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Your friend might have just told you that her child is on the Autism Spectrum Disorder or may have Sensory Processing Disorder.  You may not know what to expect now that they have received this diagnosis but I do encourage you to read some helpful information sheets for some understanding.  Below are some helpful websites to have a look at:

For Aspersers Tony Attwood:  http://www.tonyattwood.com.au/index.php/about-aspergers

For Autism Amaze:  http://www.amaze.org.au/discover/

Sensory Processing Disorder http://www.spdfoundation.net/about-sensory-processing-disorder/

 

Nevertheless, your friend’s child is still the same child they were before the diagnosis.  The diagnosis will help get them the help that they need to blossom in the future.  So please do not see the diagnosis as something negative because scientific research shows that early intervention does provide your niece/nephew the best opportunity in life.

Belief in Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder

You may not actually believe in the diagnosis and I do encourage you to learn about the Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder.  I would really encourage you to look at your beliefs because our beliefs are driven by our generalization about what we’ve learned.  A lot of disability prejudice is fuelled by a wholesale generalization about an entire group of people.  Every child on the spectrum is different.

Our beliefs also have the power to create and the power to destroy.  Imagine if you had some understanding of Autism and what that means for your friend’s child. Your relationship with your friend would be even stronger and you will have insight on how to interact with their child.  Plus you will have some insight to help your child and your friend’s child to develop a lovely friendship.

Challenging Parenting Skills

A lot of people believe that these children need some good old discipline.  I do not know anyone who has said to me that with all the strategies that are provided by professionals that it does not challenge their parenting skills.  It is also very easy to parent someone else’s child from a distance.   However, from learning what works for your friend’s will help you to have some understanding.

How to Build Your Relationship With Your Friend’s Child

  • Get involved in their interests as that is a fabulous way to get interaction from them.
  • Understand them and encourage them.

Support

Your friend needs your support just like you need their support. You do not need the solution but to just listen.  Sometimes, they just need to get things off their chest just like anyone else.

If you would like any suggestions, I would love to hear from you on Rebecca@Coachingforlifetimechange.com.

 

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