How to Protect Yourself From Information Overload about Autism

Attending the recent MNRI workshop in Mumbai was exciting.

 

I was overjoyed to see familiar parents and professional colleagues too. On seeing the younger parents, I was reminded of my younger self.

 

It took me back to the days when I was desperate for a ‘cure’. Out of fear and desperation, I took the responsibility upon myself to make Mohit ‘normal.’

 

Autism was a battle I had to win.

 

20 years ago, I attended every workshop/training I could. I researched about new treatment methods and flew to different parts of the world to attend workshops. I gained knowledge, but was never able to implement anything in totality.

 

Being on a strict home program, looking after my family and home took all my time. Despite this heavy schedule, I attended workshops. I didn’t want to miss out on anything. I was afraid. What if I missed out on the ‘in’ treatment or cure?

 

Dear Parent, do you feel desperate and fearful about your child’s future?

 

Do you feel time is running out?

 

Do you feel responsible for his improvement?

 

Do you feel if you don’t work hard your child will not improve?

 

Are you fearful about missing out on latest techniques?

 

Do you find yourself enrolling indiscriminately for courses?

 

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, this blog post is for you.

 

Learn from my experience.

 

The young, wet behind the ears Kamini, jumped into several things she regretted later.

 

I don’t want you to go through what I went through. Before committing to a course, a workshop or training, ask yourself the following questions.

 

1. Are you in a good, positive space?

 

It’s good to gain knowledge to help your child. But to receive and utilize knowledge, you need to be healthy and in a good frame of mind.

 

This means, taking care of yourself and looking after your needs. You need to be in optimal condition to take care of your child.

 

Remember: it’s a marathon and not a sprint.

 

At the workshop, a mother came up to me and said, “Looking at you, I feel encouraged to take care of myself.” I was touched by her kind words.

 

I thought of all the years that I had not taken care of myself. The minute I thought of doing something for myself, it would be shot down with guilt.

 

‘How can I be so selfish and think of myself when my child is suffering?’ This was my dominant thought. I carried an unnecessary burden.

 

When I let it go, to start nurturing myself, I felt so much better. And the rest of my family benefitted too.

 

how-do-you-feel

 

Yoga, chanting, reading are all part of my morning routine. I can’t function without these.

 

Today I wonder how I lived all those years without taking care of my own needs. Nurture yourself to be an effective parent.

 

2. Are you operating out of desperation?

 

Desperation comes from a place of fear rather than love.

 

It’s important to enjoy your journey. Accept you cannot do everything. If you operate out of desperation, you will burn out. Been there, done that. It’s not a nice place to reside in.

 

helping parents of children with autism

 

The days I attended workshops and trainings indiscriminately were hazy. I didn’t help Mohit, my family or myself.

 

But when I decided to let go and focus on just a couple of things I could do fully, I did much better.

 

3. Have you done your research?

 

The internet is a store house of knowledge and information.

 

Before attending a workshop or training, read about it and see if it fits into what you need for your child. Check out the research about the treatment or intervention you’re investigating.

 

Talk to your spouse or a trusted friend who will help you think through options.

 

research autism courses

 

4. Have you talked to people who’ve tried it?

 

Before attending the MNRI workshop, I spoke to a couple of my colleagues. I needed a trusted opinion from people who had already implemented it.

 

This was the wisest thing I did. I got a feel of the involvement it required. It helped me decide if I was ready to invest time, effort and money.

 

5. Have you thought about implementation?

 

A friend mentioned, “in today’s age, time is the new currency.”

 

What a novel way of viewing life. Attending a workshop takes a few days. But implementation takes months to years. Are you willing to invest that kind of time?

 

 

Dear Parent,

 

I asked myself these same questions, before attending the MNRI workshop. As a result, I was fully engaged with it. I knew what to expect and was ready to implement it too.

 

Think about all this before you sign up for a workshop, training or conference. Don’t do things out of desperation or in a hasty manner. Make your decisions after deep deliberation. Use the time and money you save to enrich your own life, your family’s life.

 

Above all, be happy.

 

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