Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Autism Parenting Tip #2 - Strongest Emotion

Tell your child that you love them multiple times a day, everyday. Show them love with non-verbal cues like running your fingers through their hair or touching their cheek when you pass by.

When I search my past, thinking about emotions that I can identify, the strongest emotional impression was and still is anger and frustration. Not only did I have to cont...ent with abusive parents, but a host of everyday struggles and misunderstandings. There was anger and frustration and every turn.

Many children will have challenges and frustrations along the way. Don't let those frustrations leave a permanent imprint on their memory. Instead, fill their days by showering them with love, patience and gentle kindness. Set necessary parameters so your child will understand what is expected of them. Create a calm and inviting environment at home. Create a safe place that they can go when they need to calm themselves. A safe place could be as simple as a little play tent. Allow your child to help decide what items go into the play tent. My son used to love getting into our linen closet. So I cleared the bottom shelf so he could curl up and close the door whenever he wanted. It was dark and safe. He did this until he outgrew the space, but by then he was able to create another safe place in a different part of the apartment.

It costs nothing to smile and say I love you. It costs nothing or very little to take a table and drape a large sheet over it to make a safe place. These simple gestures will help to facilitate calmness and leave a lasting impression on your child.

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