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I am Filled With Anger!

No having a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder is not fair and after diagnosis we can feel angry about it.  This is usually the next step after denial.

As a parent’s denial fades, anger arises that his or her child’s condition may not improve significantly.  The emotion of anger could cause the parent to blame the doctor for making the diagnosis, blame your wife or ourselves for doing something “wrong” during the pregnancy.  Some people go through a spiritual crisis and feel that they have caused this to happen because they may not have prayed enough.  People can be angry towards everyone for this new journey which makes it had for all involved to cope.  Sadly some people let the anger control them and they turn to physical means of showing this anger.

The anger will not last and there has to become the time when you need to let the anger go.  It is hard but the more we stay angry the less we are able to function properly.  It will also hinder the relationship with your child.  Do not give up on your child because they need you to help them have a bright future.

If you are reading this and are in this stage of anger and you want to talk to someone who is outside the picture, please email me on Rebecca@coachingforlifetimechange.com.au as I am more than happy to be that ear.  Any dads who are reading this and are stuck in the place please reach out through email as I am more than happy to listen.

 

I Don’t Have Time For Self Care

I hear a lot that people do not have time and I usually say in reply “make the time.”  See self care as an appointment that you don’t ever cancel.  I am not telling you to do 30 minutes each day but at a minimum 5 minutes.

Imagine the cost to your health and to your family if you run yourself in the ground.  As the saying goes “you can’t burn ends of the candle.”  Our bodies have a way of making us stop when it has reached the point of no return.  We are either sick, depressed and not able to function.  By taking 5 minutes for yourself each day will help stop you from falling sick which will financially cost you more than 5, 10, 15 minutes to look after you.

If you also put you at the bottom of the list and hit the wall, what good are you to your family? Mums and dads all need a break each day for themselves.

Why Do I Feel Selfish For Doing Self Care Activities?

This is one of the most common thoughts when people think about self care is that I am being selfish.  But let me tell you right now is that this is the biggest myth ever when it comes to self care.

If I asked the majority of mums and dads who is their biggest priority within their family, most would say “the children of course.”  But why is your children their biggest priority?  What about you and everything you do?  You may be running a job, looking after children with special needs, you may be on the road to recovery but I always say to my clients is what about you?  The answer to that is usually there is not enough time, I do something once a month.
I am sorry that is not enough?  If you have read my personal story, I have had all the excuses why I couldn’t do daily self care activities.  I looked after my mum who was unwell, I as a workaholic, I survived major depression and postnatal depression and I have two children with autism.  I spent approximately 7 months in a mother/baby unit and a psych ward after my second child was born and it was there that I really learnt that not putting myself first and taking time each day for some self care, I was not going to beat the depression and what is worse I will be no good for my girls.
I am not sitting here saying that I am perfect at doing self care everyday so this month is going to help me as well make sure that self care activities occur everyday.
Do you know that research states that everyone should take a short break every 90 minutes to be productive? If your partner is at work encourage them to take time out often for a small break.

D’oh Made A Mistake!!!!!!!

D'oh I have made a big mistake and all I can do is hit my forehead and say ‘what a stupid”.

Yesterday Steve said something that upset me and I thought I would simply brush it off.  We were tired from a busy holiday, the girls were arguing and we were having a 3 hour drive home.  Enough to all make us all shudder.

But of course that did not happen. I let it fester in me until this morning.  Steve and I had a miscommunication situation this morning and I just blurted out how I felt hurt and embarrassed about the comment that he said the day before.  Believe me I felt like a tool after that.

What is important for all mums, dads, children should be doing for your relationships is not to simply bottle situations up but calmly talk about the situation. What I should have done yesterday is simply start off with:

“I felt embarrassed about the comment………………………………………………………………”.

It could have been handled easily and calmly and left there and then instead of into the next day. Open and non confrontational communication is extremely important in all parts of your relationships.  By keeping with “I” statements you are simply saying how you felt.

For example partner is yelling in your face about a situation and it is really upsetting you.

A response to this situation is to say ‘I do not like how you yell at me like you were.  I do not feel this yelling is helping the situation or relationship and I will not tolerate this amount of aggressiveness”.  The other person needs to know that it is not acceptable to be yelling aggressively at you and that you are clear that you will not tolerate it.

By keeping the “you this, you that” will stop the confrontation and help to the communication calmer.

Who Will I Be On The Other Side?

WHO WILL I BE WHEN I GET OVER PND?

Are you asking yourself this question at this very moment?

In the midst of the darkness, you do not remember what you were like before the commencement of the illness.  It just feels like it was so far in the past that you actually felt normal.  You can feel so alone and enclosed in the darkness that you think we will never escape.

When you start to feel slightly better, you do naturally start to wonder who you will be when you feel better and you are no longer surrounded by the dark walls.  You once had a dream of being “the best mum possible” and now you label yourself “a bad mum” for what you have gone through.  Do you still stay this bad mum that you have labelled yourself or do you go back to the old you?

What about dreaming about who you want to be?  Life is about growing as an individual. We move through so many stages in life, why can’t we see this as an opportunity to grow as an individual?

If you really want to grow a better you and live your dreams, I want to work with you.  I want to help you reach the dreams that you have with 100% support.  I understand where you have been and want to be as I have walked the same path.  There is nothing better than talking with someone who have been on the same or similar paths.  I want you to reach your dreams and I promise that you will get there.

If you want my assistance and support, drop me an email info@coachingforlifetimechange.com.au and drop me a line about who you want to be and provide me with some contact so I can call you and look more in depth at creating the new you.  This call will provide you with a clear vision of who you want to be, clearing any blockages that are stopping you and shutting the door on the darkness and get you back into loving life.

How to Help a Child with Autism During the Christmas Period

Amaze (Autism Victoria) in their monthly magazine The Spectrum Volume 9, Number 4, Summer Edition 2013-14, they have written a wonder article about how to reduce the anxiety and stress for ASD children.

Strategies that they have suggested are:

  • Talk about the holiday period and what that means for your child and family.
  • Minimise change as children are finishing schools for the year and will be heading into longer holidays.
  • Continue to continue to use positive behavioural strategies.
  • Make a visual calendar/timetable for them to follow.
  • Talk about any changes.
  • Keep routine as much as possible
  • Create photos albums of people who they will see at functions.

These could be some really important for children with autism.

Parents Are Always Learning

Do mums and dads have all the answers in regards to parenting?  Hell No!  As a child care and special needs professional, constantly I am reminded that no matter how much information I know, my girls are always teaching me something new.

We hear a lot around mums groups that ‘things get easier’ but I always question do they?  I over heard a conversation between family members with one member stating all the facts about how having little ones are so much harder than ones who are older.  The other families were simply listening to the other family and their troubles.  I do not believe that it gets any easier as mums and dads face different issues and challenges.

We never have all the answers as mums and dads and we should always embrace the continual learning.  We should not feel any guilt that we do not have all the answers but feel kindness towards ourselves for not having the answers and seeking help to find those answers.

So Proud of My Girl

Grace calisthenics awards I am so proud of my big girls Grace.  She simply amazes me on how far she has come.  After she was diagnosed with autism, we did wonder what the future will hold for her.  But my goodness with all the wonderful help we have received from therapists, her kindergarten teachers at Keilor Park Preschool and at Keilor Heights Primary school it has proven how essential it is to get all the help you can.

She started calisthenics at Kendara Calisthenics this year and to watch her grow has been amazing.  She is enthusiastic each week and really tries her best.  We had her final concert a week ago and she won the tinnies group annual award for all her hard work.

 

Steve and I realise that Grace will always try her best and she will always have such supportive people around her.  Even Emma was simply so excited for her big sister which is simply beautiful and I do hope that they will always be excited about each others achievements.

Bottle Feeding and Mother Guilt!

Breastfeeding  Coaching for Lifetime Change supports all women who either breastfeed and bottle feeding.  Today I walked through a food court where there was a good mixture of mums breast feeding and mums bottle feeding and even after all this time I felt a pang of guilt and envy at the same time.

I did not breast feed either Grace or Emma.  We tried for a month to breast feed Grace and it did not go well.  Every feed was painful as Grace would not latch properly on and there was very little milk supply.  Each feed was full of tears as I felt like a failure as a mother and women as breast feeding is promoted as something that is easy and natural.  I was amazed that even in the hospital little information of different options for instance medication to help milk supply or simply a phone number for a lactation consultant.  I also found out in the last couple of years that it is quite common for children with autism not to latch properly.

Emma on the other hand was breast feeding quite well but my doctors took me off breastfeeding due to my medication needs for my postnatal depression.  I was not given the option to use specific medication that is good for breast feeding mums.

The guilt that the majority of mums who can not breastfeed continues to affect them years later although at the time they did what was best not only for them but also for their child.  I know for my girls, they have been both well and rarely sick and I did research and make sure that they were having the best formula that I could give them.  I also knew that they did get the colostrum when they were born.

What is important now is for those mums to become at peace with their decision not to breastfeed.  By becoming in peace with your decision it will strengthen your relationship with your child as it is really important you do not feel like a failure as a mother and that you hurt your child for your reason for not breastfeeding.  If you would like to receive a video to gain this peace from the guilt, fill in your details on the following link http://coachingforlifetimechange.com.au/surviving-to-thriving-for-brand-new-mums-2/ and subscribe to my mailing list.

Relationships at Breaking Point for Families With Children with Special Needs

Special Needs Logo.2   In Monday 11th Melbourne Herald-Sun, there is a sad article about families who are at breaking apart point with children with special needs.  Children with special needs do get lots of assistance with early intervention before the age of 7.  However between the ages of 7-18 there is little support out there for this age group.  The situation is becoming just so bad that parents are being forced to the point where they have little choice but to give the child up into State care.

Reading this article bought tears to my eyes, to think the situation is coming to that.  Yes, the economy is tough at this moment and it is hard to fund all areas in desperate need.  Nevertheless, there is so much wasting of money especially within Government agencies, that this “wasted” money could be used to assist families who have children with special needs.  Maybe the politicians should really think before their next pay rise, could this money be spent in better areas to help families with special needs to remain a family unit?

We are blessed that we have two girls with high functioning autism, who therapy does cost a lot of money, but it is no where near as much as a family with a child who has a severe special need.

Here at Coaching for Lifetime Change we can assist you in creating a thriving family relationship and help mums not get to the stage where they have to choose to give their child up for State care.  Nevertheless, there needs to be more being done to improve resources within the community to also ease the burden these poor families are faced with.  If you want to know more about our services please click on the link http://coachingforlifetimechange.com.au/surviving-to-thriving-for-mums-with-special-needs-children/

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