Positive New Years Resolutions for Parents with Children on the Spectrum
by Ashley Lengyel
On 16 February, 2022
“ Don't make resolutions without an action plan. The secret to success is right in your hands. “- Quote by J. Allen Shaw.
We are only a few short weeks away from bidding adieu to 2021 and welcoming a New Year full of promise, love, and cheer. It’s the time of the year with great enthusiasm and resolution we set goals for the New Year known as New Year Resolutions. As parents of a child on the spectrum, we have compiled some resolutions that you can take and abide by in your journey of life.
Let’s look at some resolutions for 2022 that parents can make and try to stick with:
Being more patient with the child. We totally understand that being parents is the most challenging and rewarding experience of a lifetime. Being parents of a child / children on the Autism spectrum presents its unique set of issues and challenges as well. This makes life stressful and tests patience level on a daily basis. It is important that parents see the larger picture and practice calming techniques to develop patience. These include and are not limited to yoga, mindfulness, meditation, counseling, and taking time out for themselves. You may also seek the help of a professional or ABA therapist to find the right ways for you to become patient with your child, leading to better outcomes for all concerned.
Be aware of sensory overstimulation. As parents, we may not be consciously tuned / aware of sensory overstimulation every time and on every occasion. It could be a gathering, a mall, a noisy recreational area, and so on. What is appropriate for neurotypical may be too much for a child on the spectrum. Striving to identify triggers and warning signs can lead to an avoidance of any unwanted behaviors. A little awareness can go a long way in raising a child.
Celebrate small achievements / milestones. As parents get caught up in the hectic and stressful daily lives they may not celebrate the small steps / achievements made in life by their child. It is however important to recognize, acknowledge and celebrate any minor goal / task done well. Appreciation and reward work a long way in getting the child to ace positive behavior / tasks / actions and minimize maladaptive behaviors / actions.
Being more involved on a daily basis. Parenting is a full time job but as parents of children with ASD, the involvement needs to go deeper. Being involved with their therapy, engaging with the therapist, and carrying forward the therapy at home (in the absence of the therapist) lead to better results for all concerned.
Wishing your loved ones and you a Very Happy, safe, and healthy 2022.