Tag Archives: Anger

Question?: Angry Autistic Child

Helen asks…

Is There Something Indigo Children And Adults Can Do To Handle Their Anger At Ignorance And Dishonesty?

***This is a serious question to Spiritual People. Please no criticism or immature behavior.***

Indigo People are very angry people. My question is:

Is There Something Indigo Children And Adults Can Do To Handle Their Innate Anger At Ignorance, Dishonesty, Violent, And Immaturity Of People?

admin answers:

Indigo is a color which was named and defined by Isaac Newton, and the color falls between blue and violet. It is reported that due to its frequency, even people with good eyesight may have trouble distinguishing it from either color.

The term “indigo” as it relates to psychic children refers to the (Life) color of the aura that purportedly emanates around these youths. Many reports will say that indigo children were born in larger proportions since 1987. But we know that there have always been Indigo people, but in lesser proportions. So those Indigo children who are now adults, probably had the most difficult time of all, because there were few others that they could identify with; or few adults, teachers, and others who understood them or knew how to meet their needs or accommodate them.

Indigo children can often have difficulty in conforming to systems and disciplines which our society deems “normal.” They are extremely sensitve (or fragile), highly talented or gifted; and some are even metaphysically inclined. All Indigo children seem to be wise beyond their years. They have spiritual intelligence or psychic abilities.They are talented daydreamers and visionaries. Many will describe them as being born as “old souls.” They have also been described as having an inner truth detector. These children are particularly empathic and compassionate and will go out of their way to help someone who is hurting.

Too many indigo children are misdiagnosed as ADHD or autistic. The majority of these children have acute diet and food sensitivities–especially to processed foods and food additives. Indigo children who are constantly prescribed medication (for such disorders as ADHD) lose their abilities. Other indigo children who have no support or are around people who can not communicate with them or help them to cultivate their abilities may also become dull or lose their ability. Some kids are riduculed and like other gifted kids, will suppress their abilities.

Parents and teachers may suffer difficulties with these children because of their highly refined sensitivities and emotional complexities which make them frustrated due to the average person’s lack of understanding and knowledge of their reality. Indigo children need parents and adults to help them know they are OK. Likewise, Indigo adults need the same -especially for those in the workplace. They also need the freedom to be creative and unmanaged.

These Indigo children appear to be able to consciously link and communicate somewhat on an energetic “telepathic grid.” They apparently have also taken on the responsibility of assisting the rest of humanity in reaching the same level of love awareness they themselves seem to feel.

Below are some selected links that will tell you more about Indigo people. Last year, there was a world premeire movie released on Indigo Children. Perhaps we will review and discuss the movie in class.

According to the makers of the new movie “Indigo,” if nothing else, the evolution of the world could benefit from a shift to encompass the acceptance Indigo people seem to share.

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Question?: Autistic Angry Outbursts

James asks…

Would it be a huge issue if your autistic child hates receiving discipline as if it were a sensory issue?

Would it be a huge issue if your child with autism had an issue with being disciplined. If a you or someone got angry with him or her, it would cause outbursts and panic as if the child has the ability to have stronger anger than yours or someone whoever gets hard on the child. Even if the child is scared into submission it would make things worse. Would getting angry, frustrated, upset and / or panicky whenever disciplined be a huge issue? It’s discipline which children hate and autistic children tend to hate it more than children. They would hate it so much, it would cause explosive meltdowns. IT would be as if children with autism don’t care who the boss is and would tend to have control over the boss no matter how authoritative.
Does your autistic child have this issue? How big of an issue is it? Do you get frustrated that disciplinary action will make things worse? Does it ruin your marriage having an autistic son with such an issue? Do you feel like your child will never learn?

admin answers:

My autistic child does have this issue to a degree.
I agree with the op that routine is very very much needed.
It does make it more challenging as some autistic children also have sensory issues. My son is hyposensitive (not sensitive enough) to pain and needing lots of pressure.
I’ve even come down to spanking him sometimes to get the point accross. (you know, for safety issues)
It is also difficult because autistic children don’t understand emotions really well. Sometimes I’ll have to tell my son quite clearly, “I am angry’ or I am NOT happy to tell him how I feel.. Or yell.. To communicate those emotions.
Sometimes I feel like my son will never learn, but I know he will .. Eventually. Over time, I have seen what my son used to do, but now doesn’t do a certain behavior anymore.
I wouldn’t say ‘ruin’ is the right word to describe a marriage with a special needs child in the mix. It definitely makes it more stressful, and a little bit more strain on a marriage. Just as you adapt to having a special needs child, you adapt to fit your son/daughter’s needs and adjust the time that is needed to spend on your child.

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Question?: Autistic Angry Outbursts

James asks…

is it normal to get angry with yourself for experiencing ptsd symptoms ?

im 30, have bpd and ptsd, iam awaiting therapy, i have lived a very tough, traumatic life.

i suffer with bad anxiety and panic which causes me to isolate myself….i only venture out if i have to go someplace.

i suffer with distrust and paranoia about people because of alot of bullying and victimization in my life.

i deal with anger, rage and aggressive feelings relating to bottled up anger when i was bullied earlier in my life…..i used to have aggressive outbursts in public an humiliate and embarress myself…pick fights with people…like impulsively go into a rage.

ive improved greatly and dont have rage outbursts in public anymore, but i still have the feelings that i need to address with therapy.

however im still a nervous wreck with my panic and anxiety…can be very unconfident whilst outside…hyper vigillant…panicky…if i perceive any threat it can ignite a rage attack…so i have to work hard to be in control.

i struggle to make eye contact & feel very anxious most
times….if i perceive a threat say outside i start to panic and feel out of control..and i feel scared.

i never manage to appear confident even though that is what i try desperatly to do, i feel i fail miserably and everyone can see that im frightened etc.

if another male makes eye contact i can perceive it as a threat, then i look nervously away, but then feel enraged and angry because i feel ive allowed myself to be manipulated.

and if im outside i feel that everyone can see im afraid or scared and are laughing about it or getting off on it.

this is when i start to lose it and get angry with myself and other people, it triggers rage…because in someway i feel ive been humiliated.

i get flashbacks to assaults ive suffered, bullying ive suffered, where i was shown up and embarressed in public.
how can i not feel angry if i feel ive let myself down in public or others are perceiving i look scared or frightened etc ?

is it because i care too much about my image and what others think ?
im constantly wrestling with my past and feel i suffer with a ” their doing it to me ” victim type mentality which i feel triggers the rage.

admin answers:

Yes it is. I have suffered alot of abuse and abandonment in my life aswell and suffer from ptsd anxiety bi-polar and used to struggle with my past alot. My little sister was sick when she was a baby and as a result is deaf epileptic slightly autistic and had alot of other health problems and my mother could not handle this and became very depressed which resulted in her drinking taking drugs going in and out of psychiatric institutions and bringing home alot of different unstable and at times psychotic men whom raped and physically assaulted me for many years and just as i had started to deal with the many problems that i had due to this i lost my only two children to SIDS (cot death) with in 2 years of each other and i was only 16 yo at the time and was angry all of the time after that for a few years. Since then i have been seeing a psychiatrist and have done alot of hours in therapy at first i didn’t think it would do any good but now i am alot better and can handle most situations without fretting too much in fact this is the first time i have been comfortable talking with someone whom i am not extremely close to other than my psychiatrist about these problems ever so i suggest that you go to see a psychiatrist about these feelings and stay in therapy and no matter how bad you think things are going just stick with it because eventually you will get there

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Question?: Autism Signs 2 Year Old

Chris asks…

how do you deal with unruly children?

their not mine, but i have them all the time. their mother is a single mother that lets them get away with any and everything. the oldest is 4 the other is 2. the 4 year old doent talk to me, or mind and the 2 year old listens, but when i get on to him he bashes him head on thing. what do i do ?

admin answers:

They aren’t behaving like that because they are from a single parent family, they are behaving like that because they apparently have no discipline. I teach preschool and I see kids from two parent families act like that all the time. The Head Banging is most likely an anger issue, he isn’t liking being told no. I wouldn’t worry too much about it…..he isn’t going to bang his head hard enough to hurt himself…..if it hurts he is going to stop, unless he is suffering from a mental illness….which could cause him to not have the stop reaction when he does something that causes pain. I would just lay down the rules with both of them, stick to them like glue, and have consequences if they aren’t following the rules. They are kids and you can’t expect complete compliance, but you can expect them to follow basic rules and to listen. If the four year old throws a toy….give him a warning…if you throw the toy again I am going to put it away. If he throws it again, put it away…he will likely throw a tantrum…but he will survive. Be consistent. Too many parents are too busy working and trying to do normal everyday things like laundry/cooking/etc to parent the way that they need to.

I would talk to mom and let her know that you will not tolerate the behavior and that you are laying down some rules. If she doesn’t like it she can be free to find another sitter, although by the sounds of it, that may be difficult.

I would also suggest that she may want to have both children evaluated for developmental delays/Learning disabilities. A four year old child who doesn’t talk (does he talk at home?) is a huge autism flag…..the not listening would go right along with that. Head banging can also be a sign of problems. It would be a good idea for them to be evaluated.

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Question?: Autism Signs 2 Year Old

Ruth asks…

Do you know a child with mild autism who has succeeded in a regular ed classroom?

My three and a half year old son has mild autism. He would appear fairly normal to people except for his unclear speech, his over enthusiasm, and his tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. He can’t seem to sit still in his pre-K class.
I would love to hear some success stories from families dealing with a similar child. Did they learn how to speak well? Control their emotions? Graduate from college?
I’m looking for a little hope after a tough day.

admin answers:

Both my kids…one now in college at age 22..one in high school…had speech therapy but otherwise all “regular” classes. Anger was a big issue for both and we put their emotional learning needs before the didactic (book) learning. For instance, when the teachers wanted the boy to attend gifted and talented, we said no…he needed to stay with the kids he knew to keep learning how to be a good friend, so he could grow up to be a mentally-stable person. He would get very angry sometimes and we saw it as a warning sign. Our focus worked…he is a gentle, wonderful 16 year old now, and he takes honor courses in high school to help his educational needs. Now the older one really threw temper tantrums, and at the time, we were less experienced parents, and it shows. She still has anger problems. We hated all meds and did not use them long…they made things worse, as did almost every so-called professional we consulted. Eventually I learned what helps…I would highly recommend the exercises for children with PDD-nos (pervasive developmental delay disorder, non-specific). Get a hammock. Convert a room into an exercise and bounce around room if you can. If someone suggests something to try, and it does not work, try something else. Most important, be a strong force, together with your partner, in front of the child. Save all criticism for later, in privacy, and safeguard your marriage (partnership). Be a strong advocate for your child. If the teachers or others don’t want to help, find someone who will, and/or do it yourself. Provide the extra teaching at home. Keep him on a routine, but push his boundaries once in a while to get him used to change, and teach him how to deal with new situations. Mine liked to practice at home, away from others eyes, like how to throw a football. I love my 2 and would not trade them for anyone else’s life. And try not to worry if he goes into special ed. There are nice kids and families there.

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Question?: Schizophrenia Symptoms

Maria asks…

What would outsiders see at the onset of schizophrenia symptoms?

Would 16 likely be too early for these manifestations to appear? What symptoms would appear as the disease progressed?

admin answers:

Anger. Sadness. Drug abuse. Grades drop at school. Not able to concentrate. My son started the above symptoms around 17. And, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 20, when he started hearing voices, and talking to himself.

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rallying cry



I have found that this need not be – can not be – an all or none proposition for me or my daughter. That there are indeed parts of autism that can be celebrated. That there are challenges that can be reframed over time – that may well manifest themselves as gifts in the right settings. That in some ways, autism is quite simply pretty integral to the amazing little person that I would give my left arm for. Looking at my incredible 6 ½ year-old girl, I no longer know how to separate Brooke from autism or autism from Brooke

… I still want desperately to help her mitigate the challenges of autism. I still want to give Brooke the tools that can make life less hard for her. It tears my heart out to see her struggle. But to demonize autism is to demonize a big part of who my little girl is. And I find myself less and less capable of doing that. It’s messier than that. It’s sticky and it’s hard and it doesn’t lend itself to a surgical extraction.

~ Middle Ground, Diary 2009


I’ve heard it said that you can’t hate autism and love a person with autism at the same time. I don’t think that’s true. I think you can abhor the thing that makes your child’s life hard. I think you can despise the challenges that he is forced to face. I think you can desperately wish that she didn’t have to struggle with the things that come so naturally to others. I think you can love your child with the ferocity and tenderness that can only coexist in the heart of a parent, while simultaneously hating the thing that denies him an effective method of communicating his most basic wants and needs.

But, I worry – really worry – about the consequences of that anger – particularly when it’s expressed in front of our kids.

We gather together and rally the troops for battle.

We shout from bully pulpits …

We must win this fight against autism! 

We will do everything in our power to combat autism!

We must find a cure for this thing we call autism!

We will continue to use every resource at our disposal to battle autism!

Or even the somewhat more benign ..

We are doing everything in our power to ensure a brighter future for people who struggle with autism.

Every one of those was a real sentence from a real gathering I attended earlier in the week. Lest assumptions begin to fly, I think it’s important to note that the only one that was uttered by a staff member of the event’s sponsor was the last one. All the others were from invited speakers.

I watched the autistic children and adults who sat with their families and who listened and took it all in. I cringed and hoped that perhaps the little boy directly in front of me didn’t hear it, didn’t process it, but then I think of my Brooke. At age nine, she rattles of ‘Remember whens’ like water – “Remember when I was three and you were sorry and I cried and then you gave me the white water?” Yes, my sweet, and I remember thinking that you had no awareness of what was going on around you then. Foolish, foolish me.

So what of it? What happens as our children sit in the crowd and hear the rallying cries? How on earth do  we convince them to feel safe and respected and cherished and valued when we tell them that such a big part of who they are is public enemy number one. What must that do to their self-image? How can that feel?

What if we sat in those crowds while the speaker at the podium cried,

We must win this fight against brown hair!

We will do everything in our power to combat blue eyes! 

We must find a cure for this thing we call femaleness! 

We will continue to use every resource at our disposal to battle heterosexuality!

We are doing everything in our power to ensure a brighter future for people who struggle with white skin! 

How would that feel?

Would it be enough to say, “Oh, don’t worry. I don’t hate you; just your gender.” Or “I don’t want to defeat you; just your sexuality.”?

I know that these are desperately imperfect parallels. I get it. I know that the color of our eyes or our hair does not intrinsically challenge us. I know that neither sexuality nor gender intrinsically cause pain. I know and fully acknowledge that autism is not benign. And I know and fully acknowledge that to imply that it is does a dramatic disservice to those who so desperately need our help and support.

But I also know that for our kids, and even more for the autistic adults who I’ve come to know, autism is just as much a part of who they are and how they experience the world as is their gender, their sexuality or the color of their skin. Even more so because it is the filter through which they experience EVERYTHING.

So how does it feel?

When your mom, your dad, your siblings, the guy with the microphone says, “We will do everything in our power to cure the filter through which you see the world”?

I don’t know the answer, but I can imagine.

I’m not saying that seeking a cure for autism and thereby presenting it as an option is wrong. I don’t know that it is. I’m not sure that it’s not. Frankly, I don’t feel like I’m in any position to make that call.

The truth is, I have no idea what the hell we would do if we were offered a pill tomorrow for our girl. I do know that I want to take away her pain. I do know that I want her life to be better. I do know that I want to banish her crippling anxiety. I do know that I want her path to be far, far easier for her than it is today. And I don’t doubt that if she were more severely affected than she is, I’d want those things even more.

But I don’t know what a cure is. I don’t know what it would mean for her. Honestly, I just can’t wrap my brain around it. I understand (and pine for) the mitigation of her challenges. But I really don’t know what ‘curing her’ would look like. Or what it would leave behind.

Would her incredible memory be cured along with her anxiety? Would her delightfully unique perspective be cured along with her difficulty attending to a task? Would her ability to find beauty in the most mundane things be cured along with her challenges with language? Would she still be able to see music? Imitate accents? What about all of the other gifts that we have yet to discover? Do they get ‘cured’ along with her Sensory Processing Disorder?

This is about Brooke. It’s about empowering her; supporting her; letting her, to whatever degree she is able, lead us. She is nine. She is coming more and more into her own every day. I want her to become involved in all of this. I want her to begin to understand the concept of advocacy so that ultimately she can take the reins if she so chooses. I want her to someday understand the options so that she can tell us what to fight for.

The first step should be simple: bringing her with us. Introducing her to the community of those like her and those who support her. Helping to lead her to her village and encouraging her to find her voice.

But I can’t do that in a venue where people are shouting a rallying cry against such a big part of her identity. How can a nine year-old be expected to understand that it’s not her they’re battling, ‘just’ her autism? Hell, how can a forty year-old? I just can’t do it.

And that scares the hell out of me. Because if I can’t bring her to the place that I’m theoretically going to support her, I really have to wonder if I’m going to the right place.


Ed note: Before I wrap this up, I have to say this .. I believe, from the bottom of my heart, that the people I quoted above said what they said from a place of pure, unadulterated love and a burning desire to make the world easier for those on the spectrum to inhabit. Like me, like you, like all of us, they want desperately to make life better – make the future brighter – for our children and for all affected by autism. They want to help and I am grateful beyond measure that they have stepped into the ring to do so. 


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see thee more clearly


I had to walk away from Huff Po yesterday. Despite many thoughtful, sensitive comments, there were some others which were anything but. The irony of leaving judgmental, vitriolic comments about other parents on a post that begs someone to stop making judgmental, vitriolic comments about other parents appears to be lost on those who just have to throw that one last rock.

It’s not my blog. I can’t police it. But I’m sick that it’s become a forum for even more anger and even more judgment and even more division.

The other day I wrote the following:

PLEASE respect each other and all of our different perspectives in the comments here. To be clear, the only thing that I take issue with in Jenny’s comments from Autism One (as you will see when the Huff Po post is up), is that she is discrediting the choices that other moms make. I refuse to do the same by discrediting HER choices for her son. Please, please – let’s not reinforce the division in this community by reacting to stone throwing by picking up rocks of our own. Thank you. xo

This morning I added this:

Guys, PLEASE do not use this as a forum to attack Jenny or biomed or for god’s sake, each other.

Please read the Huff Po post. Its whole point is that none of us has the right to judge another person’s choices. That goes for Jenny. That goes for me. That goes for all of us.

Please. when we start swinging a bat, we stop talking. When we stop talking, our kids are the ones who suffer for it.

I don’t know what else there is to do.

Last night in the car, my Katie was telling me that she has a really hard time understanding why the girl who targeted her in school this year seemed to get her kicks out of hurting other people. “I don’t get it, Mama,” she said. “I just don’t get it.”

I told her that she didn’t need to get it. That there are people in the world who do things that none of us can ever understand. I made it extreme to make a point. “Honey, there are people in this world who are incomprehensibly evil. There are people who murder other people. It simply doesn’t make sense.”

“But Mama,” she wailed, “that’s just it. It doesn’t make sense! I don’t understand why people need to hurt each other. Why there are murderers and why there’s war and even why there’s kids who somehow feel better when they make someone else feel bad. It doesn’t make sense!”

She was so upset. I love that she sees the world the way that she does. And I hate that she sees the world the way that she does.

“Baby,” I said, “I get it. I really do. I understand the frustration. But you have a choice in how you’re going to handle it. You can spend your time and your precious energy thinking about people like that girl or, you can use your incredible heart and that scary smart brain of yours to figure out how to make the world better. And I gotta be honest with you, kiddo, using your energy thinking about those people is making really, really stupid use of it.”

I was on a roll.

“Do something positive with that energy,” I told her. “Spend the summer figuring out what it is that you can do to make this world better. Pick something. Work on it. Devote yourself to it. Lead by example. Let people see how good it feels to do something positive – to help another human being. That’s my advice,” I said. “DO something.”

I wish I could share the rest of the conversation, but I feel like it needs to stay right where it is. Katie is eleven. Her inner life can’t be on display just because her mother’s a writer.

It’s funny though. I somehow missed the ludicrously obvious parallels until this morning. Amazing what happens when you open a laptop.

So today, instead of trying to duck barbs and douse flames in a war that rages beyond my control, I’m going to tell a story about my daughter. Because that’s what I DO.


Saturday morning

The girls and I are driving to New Jersey to meet my nephew. Katie is in the back seat. Brooke is in her favorite spot in the third row. She has her head against the rear vent window, reveling in the wind on her face.

We are listening to the soundtrack from the Broadway version of Godspell. Katie is singing along. Periodically, she stops to ask a question. “Who sings this one, Mama?” I direct her to her sister. “Brooke knows, honey. Ask her.”

Brooke answers every question, remembers every name.

This is a turning point. Katie turning to her sister for information. Her sister sharing it. The two enjoying this together. This is not small.

Day By Day is ramping up into the chorus. It’s impossible not to sing along.

Day by day
Oh Dear Lord
Three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day

We are all singing now. Together. This is not small.

I cock the rear view mirror down so that I can see Brooke. I watch her for a moment, then look back to the road. Then again, I steal a look at my girl. And then it happens. She looks at me in the mirror. And she smiles.


She literally caught my eye and then smiled at me.

I can’t explain this. I don’t have the words. I know that it’s a moment that happens in cars all day long. Mom watches kid, kid glances at mom, smiles. So?

So everything.

It’s a metaphor, isn’t it? This journey we’re on. To see more clearly, follow more nearly, love more dearly. It’s all the same. The mystery of God, the universe, our children, autism, it’s all the same. The journey to understand, the faith to believe in something bigger than ourselves, to believe in possibility, to believe in our children, to believe in each other.

The desperate need for understanding, for clarity, for love. And the divinity of the moments when we see – really see – each other. That is my God. That’s where I find Grace. In the moments of connection, I feel the presence of the Divine.


God is in the car.

We continue down the road, singing as loudly as we can.

Day by day
Oh Dear Lord
Three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day

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A Diagnosis of Autism: Making Adjustments to Manage Feelings of Loss and Grief

Having a child with a disability is every parent’s nightmare. Once you have heard the words, “Your child has Autism.” the disappointment, anger and the feeling of isolation can leave you in shock. How long you remain there will be determined by how well you deal with your emotions.

Disappointment, anger and self-pity are natural feelings to have when you first receive a diagnosis of Autism. Giving yourself permission to experience these emotions and then letting them go as best as you can will help you focus all your energy on becoming the best person for the job that has been assigned to you.

GRIEF is a powerful emotion and is the most common hurdle that keeps many parents from moving forward. It is extremely important to allow your self to go through and experience the stages of grief, which include denial, anger, bargaining and finally acceptance. Dealing with these emotions in a healthy manner will transform you into a most effective advocate – one that will see the way clearly to maximize your child’s greatest potential.

Some parents do not like to use the words loss or grief as it relates to Autism because it implies grieving your child. This grieving process is not about mourning your child but more about grieving the loss of a future you had HOPED for.

You HAVE experienced a loss, a LOSS of the dream you had for yourself, your child and your family – a disappointment about an idealized future. This means that…

certain adjustments need to be made to the vision you held for your child and family. As with any loss, parents of children diagnosed with Autism need to find a way to make peace with the diagnosis in order to move forward.

Just remember the dream you have for your family’s future can still be positive, it is just going to be different. In spite of the new category the medical profession has placed your child into, the destination can still be the same but the journey to get there is going to take a unique path.

Important things to keep in mind:

1) You have to get past the hurt, disappointment, anger, and distress. Too much negative energy will only drain you and make you less available to your child.

2) Dealing with these emotions is not only OK; it’s mandatory. If you really want to help your child, this can do more for your child than any treatment out there.

3) Keep in mind that this is a process you have to keep working at. You may feel as if you have resolved your grief but there will be days when it returns. Expect it, have a plan to deal with it so you can keep putting one foot in front of the other.

If you can’t seem to move forward and days like this turn into weeks, you may be experiencing another emotional block. The best way to shorten its course is to find someone that will listen and help you process your feelings in a non-judgmental way.

This is when you have to call on someone from your support team! This could be a trusted friend – a supportive objective someone – or a professional such as a parent coach or a therapist.

Remember, this diagnosis does not change your child; but it does change how you need to work with your child. Don’t waste your time and energy being angry with yourself or the doctors, it does your child no good to linger in a negative state. Forget the what-ifs – look ahead, make the necessary adjustments and set the bar high for everyone, including your child.

The most important thing I tell parents is “Don’t focus on the label – focus on finding the best way to connect with the wonderfully unique child you have before you.” This new label may help you acquire insurance to cover therapies but it can also keep you focused on the negative so pay little attention to it. Instead focus your energy on connecting to your child’s world with thoughtful intention because it will open the door for her to enter into your world, the one she has to find her way to live in.

Every child has challenges and the challenges your child is faced with just happens to have a particular name called ‘Autism’ or ‘PDD-NOS’ or ‘Aspergers’ or ‘ASD’ or…. Don’t let a ‘name’ cover up the amazing potential that lies within your child.

It may help to remember that your child isn’t any different now then he was when you didn’t know he had autism. You know he’s the same child you’ve loved since birth. So I urge you to focus on uncovering his abilities, not treating his disabilities, in order to change possibilities!

Connie Hammer, MSW, parent educator, consultant and coach, guides parents of young children recently diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder to uncover abilities and change possibilities. Visit her website http://www.parentcoachingforautism.com/ to get your FREE resources – a parenting e-course, Parenting a Child with Autism – 3 Secrets to Thrive and a weekly parenting tip newsletter, The Spectrum.

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How to Help Children With Autism Make Transitions

Autism has been classified as a neural development disorder and developmental disability that is characterized by repetitive and restricted behavior patterns as well as impaired communication and social skills. One of the more critical aspects of the disorder that parents of children with Autism are confronted with is transitioning from activity or task to another. The autistic child has a great deal of difficulty with this as it creates anger and confusion for them which oftentimes results in them throwing some hideous tantrums.

Consider the following 6 suggestions for helping your autistic child through these transitions so that it goes as smoothly as possible:

Always plan ahead – make sure that you always have the alarm, hourglass, or timer set up in advance so there is no confusion. You should always insist on consistency whenever babysitters, family members, teachers, or therapists are watching your child. This helps the child to understand the concept better.

Children with Autism need consistency – by using the same amount of warning time and words consistently, the child will have an easier time of adjusting to and understanding the transitions from one activity to the next. The child will also transition easier once they understand exactly what you expect of them.

Employ the reward system – making the transition from the current activity to the next one is extremely difficult for children with Autism. Offer the child some sort of incentive or reward for making a smooth transition between the activities that are on the day’s agenda. The reward could be as simple as a favorite activity or one of their favorite foods.

Evaluate difficult situations – if you notice that there is a certain degree of difficulty involving the transition from one activity to the next, you can avoid any major problems (e.g. temper tantrums) by first evaluating the circumstances surrounding the transition. An example of this is a child’s refusal or resistance to transitioning between activities due to certain sensory issues that upset the child. Simple accommodations or adjustments can help to correct this.

Invest in a timer if you don’t have one – make sure that you purchase one that your autistic child will have an easier time of understanding when they should change the activity they are engaged in. If the child is younger an hourglass or sand timer may be easier for them to comprehend whereas an older child might be able to handle a digital clock alarm.

Respect the child’s need for being warned – it is extremely difficult for children with Autism to move from one activity to the next especially if they are deeply engaged in the current activity. It’s going to take a considerable amount of time and all the patience you can muster to teach them how to transition between activities. If you gently warn them that a change is coming, it will make it easier for the child to make that transition.

Remember that the goal here is to not only make transitioning easier for any children with Autism but to make them understand why it is necessary as well. Things will go a lot smoother for you overall.

For the latest videos and training information on child development as well as books and curricula on Autism please visit childdevelopmentmedia.com.

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