Depending on the countries you are in, this is either week 2 or week 3 of the lockdown. All your child’s therapies are canceled to maintain social distance for an indefinite period. This lockdown period may make your ASD child regress in many skills that he/she may have picked up after a lot of struggle.
I know you want to shout from the top of the roof, you are frustrated about the situation, your child is missing routine, structure, therapy etc.
If you can’t change circumstances,
change your perspective towards it.
What do you do if you are in a rut? I follow these three tips when I am demotivated.
1. Acceptance –
I understand that you are stuck in the struggle. You are overwhelmed with feelings of defeat for your child. It’s easy to get thoughts of guiltiness and depression.
Know the fact that it’s absolutely normal to feel this way at the current situation you are in. Also, repeat in your mind or write in a sticky note that “better days are not far away”.
It’s not always easy but you can do it.
2. Gratitude –
What can you be grateful to in this challenging circumstance? This is a powerful tool when manifested in challenging situations, it will produce positive strength within yourself.
Appreciate the positives in your life. This is an excellent method to uplift your spirits and provide a mental boost to yourself.
3. Self Care –
Respect yourself during this time. What can you do to encourage yourself that will support you to plough through this uncontrollable situation?
Before implementing the care, move away from the current news or any media that will make you stressful.
Now focus on yourself, a few self care you can choose –
- Write 3 positive things about yourself.
- Listen to music.
- Make yourself a cup of refreshing tea.
- Take a nice warm shower.
I usually like to clean either my kitchen or my closet that makes me feel accomplished and in control.
4. Make a list –
Now, gather your thoughts and make a list of all the behaviors your child has. I hear you, it’s a big list. Do not panic. Let’s take baby steps.
Now, pick up one behavior that you can work for this week, e.g.,
- Making your child work for his/her reinforcer.
- Working on his eye contact.
- Feeding himself with the help of utensils etc.
- Manding for a snack.
- To hold a pencil and many more…
For this entire week, I am planning to work on my son’s Calmness. It is very difficult for him to calm down. He gets frustrated easily that leads to whining, lack of focus etc.
I am planning to include many strategies; sitting still for 2-5 minutes looking at our fish, sitting in his bean bag for a minute listening to music, setting reminders to take deep breaths throughout the day, he also loves his pasta sensory bin, etc.
Today, was my first day of focusing on my son’s “Calmness”. I did not check on any of his other behaviors, which itself was relaxing for me.
I Hope you will try to focus on 1 behavior for one week, especially when you are struggling or facing a challenge.
Even if you are working remotely and juggling household chores, pick up one behavior to work with your child whenever you find the time. This way at least you can avoid your frustration. You will certainly get the sense of fulfillment that you have contributed to your child’s therapy.
During the current situation, your child deserves your Love and positive energy, not frustration or panic.