Do you suspect your son or daughter might have a developmental delay?
Did you just find out she has an Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Do you find yourself at a standstill waiting for an appointment with a specialist?
Are you frantically searching for an early Intervention program that will help your son?
I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to wait for the experts to begin helping your child because there is MUCH you can do yourself. All you have to do is believe in your ability!
You don’t need a background in special education, a certification in ABA therapy or a degree in medicine - you became highly qualified to meet your child’s needs the day you gave birth. YOU are the best expert on your child!
I can hear the arguments in your head as you read this – a continuation of the negative self-talk that has invaded your mind since that first suspicion of a developmental delay. That voice that said,
“I don’t know what to do.” “How am I going to deal with this?”
When facing an ordeal such as this, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, especially if you have not had adequate time to prepare for the journey. Its no wonder that you may be feeling stuck on the sidelines waiting to catch your breath.
I’m here to tell you that you have what it takes to run this race; you have the power to get yourself ‘unstuck’ and moving again in a forward direction. You don’t have to wait for the experts to rescue you - you can keep putting one foot in front of the other while you wait and make quality progress with your son or daughter.
Despite the increase of professionals in the autism arena there still remains a shortage of experts to diagnosis ASD. Some parents have to WAIT too many weeks and precious months, maybe even years, to have their child evaluated and services started. At this point most parents feel powerless but I’m here to empower you and let you know what you can do to enhance your child's future potential.
- Make adjustments to your home life to create a predictable environment that facilitates success for your child.
- Assess your child’s level of anxiety and create an autism-friendly, user-friendly, sensory-friendly environment to minimize your child’s stress.
- Identify sensory issues with the help of this book, The Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz, and then adjust your environment accordingly to make it easier for your child to self regulate.
- Pay attention to diet and nutrition because many children on the autism spectrum have sensitive digestive systems and allergies that can aggravate behavior, mood and overall well-being.
- Try various ways to help your child communicate/use language to help him get his needs met - visuals, sign language, etc. . Communication occurs in many forms so never assume your child is incapable.
- Provide situations for social interaction and teach your child social skills by helping her make friends.
- Address obsessions and repetitive behaviors by gathering information and understanding their source. Then find creative ways to channel them.
- Teach daily living and self-advocacy skills to help your child become as independent as possible.
- Continue to love your child unconditionally and accept her for who she is. Don’t focus on the ‘label’ but on the beautiful gift you have before you and the amazing potential that lies within.
Don’t ever underestimate your child or yourself – always presume competence. I encourage you to focus your energy on connecting to your child’s world with thoughtful intention because it will open the door for him to more easily enter your world, the one he has to find his way to live in.
It may help to remember that your child isn’t any different now then she was when you didn’t know she had autism - she’s the same child you’ve loved since birth and you are still the same capable parent. So I urge you to focus on uncovering your child’s abilities in order to change possibilities. You don’t have to wait for the experts to address your child’s challenges. You are the best expert your child has!
Take some time for self-reflection to make a plan of action.
- Answer this question: Have I been waiting for the experts and/or depending on them too much to address my child’s needs?
- Make a list of the things you already do to help your child.
- Using the suggestions mentioned above choose one to implement.
Need some specific guidance to get started? I’m always happy to help. Contact me to set up a time to chat or click here to schedule your complimentary 20-min phone call.