Carrying a virtual fire extinguisher around to diffuse whatever explodes next, I find myself questioning my abilities as a mum. I’m not the only one either. It seems to be something that I see lots of mums doing right now.
I did my honours thesis in Emotional Intelligence, and was surprised at how little
people understood about emotion generally, so was determined my children would learn about them.
From the end of that week I changed my point if view about obsessions. I welcomed them, using them for teaching, because they gave me so much: interest, incentive and ability for my lad to concentrate.
Unfortunately, setting up a predictable world, with structured activities and a full time schedule, (which is often the suggested way to raise infants these days), is creating a picture of structure and predictability. If this is where your child on the spectrum begins, their ability to adapt can be much less.
Being the primary carer for a child who expects the world to be a certain way is hard work, and often makes you the easy target for their anger. Blame is an all too typical issue with kids on the spectrum, and as your praise and cuddles might not be the source of comfort they are looking for, it makes a solid relationship difficult to establish and nourish.
Communication comes third, and this is not just speaking, listening, sign language or pointing. It encompasses so many things.
But ask yourself why you are wanting to change this behaviour. If it’s just for social/judgement reasons, or if it will truly enhance that child’s life.
Coping styles are a core part of our lives. Many of our current coping styles were unconsciously taught to us by our parents.
I’m going to share the main aspects which have helped him learn to be a social member of the community, but maintain his core character, and the strengths that accompany it.
Sometimes I just don’t have the time, patience or headspace to adapt to the needs of whatever animal he is that day. I have to say though, it seems to be much easier to just go with it if I can, as he is much happier to follow my requests if I’m happy to give them to tiger, or possum, or fish, or whatever he is that day, or that minute…