to help you on your autism journey. This episode is sponsored by the Autism Blueprint Classroom where you can download free resources, and purchase online courses and videos to help you survive and thrive as an autism parent or professional. Join the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page Today’s Topic: Maintaining Your Sanity As An Autism Parent During Quarantine How to regulate your body to combat stress.Managing your expectations and guilt.How to let go of perfectionism.Reminders that this time is a learning curve for all of us. Mentioned on the podcast: Article: Advice On Raising Kids During Coronavirus: Be The World’s Okayest Mom FREE Online Support Group For Autism Parents During COVID-19 We’ll be meeting via Zoom, Monday evenings, 7pm US Eastern Time for the next four weeks, starting April 6, 2020. There is no charge, but we will need a head count. CLICK HERE to sign up The Autism Blueprint Classroom An online platform for videos, courses and resources for autism parents and professionals. CLICK HERE to learn more. Transcript of the Episode Maintaining Your Sanity As An Autism Parent During Quarantine During this unprecedented time, parents need guidance. But for autism parents, this quarantine stuff is particularly stressful due to our kids’ extenuating needs. Their desire for routine and structure, resistance to change, sensory needs, and for many- inability to adequately express their needs can make for some very challenging days. So there are some words of wisdom I’ve gathered both from my own experience over the past few weeks, in working with my clients and also from other mental health professionals. And today I want to share them with you. While most of my episodes focus on parents and professionals, today I want to just speak to the parents and offer what I hope will be a small lifeline. Expectations and guilt The very first thing I want to make sure you’re doing, is to lower your expectations of yourself. If you spend any time on social media you may be seeing that many your friends are taking up are hobbies at home, cleaning out closets, redecorating their homes, or writing the great american novel. You get the picture. But for our families, its usually all hand on deck- and it’s difficult if not impossible to get done what we need to let alone take on a new project. So I want you to be aware that you may be silently putting some pressure on yourself and then feeling guilty for not being able to keep up. Let that go! How? By first becoming aware of it, and then deciding it’s not serving you. From a purely logical point of view, you really don’t have time to stress about anything else right now. That being said, if you’re anything like me, sometimes a good closet cleaning helps manage your anxiety. If that’s the case, make some time to do it and enjoy it. But because we have so many have to’s, if you don’t want to, that’s totally okay. Be the “okayest’ parent Perfectionism is rampant in our society. And there’s just no room for it in a n autism household, especially now. I read an article the other day called Advice during the coronavirus; be the worlds okayest mom. https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/advice-on-raising-kids-during-coronavirus-worlds-okayest-mom-163152537.html?soc_src=yahooapp It really helped me put life into perspective right now and allowed me to let go of some of the expectations I had of myself. It’s a crazy time when all parents are being asked to become homeschool teachers. And in our houses, some us have had to become special education teachers overnight. We need to realize that this is an unrealistic expectation. Do the best you can. And if that means you don’t do school in the traditional sense, that’s okay. Many of you may realize that homeschooling isn’t as hard as you thought, and you may even be seeing gains in your child that you hadn’t even imagine. If you think about it, the less our kids need to transition from one space to another with all of the other kids, lights and sounds, the easier life is for them and the better they can learn. For others, you may be seeing your child regress a bit, due to the lack of their familiar programming and school day. Please don’t panic. I’ve been raising a child with autism for 22 years and we’ve seen our share of regression. It’s part of the process. Their trajectory of growth does not follow a straight line moving up the curve; it can be all over the place. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t learning and growing. If you make your goal right now to try and maintain wherever your child is, and get through each day, one at a time, rather than expecting lots of new growth, you’ll be ahead of the game and pleasantly surprised when they come up with a new skill you haven’t seen before. Calm your body We keep a lot of tension in our bodies. Actually, we feel all of our emotions in our bodies. But we are often not aware of it. So I want you to checkin with your body from time to time throughout the day. This can be a full body scan, or just a moment to bring your awareness to where you might be holding your stress. Here’s how to do it: Let’s say you’re watching your kids play in the back yard. Take a moment to bring your awareness to your body- particularly your neck, jaw and shoulders, which is where we tend to hold the most stress. If you neck is tight, roll it around a bit. Lift your shoulders up and then down a few times, and unclench your jaw, removing your tongue from the roof of your mouth and allowing it to lie flat. Then scan your body from the tip of your head down until you get to the tips of your toes, each time you notice tension or an uncomfortable sensation, tighten the muscles around that are and then let it go, breathing out as you do, so for example if I feel my hands are holding tension, ball them into fists, and then stretch then out. Keep in mind that when our bodies are calm, our minds follow. Taking a few deep breaths- in for 4, hold for the count of five and out for six, can decrease your heart rate almost immediately. Also remember that certain activities can help your body to be calm and these will vary depending on your personal preference; swimming, running, walking and physical activity can be a great way to release stress and tension. Yoga and simple stretches can be helpful. Mediation or prayer might be something you gravitate to. Whatever it is, please don’t make up the excuse that you don’t have time. It only takes a few moments of mindfulness to reap the benefits. Think about how many times you use the bathroom in a day. If each time you do, you take a few deep mindful breaths, meditate for one full minute, or even scan your body for tension, that’s better than nothing. The average person pees 4-10 times each day. Do the math and you’re doing pretty well. Respect the learning curve of this time period We are all going through this corona virus outbreak. I know it’s a bit of a different experience for each of us, but the anxieties and concerns, the fact that our lives are on hold, and that many of us will need to readjust, are all things we have in common. As a therapist, I don’t have many answers. I’m going through it too. But I’m not changing much of my core beliefs in how I help clients, which is to encourage self care, (whatever that looks like for you), feel your feelings, presume your child’s competence and know your limits. Rather than allowing those feelings of helplessness take over, remind yourself that you’re not the only one, and that others are doing this too. And most of us don’t know really how to do this. We’re learning as we go. And it’s going to be the biggest experiment in stress management we’ve ever encountered. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do it. Lastly, a few words to those of you who have to work out in the world, and those who can’t work… I’m so painfully aware of my privilege right now. I have a profession that allows me to still serve my clients while maintaining distance and staying safe in my home. We’ve moved our entire operation online and have been fortunate enough to not suffer too much financially, I am aware that this is not the case for many of you. And I’m also aware that that could even change. Nothing is really certain anymore. Many are completely out of work due to the virus. Others have lost their businesses they worked so hard for. Too many people have loved ones who are sick and who have passed away and they can’t even properly mourn right now. My heart goes out to all of you. And to those parents who are working on the front lines, in hospitals, nursing homes, group homes, grocery stores, to first responders and anyone else I may have forgotten who are still out there working on our behalf, I want to thank you and encourage you to do all you can to stay safe and protected. I know many you are staying away from or isolated from your families in order to keep them safe. This will eventually end even though it might not seem like it. And that’s when you might be able to get the self care you need. Until then, please take care as best you can. If you’re stuck in the house and in need of connection, we’re offering a free online support group that will have limited space, but you’re more than welcome to join us. Just for autism parents to have space to come together and get some support. We will meet Mondays at 7pm US Eastern time starting next week. So please look in the show notes for a sign up button. It’s free but we need an idea of how many are interested in case we need to create a second group. So check out autism blueprint dot com for all the details. Stay safe
47 minutes | a year ago
How To Help Your Child With Social Skills | A Conversation with Laura Crowley | ABP 78
My guest this week is social skills expert, Laura Crowley. Social skills is a struggle for most kids on the autism spectrum as well as many children with ADHD. It’s also the topic of the most common questions I receive from parents: ‘What can I do to help my child learn social skills?’ Today we will be unpacking this very complex question. In this episode you will discover: What social skills are and where we often get it wrong. The main differences in the social struggles of girls and boys on the autism spectrum. How emotions and social skills are related. What skills are involved in the art of conversation. How social skills differ from manners, and why the difference is crucial. Why Laura thinks it’s time to stop teaching social skills as if they are academics. Meet Laura Crowley Laura has over 20 years experience working with children and adolescents on the Autism Spectrum. She is the author of the Mission Rescue Kloog social skills for autism app trilogy and has run connect autism consultancy for the past 5 years. Laura has lectured in University College Cork on the diploma in autism studies since its inception 6 years ago. Lauras passion is social skill development and she firmly believes that each child has the ability to make social connections. Mentioned on the podcast: Instagram: @social_connect_model Facebook: Connect Autism Consultancy Website: www.connectautismconsultancy.com See our COVID-19 Facebook Live video & join the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page The Autism Blueprint Classroom An online platform for videos, courses and resources for autism parents and professionals. CLICK HERE to learn more. If you have a child whose been recently diagnosed (within the past two years) you know how difficult this time can be. Building Your Foundation: What To Do After Your Child Is Diagnosed with Autism is an online course where Janeen will teach you all the things she wishes she had known when her child was diagnosed. Join our launch team to be the first to know when it’s ready and receive valuable discounts. Listen to this episode: The post How To Help Your Child With Social Skills | A Conversation with Laura Crowley | ABP 78 appeared first on Puzzle Peace Counseling.
13 minutes | a year ago
4 Ways To Help Your Child With Autism Cope With COVID-19 | Autism Blueprint Quick Tips | ABP 77
Welcome to Autism Blueprint Quick Tips; A mini episode where I share a quick nugget of knowledge to help you on your autism journey. This episode is sponsored by the Autism Blueprint Classroom where you can download free resources, and purchase online courses and videos to help you survive and thrive as an autism parent or professional. Join the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page Today’s Topic: 4 Ways To Help Your Child Cope With COVID-19 How your emotional state affects your child’s. Ways to manage your emotions during this difficult time. Why it’s important to presume your child’s competence. How structure can help reduce anxiety. Mentioned on the podcast: Join us for this informative Facebook Live Masterclass as we go into more detail about how to cope during this difficult time. Simply click the graphic below to join our private facebook group, and log in during the meeting time. COVID 19 resources & social stories Little Puddins Social Story UM-NSU CARD’s Let’s Talk About The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Whiteboard Social Narrative Video National Autism Association: COVID 19 resources for families The Autism Blueprint Classroom An online platform for videos, courses and resources for autism parents and professionals. CLICK HERE to learn more. If you have a child whose been recently diagnosed (within the past two years) you know how difficult this time can be. Building Your Foundation: What To Do After Your Child Is Diagnosed with Autism is an online course where Janeen will teach you all the things she wishes she had known when her child was diagnosed. Join our launch team to be the first to know when it’s ready and receive valuable discounts. Transcript of the Episode 4 Ways To Help Your Child With Autism Cope With COVID-19 This recent pandemic is certainly stressful for parents, but like most things in life, it’s even more so when you have kids on the autism spectrum. This is due to their need to know what’s coming next, their desire for routine and sameness, and difficulty self regulating. So today I’m going to share with you four ways to help your child cope. I’m also hosting a facebook live masterclass on the same topic with my colleague Katherine Lycke who is a marriage and family therapist. We’ll be diving a bit deeper into the the tips I’ll be sharing today as well as taking your questions. To join us simply go to autismblueprint.com and click on the link to join our private autism blueprint FB group. And if you’re not able to attend live, it will be recorded and available for you to watch later. SO lets dive into five things you can do to help your child cope with all the changes that are going on right now: Manage your own emotions Check in with your body from time to time- we hold emotions in our bodies so throughout the day, be sure to bring awareness to the part of your body where you may be holding tension; jaw, shoulders and neck are the most common. Take a few moments to stretch, loosen your jaw or drop your shoulders. Talk things out with friends or your spouse – or a therapist- if you’re feeling overly anxious. Many therapists are currently doing online appointments and working with you on cost- there’s actually never been a better time to start counseling. Go for a walk outside when you feel overly anxious or angry at your family members because they’re all on top of each other at home. The self care I regularly talk about is SO important right now. If you’ve ever been on an airplane when they’re turbulence you know that if you look to the flight attendants, it can help you feel more at ease. If they are calm and going about business as usual, then things are probably okay. You take the questions from them. IN the same way, our kids take their emotional cues from us- they can’t regulate their emotional state if we can’t regulate ours. This is no time for perfectionism and balance is going to be key. If you don’t want to homeschool you’d children, with all the bells and whistles and lesson plans, then don’t! It’s really okay. They will survive even several months of no school so don’t let the rhetoric of your child losing skills get to you. They will be okay and they will catch up. Keeping them safe and comfortable while this is going on is your main goal. For some kids, school is a comfort and the work will help get their mind off of things. You know your child best so rely on that and follow your instincts. Presume competence in your child This is something you’ve heard me talk about before but it bears repeating especially now- just because your child can’t respond appropriately or put together the questions they are wondering about, doesn’t mean they aren’t worried. The kids who we think are not paying attention, or don’t understand, often do, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and explain what’s going on. I’ve heard many stories about parents thinking their kids didn’t have a clue what was going on in the world, only to find out later through either their speech or an alternative means of communication, that they were very aware and angry that their parents hadn’t helped them understand things better. SO be age-appropriate with your child, and provide them with accurate information and encourage them to express their feelings about it. Kids who have good verbal skills often don’t know what it is they are worried about and sometimes don’t have the executive functioning skills to ask the right questions, so it’s best to explain to them in simple terms what is happening without alarming them. Remember, we need to express seriousness without causing panic. SO your own self regulation is going to come into play here. Our 24 hour news cycles have been really good at showing us worst cases and trying to keep the public informed, but if you have the news on constantly, this is not only going to increase your anxiety, but your children’s as well. Get enough info to stay informed, but stop when it feels like too much. And shield your kiddos from it. The info they receive needs to come from you, the parent….which brings me to the next tip which is… Explain what’s going on and answer questions as they come up Places are closed, explain why but that the situation will be temporary- this will last for a few weeks. In the meantime let’s make a list of what we CAN do. Help them focus on what they CAN control, rather than what they can’t. Social stories are a great way to explain this, and I’ll link to a few of those resources in the show notes. There is a lot of good info out there on explaining this to children and with our kids on the spectrum, you can expect that they might ask many more questions and want as much info as possible. Our kids can be very literal in their interpretation of the world and many will have difficulty understanding something they cannot see. SO this would be a great time to talk about germs and viruses and how just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. You could even explain how microscopes are used to determine if someone has the virus because it helps the doctor to actually see it. Keep in mind that you can’t talk your child out of how ever they are feeling, but you can validate their experience and comfort them. Validating might sound like saying something like” you sound very worried about this. Tell me more about what you’re worried about.” Then you can put their minds at ease with a combination of reassuring them that you will keep them safe, and healthy and that all the decisions begin made to close schools and stores and their favorite restaurants are to keep them safe. If they get stuck on why they can’t go to chick oil a because they are used to doing that every Tuesday night, validate their disappointment and make sure they feel heard. Then remind them of why the restaurant seating is closed and what the alternative could be. That might mean going thru the drive thru and doing take out, or it could mean cooking chicken nuggets and French fries together. If nothing else, this will be an opportunity to help them learn flexibility, which can be really challenging for our kids. Above all remind them this situation is temporary and will go back to normal. Provide structure Structure helps us feel less out of control when the world around us is unpredictable. This could look like a schedule for the day, or a planned activity. But please use structure to help your child, not add more pressure to you or them. I see some parents out there planning every moment of every day, out of fear, and this approach is only going to add stress to your day. It’s okay if your kids have more screen time than usual. It’s okay if you ‘re allowing things you don’t usually allow…but try and provide a balance. Maybe bedtimes will be a bit more flexible, and maybe rest is what your kids might need some days. This might sound contrary to many things you’ll hear from educators or other professionals because we’ve been taught in the world of autism that we need to provide direction and teaching moments during every moment of the day. But this is not my philosophy, nor have I found it helpful. Know your kid…and I know you do. So following your instinct based on what you know about your child, will give you the best outcome. This might not be the best time to teach your child a new skill…they are dealing with a whole lot more- the change in routine alone could take them several weeks to adjust to. So be patient. Well that’s all I have for you today- please consider joining us from our FB live Monday morning March 23rd, 2020, where we will dive more into this topic and take your questions as well. Go to autismblueprint.com for the show notes and a link to join the group. Stay safe and healthy everyone! Music i
64 minutes | a year ago
How To Be An Autism Supermom | A conversation with Anne Bragg | ABP Episode 76
Autism moms, you’re in for a treat! My guest, Ann Bragg, is the creator or Autism Supermoms, a social media maven who provides support, encouragement and information to other autism moms. With a facebook group of over 4000 and an Instagram following of over 50,000, Ann has a gift for making others feel welcome, empowered and supported. In this episode you will discover: Why Anne decided to start Autism Supermoms. Anne’s own autism parenting story with two affected children and how their differences informed her journey. The most important lesson her children have taught her. The difference between autism acceptance and awareness. How she re-frames behaviors to better understand her child. Meet Anne Bragg Anne Bragg | Autism Supermoms Autism Advocate and founder of “Autism Supermoms,” a magazine page for ASD caregiving families. Former educator (upper primary level; degrees in French & Education), Mom of 5 (ages 12 thru 22). 2 are diagnosed ASD/ADHD – 1 severe ASD/ADHD plus severe intellectual disability (diagnosed at age 3), and, one high functioning autism. Her severely affected daughter is very extroverted and struggles with OCD, SPD, hoarding, hairpulling and anxiety. The other is struggling severely with anxiety, social anxiety, depression, and misophonia (hatred of sound/hearing sensitivity). Both are opposites so it’s challenging, but they have meltdowns, rigidity and need for routine/predictability in common. Her goal is taking time to make sure the sibs are ok and stepping up respite and self-care options. Her other goal is to advocate more, spread more awareness and upliftment and create a website/magazine for the ASD community. Anne’s five children Mentioned on the podcast: Instagram: @autismsupermoms https://www.facebook.com/autismsupermomsmagazine/ – FB magazine https://www.amazon.ca/shop/autismsupermoms – Amazon store for educational resources Join the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page The Autism Blueprint Classroom An online platform for videos, courses and resources for autism parents and professionals. CLICK HERE to learn more. If you have a child whose been recently diagnosed (within the past two years) you know how difficult this time can be. Building Your Foundation: What To Do After Your Child Is Diagnosed with Autism is an online course where Janeen will teach you all the things she wishes she had known when her child was diagnosed. Join our launch team to be the first to know when it’s ready and receive valuable discounts. Listen to this episode: The post How To Be An Autism Supermom | A conversation with Anne Bragg | ABP Episode 76 appeared first on Puzzle Peace Counseling.
10 minutes | a year ago
5 Things People With Autism Wish You Would Stop Doing | Autism Blueprint Quick Tips | ABP 75
Welcome to Autism Blueprint Quick Tips; A mini episode where I share a quick nugget of knowledge to help you on your autism journey. This episode is sponsored by the Autism Blueprint Classroom where you can download free resources, and purchase online courses and videos to help you survive and thrive as an autism parent or professional. Join the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page Today’s Topic: 5 Things People With Autism Wish You Would Stop Doing How to help your child understand you more effectively. How your child’s outsides don’t match their insides. Why demanding eye contact can actually hinder your child’s ability to pay attention. How changing your perspective can help your child grow. Why stimming is important to people with autism. Mentioned on the podcast: Signing Time Videos: Multi-pack of Signing Time DVD’s Signing Time Volume 1: My First Signs Disclaimer: although we do receive a small referral commission, we would still recommend them if we didn’t. The Autism Blueprint Classroom An online platform for videos, courses and resources for autism parents and professionals. CLICK HERE to learn more. If you have a child whose been recently diagnosed (within the past two years) you know how difficult this time can be. Building Your Foundation: What To Do After Your Child Is Diagnosed with Autism is an online course where Janeen will teach you all the things she wishes she had known when her child was diagnosed. Join our launch team to be the first to know when it’s ready and receive valuable discounts. Transcript of the Episode 5 Things People with Autism Wish You Would Stop Doing The more people on the autism spectrum I meet, the more I learn about my own biases and assumptions about them. Despite many years of working with families and raising my own autism-affected son, I am amazed at how much remains misunderstood. Perhaps that’s largely due to the nature of autism spectrum: what’s on the outside often doesn’t match what’s on the inside. I recently met a 10-year-old boy who types on an iPad to communicate. He cautioned his teacher not to listen to his actions, but rather his words. For example, when attending a social gathering, he would walk in circles and make verbalizations that sounded like whining. This led others to assume he was unhappy or didn’t want to be there. He was quick to correct them by typing that this was how he regulated himself in situations he found overstimulating. Once he had found a way to communicate, he wanted to make sure others knew that what his actions seemed to communicate often did not match the way he felt. This got me thinking: If he feels misunderstood, how many other families are making the same mistakes with their loved ones affected by autism? Here are the top three things I’ve seen people do that those on the spectrum have indicated they do not like: 1.Talk about them as if they aren’t there First, let me say I am as guilty of this as the next parent. There were years when my son was younger when I assumed he didn’t understand, so I often spoke about him in front of him. I did this with teachers, therapists, family members, and friends. Many of us make assumptions about people based on their responses to us. When a person doesn’t make eye contact and gives no indication they’ve heard you, we may assume they don’t understand or aren’t paying attention. That isn’t necessarily accurate. This practice is also difficult to break because many kids on the spectrum are always around due to their need for constant supervision. So I’ve started either waiting to have conversations I don’t want my son to hear, or I’ve included him by telling him I want to discuss a certain topic with a teacher or therapist. For example, telling your child, “Jimmy, Mrs. Jones and I are going to discuss your progress in class and if you’d like to add anything, I want you to let me know however you can. I know you will be listening, so I want to respect that.” If Jimmy really can’t understand you, you’ve lost nothing. But if he can, you just showed him tremendous respect, which can only benefit your relationship. 2. Assume a lack of response is defiance Many people with autism spectrum issues have poor motor planning ability. Motor planning is different than motor skills. A person may have excellent motor skills (i.e., ability to grasp and use a pencil correctly) but may not be able to motor plan what they want to write (i.e., their name). Perhaps the greatest lesson I have learned from my son and from the people I work with in therapy is to never judge their abilities based on what they show me. So, the child who has been told eight times to get out of the tub just sits there, and the parent gets annoyed at the “defiant behavior.” This was my own experience with my son. When I learned about his poor motor planning, I realized he couldn’t always get his body to do what he wanted it to do. Now, instead of asking him to stand up, I remind him to bend his knees in order to place his body in such a way that he can stand up. A light touch on his knee can also help him figure out where his body is in space. This was a mind-blowing revelation. I began relating it to other things I knew he could do but, for some reason in that moment, wasn’t able to follow through on. 3. Not giving enough wait time Whether we’re asking our children a question, wanting them to respond to a request, or checking for understanding, none of us are giving our children enough time to respond. IN fact, we often will wait about 3 seconds on average and then either repeat or rephrase the question. This causes the child to then have to reprocess what was said and can lead to a great deal of frustration. Instead, allow at least 11-12 seconds before trying to determine whether your child has understood before saying anything else. Auditory processing is often affected by autism, and this means they will need more time and patience from you so their brains can catch up. This is a processing issue, NOT an issue of intelligence. Often using pictures, sign language or written words in conjunction with what you’re saying verbally, can help your child understand better because you’re accessing several modalities at once. When My son was younger, we watched sign language videos called signing time, and I would use a few signs to help his receptive language skills. I also was sure to let him know when I was going to ask a question that required a response, such as, “Ben, I want to ask you a question…” And just the other day, I wrote down several food options for lunch, and handed it to him, reading them to him and telling him “when you’re able to tell me, I’d like to know what you want for lunch.” Then I walked away and about ten minutes later- a whole ten minutes…he called from the other room- “grilled cheese!” This worked much better than studying there waiting and getting annoyed that he wasn’t responding. 4. Underestimate their abilities Perhaps the greatest lesson I have learned from my son and from the people I work with in therapy is to never judge their abilities based on what they show me. So often, I assumed my son didn’t hear me when I asked a question, due to his lack of response. Giving him the space and patience of more wait time (without asking the question repeatedly) solved this issue. He now responds more easily, and with much less frustration. I know a 20-year-old woman who spent most of her life unable to communicate her wants and needs effectively. She recently learned how to type on an iPad, and it turns out the “low IQ” people assumed she had isn’t so low after all. She is learning how to share her feelings, thoughts, and even her goals with the people who love her, people who had made assumptions about her based on her output. She is an amazing, talented artist who recently had her paintings featured in a local gallery. It’s so important that, as therapists, teachers, and parents, we make an effort to understand people with autism spectrum issues from their point of view. One of my favorite quotes, attributed to Albert Einstein, puts it best: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” I started making this shift with my son by telling him I knew he was smarter than he could convey to me. That was met with a huge hug and a big smile. 5. Stop them from stimming and demand eye contact Stimming is defined as any activity your child does repetitively; this could include but is not limited to hand flapping, reciting lines from their favorite book or movie, lining up toys, or pacing. many parents and professionals see these as “Autistic behaviors” and want to eliminate them. But they serve a purpose. Every single time. So while some behaviors are not socially appropriate for certain situations, if you can allow them to self soothe, do. Be aware of how your own biases might get in the way. If you’re trying create a neuro-typical child, I want to encourage you to rethink this, it doesn’t mean you don’t want your child to improve their skill sets and move forward, but we need to be able to hold those goals at the same time that we accept they have autism. And just like any other disability, or neurological difference, expecting your child to behave as if they don’t have autism is not only frustrating for both of you, but unfair to your child. You wouldn’t ask a blind person to try harder to see, or a deaf individual to listen better. Or a child in wheelchair to walk stairs. So why do we expect our children with autism to stop stimming and make eye contact as if these things will help them? The contrary tends to be true. The individuals whom I’ve worked with tell me making e
31 minutes | a year ago
How To Be Good Enough | A conversation with Kim Foster Carlson about perfectionism | ABP 74
We’re in the dining room today, chatting with Kim Foster Carlson about how she overcame perfectionism and improved her life. Her book, GOOD ENOUGH: How to Overcome Fear of Failure and Perfectionism to Live Your Best Life, is one of the best one’s I’ve read yet on this topic and has a ton of wisdom for the autism parent. In this episode you will discover: How Kim’s son’s diagnosis of autism led her to change her mindset and eventually change her life for the better. How to embrace setbacks and use them as a tool to perfect your craft and reduce anxiety. How to juggle life with a high-stress career. What changed her perfectionistic mindset and how you can do it too. Meet Kim Foster Carlson Kim is an award winning journalist who has written a book called “Good Enough-how to overcome fear of failure to live your best life.” She talks about how her son’s diagnosis of autism led her to change her mindset and eventually change her life for the better. Mentioned on the podcast: Join the conversation in our private Facebook group: Our Autism Blueprint Private Facebook Page Get Kim’s book: Good Enough-how to overcome fear of failure to live your best life The Autism Blueprint Classroom An online platform for videos, courses and resources for autism parents and professionals. CLICK HERE to learn more. If you have a child whose been recently diagnosed (within the past two years) you know how difficult this time can be. Building Your Foundation: What To Do After Your Child Is Diagnosed with Autism is an online course where Janeen will teach you all the things she wishes she had known when her child was diagnosed. Join our launch team to be the first to know when it’s ready and receive valuable discounts. Listen to this episode: The post How To Be Good Enough | A conversation with Kim Foster Carlson about perfectionism | ABP 74 appeared first on Puzzle Peace Counseling.
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