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Believe In Your Child’s Future

Believe in your child's futureFor a family who is just starting to learning about the Autism Spectrum Disorder or Sensory Processing Disorder, we can feel all the dream’s we have for our child has disappeared.  I urge all parent’s to believe in your child’s future.

When we became pregnant it is extremely natural to dream about what our child might achieve in their future.  When we hold them for the first times we also have dreams of their future.  However, for families after their child has received a diagnosis of Autism or Sensory Processing all of these dreams can be shattered.

However all is not lost! Believe in your child’s future.  You have taken the most important step of getting them help.  You will enrol your child in therapies to help strengthen them.  All of these little steps……….all the ups and downs that will occur….they all lead to bigger things.  Those dreams that we originally had for our children might have never occurred either without the diagnosis.  However it you truly believe in your child and really work on their strengths they can achieve anything in life.

We need to believe in your child’s future!

Beating the Effects of Bullying

Beating the effects of bullyingFor those who already have read recent posts, you would know that Grace has gone through four years of bullying.  We are always focused on ways of beating the effects of bullying for Grace.

Tonight she came to me crying about not wanting to go to school because she always is wondering what she will face tomorrow.  She has always had this type of thinking since Grade 1 and it can be challenging to keep her beating the effects of bullying on a daily basis.

For those who know Grace is 9.  I have tried this visualisation piece in the past but it has never helped.  However, I thought that I might give it another go as she is older and her imagination is always developing.

We had our forehead touching and I asked her to close her eyes.

I asked her to imagine that she has a balloon in her hand.

I asked her what colour it was and she said light pink, however she did change it later to a Katy Perry balloon.

I told her to blow the balloon up until it surrounded her (she groaned at thinking she had to blow the balloon up that big).

I said to her no matter what bad thing comes to you through mean words, pins to pop your balloon, they will never pop your balloon.  The only thing that can get through your Katy Perry balloon are kindness, love and happy thoughts and things (she made sure her teddy bear was able to get through).  No matter what bad things may come they just bounce off your balloon and it will never pop. 

At first she then was more interested in brushing her teeth as I broke the routine.  But by the time she reached her bed, she was thinking more about it as she asked is her balloon still around her when she was asleep.

A great vision piece for children when they are beating the effects of bullying.

 

Divorce Your Partner!

grief

Divorce your partner seems to be a popular suggestions amongst social media sites.  I am a member of a few social media groups and I am left astounded by people simply suggesting to divorce their partner if they are not on board with Autism.  You rarely if ever hear someone suggest some counselling.  The answer is simply divorce.

It breaks my heart to hear that marriage vows seem so unimportant these days.  Now I am not saying to stay in a marriage if there is violence, abuse but the saddest part is that there are so many posts about partners being unsupportive, not helping, denying there is anything wrong with their child and there is no real question about why is that?

After a child is diagnosed one of the first questions that parents think about is where did the ASD come from?  Most of the research would point to the father.  What help does the husband have to deal with these thoughts?  Not a lot especially if the husband does not talk about his emotions.  Dads also go through the thoughts about what the future hold but if they are constantly working (businesses need to give time off to get to appointments so that they can also be involved).  I know for my husband he felt the extra pressure of working more to help pay for therapy appointments.

There is also the issue of how parents handle emotions in the first place and unless parents receive help with handling their emotions then there is very little chance that these emotions will be resolved for the benefit for the family.

There needs to be more help for dads.  They need support just like mums.

We focus on the family unit throughout all of our programs.  In early 2016, we will be offering emotion coaching as you will be amazed at how strong your connection will become with all members of the family.

All marriages need work, even my marriage needs constant work.  I just wish people would stop suggesting divorce when really no on in these groups know the full picture what is happening within other families.

How Do YOU Connect With Your Children?

Mother Holding Child's Hand How do you connect with your children?

 

Remember the last time you had your child’s hand in your hand like this.  Was it today…………….a month………a year?

I know when I hold Grace’s and Emma’s hands I feel a buzz run through me, even what I am feeling overwhelmed with the challenges of life.  It is also a reminder that they need me.  I am sure when they are teenagers, they probably won’t want me to hold their hands.  I can hear it already “it isn’t cool mum to hold your hand.”

As children grow and develop it is important for parents to find new ways of connecting with their children.  Children at every age need love, affection, comfort and guidance.  They need safety and protection which in the early years may mean that we need to block them from blindly running across the streets. But later we may need techniques for handling a bully at school, or knowing how to say no to friends and what to do when they feel anxiety.  They need understanding when they make mistakes and sympathy when they come hurting.  They need tolerance when their hormones make them crazy and our limit setting when they make poor decisions.

The goal is to find time to engage and connect at your child’s current level.  What will you do to connect with your child?

No matter if your child is on the Autism Spectrum Disorder there are always ways to connect.

 

Five Lifesaving Steps When You Feel The World Crumbling.

mother love

At the moment I am feeling like the world is crumbling around me.  I feel like nothing is going right (ok except my fight with the insurance company) but even that has taken its toll on my emotional well being.

I seem to be at logger heads with Emma.  She seems to be ignoring most of my instructions.  Getting extremely angry over every no.  Not actually accepting the word no.  Don’t even mention homework.

Grace seems to be reacting to everything and all I can think of is that I need to get off the earth for a bit.  Maybe I am having my internal meltdown and my body is screaming it is time to get off the world for a bit.

It is not helping that I am on medication that has been putting added pressure on my body and it seems to be playing with my migraines so it is making things more challenging.

I am also missing my mum and dad like crazy as I can’t just pick up the phone and call them for their advice.  I see the older generation around at the shops and think often how that was robbed from both of my parents.

We all have those moments and it is hard not to feel depressed.

So what can you do?

Here are five suggestions that can help you through these tough challenges.

  1. Treat your body like a temple.  It is very easy to seek out comfort eating to “make” us feel better.  However, if this food is not healthy and with chemical additives and preservatives, it will most likely make you feel worse.  So stick to fresh food and say no to processed food.
  2. Exercise.  I have been finding that when I exercise, the stresses seem to be minimised and I become more focused.
  3. Journaling.  Sometimes it is healthy to write about your problems so they are outside of your head.  However the key here is although we can dwell as much as you like on the past and current problems, it will not get you anywhere.  If you actually do not come up with a solution to the problem then you are not going to come out of the problem.
  4. Speak to a friend or a professional.  Sometimes having someone there to simply to listen can be very helpful.  Don’t expect them to solve your problem but to have an open ear as you work out the solution.
  5. Sitting with your child when they are asleep.  At the present moment I am sitting on Emma’s bed listening to them breathe whilst they sleep.  This is probably one of my favourite times of the day to help me feel grounded.  I also enjoying diffusing some essential oils to help the girls and myself to feel even more grounded.

I could go on and on to this list as there are always many way to solve a problem.  If you are needing someone to talk to I have a support program for parents on a weekly basis.  Support program

I Regret Getting The Diagnosis

depression I never the I regret getting the diagnosis.  No parent wants their child to be unwell in anyway.  But I knew we had to get the girls the right help so that they can be successful in life.

I still remember sitting in the car with my husband before our first appointment with the psychologist.  I had lots of written notes on behaviours that they were doing.  I do remember thinking to myself what if it is all in my head?

Are we doing the right thing?

I remember sitting there fiddling with the paperwork convincing myself that this was the right thing to do.

Even when we battled the crèche where Grace attended for evidence and their lack of knowledge of child development, I did not think twice about what we were doing.  I was told many times that Grace did not demonstrate the behaviours at crèche but all you had to do was watch her and she demonstrated all of them.  It became very clear when the psychologist said to pull Grace out and the Director saying that they could not look after Grace’s needs just because of her diagnosis.

Although the choices were always hard and challenging at times, Steve and I kept hunting for services that would help develop Grace and Emma into the girls they are today.  With their diagnosis they have received fantastic assistance at Keilor Park Preschool and Keilor Heights Primary School.

It was only now with our battle with an insurance Company, OnePath, that I felt for the first time that I regret getting them diagnosed.  So many company’s think that they can discriminate against individuals with additional needs and illness just because they are simply uneducated.  It was a slap in the face knowing that because of their diagnosis, they have been denied trauma insurance.  Is this their future?

That afternoon when I picked them up from school, all I could do was look at their faces and think what have I done?  What kind of future were they going to face just because of some label.  I put aside everything that night and just spent the time with them.  Emma and I played some tennis and all I could think of was that company was making them sound like they couldn’t even play tennis.  I sat on the floor and Grace came and sat on my knee.  The pain etched on Steve’s face was also evident.

But I knew that no matter what some uneducated insurance company thought, getting the right assistance gave the girls the opportunity to thrive in life.  I will never let anyone discriminate against them.  We should all stand up to these insurance companies and say enough is enough.  We should not accept it.

Never again will I regret getting the diagnosis.

If you need someone to talk to at anytime, I have set up a service so that you have someone to talk to at anytime.  So many parent’s do not have anyone to talk to and my Support Program for Families with Austism and Sensory Program will always be there for you.

My Postnatal Depression Didn’t Cause My Daughter’s ASD!

My Postnatal Depression didn’t cause my daughters ASD!  I was talking to a friend last night on the phone and I just want to say I love her to bits.  She is also a friend who you may not talk to for ages but it is like yesterday.  Whilst talking to her she explained to me how her hubby didn’t understand my Facebook post as I was sharing my dog’s trouble with anxiety and what it is doing to her physically.  My friend then tried to explain to her husband that Grace has anxiety and speech delay because of my long time (6 months) in hospital after Emma because of postnatal depression.

I was astounded by the comment but did my best to remain calm and just told her Grace has Autism.  My friend has short term memory issues so I understand there was absolutely no intention to upset me.  But it did hit a nerve.

There are professionals who would blame my stay in hospital as a major part for her behaviour (thank god none of my professionals did).  They could easily put it down her me not being with me.  However, Grace was with her sensational dad, aunties, cousins who probably was giving her more care than I could of at this time.  My doctors also helped Steve with services and Grace spent time during the day also with my sister in law who ran a family day care centre.  Steve also brought her in to see me pretty much daily.

You can not blame my postnatal depression story with Grace’s ASD because the wonderful professionals would tell you that her behaviours had started before Emma was born.

I have always said that despite all the hell I went through with depression and postnatal depression, really made me get to know the true self and believe me it has made me such a better mum for it.  But postnatal depression didn’t cause my daughter’s ASD.

Creating Rituals Improves Relationship With Your Child

Do you have a set routine that your family?  Do you have rituals? Creating rituals improves relationship with your child.  In Becky Bailey’s book I Love You Rituals she explains the difference between routines and rituals and why we need to create rituals to improve relationship with your child.

Rituals are not routines. There is a difference between the two. The goal of routines is continuity. The goal of rituals is connection. Rituals create sacred space designated for togetherness and unity. Holiday rituals typify this point. Many families gather on Thanksgiving to bond in gratitude, and birthday rituals, such as having one’s favourite meal prepared, are a form of honouring a family member. Rituals are the glue that holds the mosaic of love together. Street gangs create rituals to fill the emptiness their members feel as a result of the lack of connection in their lives. We can create healthy rituals with our children, or they will form them with others as best they can. Just as in the earlier example of greeting your spouse, we can greet our children with an I Love You Ritual, or we can arrive at the day care center and say, “Where are your things? Hurry; we have to stop at the store on the way home.” The choice is ours. Loving, healthy rituals foster the development of loving, emotionally healthy children.

Bailey, Becky A. (2009-10-13). I Love You Rituals (Kindle Locations 215-223). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

The four goals to I love you Rituals are:

  1. Optimise your child’s brain for success and in life – Ritual activities aims to increase your child’s attention span and cooperation. It provides daily tune ups through which attention span improves and cooperation increases.
  2. Increases your learning potential and effectiveness through touch – Brain research confirms the critical role of touch in our mental and emotional health. When we touch one another, a hormone is released called the nerve growth factor. This hormone is essential to neural function and learning. The brain and the skin develop from the same embryonic tissue. The skin, in essence, is the outside layer of the brain. If we want smart, happy children, we must consciously touch them. It is time to relearn appropriate, caring touch and move past our fear of inappropriate touch. We must embrace touch for its value and function in development and learning. By understanding caring touch, children develop compassion for themselves and others. Hitting becomes hugging, snatching becomes asking, and the difference between caring touch and unwanted, uncomfortable touch is learned. Touch is the keystone of each of the I Love You Rituals.
  3. Create loving rituals that hold families together even through the roughest time – All cultures across time have created rituals. Rituals are a central part of life, whether they involve how meals are shared or how major events and holidays are marked. Rituals surround us, from the common birthday ritual of making a wish before you blow out the candles to bedtime routines that may include, “Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.” Rituals create time to be playful, to explore the meaning of our lives, and to rework and rebuild relationships. Think of the pleasant rituals from your childhood. What feelings are evoked as you allow yourself to reminisce? Generally, they are feelings of love, warmth, and safety. For these moments, “all is well” with yourself, your family, and the world.
  4. Strengthen the bond between children and adults that insulates children from drugs, violence, and peer pressure, laying the foundation for mental and emotional health – The bond between parent and child is the child’s primary source of emotional health. It gives your child the capacity to have satisfying relationships the rest of his or her life. A weak or anxious bond could reverberate through your child’s entire life in the form of low self-esteem, impaired relationships, and the inability to seek help or ask for it in effective ways. Research indicates that over one-third of the children in middle-class families suffer from anxious attachments to their parents. This insecure attachment tends to be transmitted from one generation to another. Every parent wants to know what early experiences enable a child to feel that the world is a positive place.

If you want to strengthen and improve your relationship, you must take action and participate in one of my favourite programs Connect with Your Child. 

 

 

How to Include A Sensory Diet Into Your Day

I know how hard it is to include a sensory diet into your day.  It is already hard enough dealing with everyday activities.  So I bet you are wondering how do you add a sensory diet in there as well.

But what is a sensory diet?  It is a ‘personalised schedule of sensory activities that give your child the sensory fuel his/her body needs to get into this organised state and stay there.  By providing beneficial sensory input throughout the day, you can create profound, long-lasting changes in your child’s nervous system’ (Biel, L and Peske, N.  Raising a Sensory Smart Child).

My Occupational Therapist after seeing me drag myself into therapy sessions feeling flustered because I seriously could not structure it in my day.  I think I felt completely overwhelmed by the list of activities we should be doing.

The best advice that she gave me was to include it in transition activities.

  • Doing bear walks after getting dressed to breakfast.
  • Frog jumps from breakfast to brushing teeth.
  • We got a decent sized rooms so I could set up a mini trampoline so I could iron (at a decent distance away) whilst getting them to jump/crash.  Plus by leaving it out they could do that whenever they liked it.
  • There are times in the day where I sat down and did activities with them.
  • In the car I gave them non noisy blowing toys.

Just remember, there will be days where everything goes out the window and that is ok.  We can not be perfect all the time.

If you want some easy suggestions on how to include the sensory diet into the day, feel free to email me at Rebecca@coachingforlifetimechange.com.au.

Thought I Lost My Children

It’s school holidays here in Melbourne Australia and I took the girls to the local play centre.  We have been there plenty of times and rarely have a problem.   But today it was going to be different as unknown to be would be the first time ever that I truly lost my children.  I noticed quite a few times that a boy around the age of 11 kept playing with one of the blowers of one of the jumping castles.  The blower was covered by a box but I guess when children want to be destructive, nothing will stop them.  The child was told off by staff, other parents because he was putting other children’s lives at risk.

I was tossing up if we should leave as the girls had been playing for 3 hours but they kept begging me to stay.  So I thought ok just a few more minutes.

Then there was an almighty bang and smoke/dust was coming out under the slide.  Children were running everywhere, parents were running to locate children as we had no idea if the generator was on fire.  But I couldn’t find the girls.  All I could think of where have they hidden as Emma is known for hiding with noises.  I couldn’t even here Grace crying and as each second passed I was becoming more anxious and I thought I lost my children.

Thank god no one had opened the gates leading out to the car park as Emma would have taken off.  I turned around and there were the girls looking for me.  Grace was absolutely beside herself and I just sat down and cuddled her (as we knew the machine was not on fire) and leaving would have created a bigger safety risk.  Emma had gone quiet and she did not let me go all afternoon.

We were meant to be meeting friends there the next day and the girls said they didn’t want to go.  We sat them down and explained that we have not had a problem there before and it wouldn’t happen again.  The next morning I asked the girls if they wanted to go and I was proud of them because we ended up going.  They both came to me from time to time for a cuddle and they had a great time again.

Centres need to families with destructive children to leave rather than put the safety of the rest of the group at risk.

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