How To Alleviate Feelings Of Guilt And Anxiety As A Special Needs Parent- During This Lockdown
This lock down period is difficult for many of our families.
Some of our older students have developed anxiety. A few of them display it through ritualistic behavior and others through irritation and anger issues.
The younger ones have developed coping, self stimulatory behaviors such as screaming or hyperactivity.
This has affected parents too. They worry if they’re doing enough. Or how they should occupy their child during these stressful times.
You might be struggling with similar issues.
Read and implement this 4 pronged strategy.
Trust me, you’ll feel more in control of your situation.
Ensure you are working on the following categories.
1. Physical activities
Physical activity is a must for everyone (including our adult children).
Mohit goes cycling for atleast 30 minutes per day. Vishal goes for a walk with his dad everyday.
So how should we substitute these activities during this period?
Use this check list to guide you.
– Walking (at home or on the building terrace)
– Yoga – simple breathing exercises and asanas.
– Simple P.T exercises.
– Upper body work outs with stretching, bending, arms and hand exercises.
– Exercises using ball, eg – two persons sitting with backs touching and passing ball from one side to other, doing the same laying down in opposite directions, kicking ball back and forth.
– Dancing together – coordinating to simple steps, using props like ribbons, pom-poms, sitting on chair.
– Obstacle courses.
– Beam balancing.
Exercises using physio ball.
– Sweeping/ mopping.
– Cleaning furniture, doors and windows with large hand movements, bending and stretching.
– Passing/Transferring objects with moderate weight.
– Putting chairs in place, rearranging furniture together.
– Hanging curtains.
– Gardening – Potting plants, watering them, creating our own indoor garden of flowers, herbs, etc.
(List compiled by Jasvinder Kaur, RDI Consultant, SAI Connections)
This is how Vishal now walks on his building terrace.
If there is a will, we’ll find a way to remain active!
2. Mental challenge
Along with the physical challenge, mental stimulation and challenge is also very important.
Try to involve your child or adult, in cooking, creating art and craft projects.
Remember to not instruct your child at every step.
But give him/her a chance to problem solve and think through the situation.
Here is Sanjeev working on a craft project.
Look at what he finally created.
Don’t you love how he’s taking responsibility and using his time meaningfully?
3. Academic enrichment
Continue to read, write, type and offer some form of academic enrichment to your child.
A few of our students have started receiving online lessons at home from their respective schools.
For those who don’t get to go to online classes, we can continue to encode activities by writing, typing and challenging our children.
For younger children- don’t forget to read to them every day.
This is a grounding activity for both you and your child.
This picture of Shivansh typing, says it all.
4. Leisure activities
Playing games, listening to music, limited time on the ipad- are all good enriching activities.
Get together as a family to play carrom, snakes and ladders, Ludo, scrabble, Connect 4, Jenga.
The sky is the limit!
Watch beautiful little Meha practicing karoke!
Adorable isn’t she?
It’s alright for your child to have a relaxed time too.
Just like Mohit, enjoying his favorite ‘Suprabhatam.’ (literally means auspicious dawn)
This is a difficult time for all of us.
Use the above suggestions to make life easier for you and your child.
And above all, take good care of yourself.
You must not get burned out during this period.
You have the most important role of keeping your home and family members in a good space.
You are doing well. You are enough.
Take care of yourself.
If you need any support from us at SAI Connections, all you have to do is reach out.
Kamini Lakhani is the founder and director of SAI Connections. She has been providing services in the field of autism for more than 25 years and is the authorized director of Professional Training for RDI in India and the Middle East. She is also the mother of a young adult with autism.