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Building a Relationship With Your ASD and SPD child.

Welcome to Part 2 of building a relationship with your ASD and SPD child.  If you have yet to read part one follow the link here Part 1.

How did you go this week?  How much time did you spend with your child and what activities did you do?

I spent time with both my girls individually so both children felt that I valued what activities that they were doing.  I also spend every night doing homework with them and acknowledging how hard they are trying.  Over the weekend, we went away to Anglesea so I had a lot of time to enjoy the girls.

So why is this important?

Years ago I completed a program called Circle of Security.  The goals for the program is to increase sensitivity to the child’s cue, increase self other reflective capacity and explore new representations and interaction patterns.

Circle of security

In the diagram above it demonstrates the continuous circle that all children do around throughout the day and mum and dad are always there as a safe base and safe haven.

Nevertheless for our journey to building a relationship with our ASD and SPD child some of their cues are very small and we can miss them and the interaction.

So this week I want us to a) spend a minimum of 5 minutes with your child and do things that they like to do to continue showing your child that they are valued and b) write down all the cues that they give to get you to interact.

I would love for you to share your cues with others that are reading to see if that helps work out some of the quiet cues they give.  You can also share them on the facebook page.  If you would prefer to share through email simply email on info@coachingforlifetimechange.com.au if you have any questions.

Have a fantastic week.

How To Follow Your Child’s Lead in Three Simple Steps

Mum and dads dream about all the activities, cuddle times that they want to have with their child.  These dreams simply do not go away once a child has been diagnosed on the Autism spectrum.  Mums and dads still crave for these moments but sadly we struggle on how to get any response from their child.  This is truly devastating for the family as a whole.

When was the last time you actually followed your child’s lead?

It is not an easy activity to simply do and it can make parents feel awkward because the activities that your child may be participating in may not be ‘normal’.  But if you look at activities that your child is doing and simply copy them, over time you will start to notice little gestures that you will know your child will be loving.  Over time you will strengthen your relationship and get to the point where your child may come up to you and want that cuddle.

Three simple ways for you to follow your child’s lead are:

1)  Pick an activity that your child likes to do even if it banging two blocks together

2)  Go down to their level for instance sit on the floor if they are sitting on the floor

3)  Copy what they are doing and smile at them.

As part of my program Empowering Families of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder we will work together to develop these moments and document these moments so you can see how your relationship can be strengthen over time.

 

Won First Battle Towards Emma’s School Transition!

We are in the process of preparing Emma for school transition into prep (Victorian education) next year.  We were extremely lucky that we had an extremely supportive kindergarten teacher who fought with us to get a second year of kindergarten.  What amazes me is that people are up in arms about kinder hours being cut but they are not up in arms that children who are struggling can not do a second year of kindergarten thanks to the decision makers at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Studies.  But I am sure that is a topic for another post.

So of course we are in the process of preparing Emma for school transition.  Now for those who do not know Emma has been diagnosed with autism and severe sensory processing disorder.  I have been approaching her school to get them to understand Emma and so that dialogue could start.  But it has been put off numerous times to the point where I even offered to pay for the staff to have a professional development with Emma occupational therapist.  But of course that was not followed up.

So today I went to make an appointment and I explained Emma world in an easy way to understand.  I said Emma’s amygdala is in fight/flight mode 24/7 and if the school does not understand her world then the worst case scenario would be that she will shut down and take off on them or find the smallest place to hide and not respond.  She has done that to me at home.  Oh my goodness you should have heard the penny drop.  Now I have a meeting on Monday and there will also be another liaison person so they too can hear Emma’s story.

It is extremely tiring for parents to have to go in to fight the battles but at the end of the day who is going to bat for our children if parents do not.  Grace has done really well at the school and I want Emma to have a successful start.

 

My Child Has Been Diagnosed With Autism

No parent wants their child diagnosed with a disability.  I never dreamt that one day my child would be diagnosed with autism.  But both of my girls have been diagnosed with autism.  It is very easy to say my child is autistic.  However your child has autism, Asperger’s etc.  The diagnosis is only a little part of who they are but they are honestly more than that.  It is important to remember that no matter how old they are that they are simply a child who has a lot of strengths that we need to focus on.

Part of me thinks it is time for me to tell my eldest that she has autism and I keep trying to find ways to tell her.  However I keep telling myself that I need to tell her about all her strengths and that the autism is just about how she looks at the world.  She is as special as every child in the world.

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