How to Meet Your Own Needs And Keep Your Child Happy At the Same Time

She was on tenterhooks all morning, gulping down her breakfast.

 

A meeting was scheduled with the head teacher in charge of admissions. It was a good school, well located and known for its services. There weren’t too many options available for children with autism. The head teacher had to be convinced to admit her child.

 

A strange sight it was. A mother, with her 9 year old son and a box load of teaching items. The head teacher asked about the child and then asked the child a few questions. He looked around, answered a few but was more interested in running around. The mother saw that apprehensive look in the teacher’s eyes.

 

“Can I show you what my child knows? Just give me 15 minutes,” she requested. The teacher looked surprised but nodded her head.

 

Quickly the mother arranged her flashcards, books and a few toys. She knew exactly how to get her child engaged. Sitting across him, she flew through the drills of colors, shapes, letters, identifying and naming objects, answering ‘wh’ questions and many more.

 

Her son had demonstrated his knowledge. Mission accomplished! She looked up to see the teacher looking at her with a newfound respect in her eyes.

 

“You’ve really worked hard with him, haven’t you? Your child knows much more than I thought.” And then the magic words, “he can start school next month.”

 

The mother with her little child and the big box walked away, with a smile. This incident took place 18 -19 years ago. I know it so well because it’s my own story. This is how Mohit got admission in a reputed school in Dubai.

 

I shared it with you for a reason. I received this question recently:

 

What to do if therapists come and want to finish with their teaching which the child is unwilling to do at that moment in a 45 minute session?

 

My simple surface response would be – if it’s a once in a while situation, it’s not a problem. But if this is a regular issue, figure out why your child doesn’t want to attend the session.

 

Behavior is equal to communication.

 

Is he over challenged, under challenged? Is he not motivated? Why?

 

A deeper, well thought out response is – You are the mother. You are in charge. You decide what’s good for your child and what’s not. You shouldn’t be at the mercy of any therapist. Empower yourself.

 

How can you achieve this?

 

1. Study

 

Take time to study what autism spectrum disorder really is. Remember, knowledge is power.

 

The latest research shows lack of neural connectivity in the brains of autistic individuals.

 

This results in a lack of relatedness, the inability to understand their own roles in situations, deficits in the areas of emotional sharing and joint attention.
 
learn what autism is
 

The good news is these core deficits can get better. Break through the barrier of myths related to autism.

 

This is the first step towards empowerment.

 

2. Find Your Guide

 

Every parent has a history with his/her own child, which has been built up over the years.

 

Your problem areas are your blind spots. You can’t possibly see them. Let a guide coach you. A guide makes life easier by picking areas to be worked on and showing you how to work on them. A guide will also give you feedback and suggestions for the next step.

 

Twenty something years ago, when I was unaware about you tube and uploading videos, I would record my work on those big video cassettes and mail them to to my supervisor in the US.

 

She would give me feedback on my work and suggestions for the next fortnight.

 

With YouTube and other technological advancements, distances are no longer an issue. You can be connected by the touch of a few buttons. For more suggestions about finding the right guide for your family, feel free to send us email at saiconnections01@gmail.com

 

3. Practice Diligently

 

Spend quality time every day working with your child. Rain or shine put in an hour each day. Give yourself a break on Sunday. You will end up putting in 6 hours of concentrated effort in a week.

 

Which therapist works with your child 6 hours a week? Your work will have a multiplier effect. You will see incremental benefits as you continue to chip away and break through your child’s core deficits to build a beautiful relationship with her/him.

 

Over a period of time you both will look forward to spending time with each other.

 

Conclusion

 

When Mohit was 4 years old, I started to work with him under the guidance of my supervisor. I put in 5 hours every single day. Those were the days where they recommended working 40 hours a week!

 

Initially it was tough. But I did not give up. It became a habit. Even today, after all these years, spending one hour, working with Mohit gives me a high. The best part is it doesn’t feel like work.

 

You have a choice dear parent. It’s easy to have others come into your home or drop off your child for therapies.

 

It’s more difficult to empower yourself to be your child’s best guide. Remember at the end of the day, your child comes back to you. Besides, what will you do when he’s an adult?

 

difficult roads beautiful destinations

 

I’m certainly not against seeking services from experts. It’s essential. The point is to make mindful decisions about what suits your child.

 

I’ve been on both sides of the fence. Specialists and therapists are also appreciative of parents who go that extra mile to connect with their children. And believe me, they’re happy when they come across dedicated mothers.

 

So what are you waiting for? Your child has been waiting for you to empower yourself. Unfold your wings and fly high. Trust me, the view is beautiful from there.

 

6 COMMENTS

  • Usha says:

    Too good i am a grandmom of an autistic child and i agree u shud not be at the mercy of therapists pls add my daughters e mail id and send her also ur mails shilps 1010@yahoo.co.in

  • Sweta says:

    So very True , I feel no one can understand a child better than a parent, so each and every parent must be empowered to become a guide to their kids and that’s why I love RDI

  • Sangya sudeshna says:

    Can relate to it so much…very well written

  • Anand says:

    My son is just 2 when we identified him with ASD and for past 8 months we have been working thru this, though been a tuff journey accepting it first and then start working towards it but we know we are there now and all will be well for him. Please keep in touch and share thoughts and updates on my email id shared which will help us to have guidance from you

    Regards
    Anand

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