Autism Keys 4: Trust
Building a bond with your child on the spectrum can help you and them in many ways. It has become apparent to me that many of them find it difficult to trust, and become suspicious easily. These children in particular, can be difficult to reach. They may be resistant to any sort of help you offer, and unlikely to seek you out to assist them. It doesn’t occur to most ASD children that other people are a resource to them. Therefore, it can be difficult for them to see why you are useful. Unlike other small children, they are less likely to take your word for something. This may be demonstrated by them actually checking if you’re right about something you told them. That can be a big problem if you’re telling them something is hot, or that the road is dangerous.
When you keep an ASD child away from danger, they don’t see this from your point of view. They only see you as the person who stopped them getting what they want. Unfortunately, this means they can view you as the cause of many of their problems. 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.
As they don’t necessarily read emotions well, they won’t understand that you want the best for them, wish you did have fruit toast when they want it, or even wish it was daytime and shops were open when they want something you don’t have. Telling them or showing them why can really help them see you are not just refusing to do what they want.
Sharing your emotions with them and making yourself vulnerable, can show them how you really feel, how you are hurt, and that when you are tired you aren’t able to be as patient. Being open and honest, even upset, can help your child see you as less of an enemy, and can help them trust you to do your best for them.
Trying to move into their world as much as possible, to see their point of view, and to give them what they need can help you. Playing games they love, giving them physical items which calm them, and having conversations that come from the point of view that their welfare is behind why you do things are all things that can help enhance your relationship with them.
One of the most powerful moments for me and Taz when he was an infant was one day when I cried and told him outright “I don’t know how to help you. I want to help you and I can’t because I don’t know how”. He actually stopped crying and physically fighting me for a moment. He even seemed surprised by what I was saying.
Once you have a relationship, they have trust, incentive to learn from you, and are more receptive to learning about how to talk to other people. A good relationship between parent and child can help make their life much calmer, plus trust can help them explore new things, places and experiences.
Have you ever felt like your child sees you as their enemy?
How do you work to enhance your relationship?
The 7 Autism Keys Program is coming soon!
Through Coloured Shattered Glass is very excited to announce that a new online support program for parents of children on the autism spectrum will be launched early in 2018.
If you would like to be one of the first to find out all the details, please register your interest here.
If you would like to discuss the ideas in this post further, tell your story, or share your experiences, please join us on our Facebook page.
Please be respectful of others at all times. We are all on different journeys.
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