My son and I went on an active campaign for a summer internship. The search required my involvement as well as my son. My son has aspergers in the autism spectrum. Our lives have been intertwined all through the stages of life. I am his advocate, his cheerleader, his personal assistant and his mother. I want only the very best for him, but I must let him lead the way. It is his life and his dreams. I am just the task master helping him to find his horizons.
My sons greatest success came from hard work and dedication to a goal. We’ve always paired up because the teamwork kept him focused and on task.Whether I was his study aid or devils advocate, we worked together to succeed at the job at hand.
When tackling the task of applying for internships, we had dueling laptops across from each other at the kitchen table. I searched and he applied to what he was interested in. The system worked fine and he sent out many applications with his portfolio attached. Routine is important to my son, so we would approach the applications this way a couple of times a week, always at the kitchen table .
He did get responses which he was thrilled about. Now , I began to coach him on the elements of interviewing and dressing for the interview. For Matt, grooming has always been a struggle. He does not like the feel of a razor on his skin. The tactile sensitivity is great due to Aspergers. But , since our culture makes opinions on first impressions, he has to overcome those issues. I would ask him to shave everyday , even though he hated it. I was trying to get him to overcome his struggles. Dressing for success is another topic that can be rigid. He has favorite clothes that he loves. Wearing something new and different sometimes feels awkward.I work with him to overcome his anxiety and feel confident about the way he looks and speaks in the interview. Special needs adult children still need personal attention to succeed. In this highly competitive world, we, as parents need to help our kids toward success. In the case of special needs, that time is great. But the results of a happy smile and a winning interview is the best outcome of all.
“I love you” is on of the nicest phrases you can say to your children, yet many parents overlook the need to express
their feelings in this hurried world we navigate.The comings and goings of daily life creates many conversations on the go. Our conversations are important but talking about our feelings is essential to the well being of our family.
In our day, we talk about our daily events but do we open or close the day with a simple, “I love you”? Try to take a moment out and think about this. Our children are so thirsty for our love, particularly in this caustic world we struggle to navigate.When you are with your small child, try ending the day with a story or a conversation. Tuck them in with a kiss and say I love you. It’s a wonderful way to end your day together.
For your teen, knock on their bedroom door and see how they are doing. They may have a story to share about their day or a frustration to vent. This is your opportunity to listen and love them. Just being present can fill a void in their day and quiet their angst.
If you have adult kids, grab your phone and text them. You know they will get back when you message them. Let them know you are thinking of them and sending them your love. Make a date and visit them. Take the time to build your relationship. It is the best way to foster closeness.
Sharing our feelings is just a matter of being mindful of your important role as Mom. After all, our family is our most important treasure. Take the time to express your heart. It will lift your hearts up and bring you closer together.
FEATURE ARTICLE – AUTISM
I decided that when my son was a little boy, mealtime would be my daily teaching format. Awkward social skills were his weakness. I felt the routine of nightly dinner with his family would help him to improve his conversational skills and learn how to pick up on social cues. So, at dinner each night, we would talk about our day, discuss any issues and move on to topics that fascinated him. He would grow with each conversation. The time together help him bond with his siblings and his parents.This love connection gave him more confidence to speak with his heart. He would sometimes repeat in a way we called the loop. We told him when he repeated himself, so he would learn to move forward with his next thought. Sometimes, he would converse and then get stuck, like a record that skips. He would be so excited that the subject was just too stimulating to move on. With awareness, he has improved in this area.
Your child of autism can benefit from the dinner table classroom. Inclusion is key. Interaction and overcoming social obstacles begin at home with loved ones.
Don’t turn away from one of the most valuable lessons you can give. Give your child a variety of people to talk to in a given day. Perhaps, their siblings, friends, grandparents and new acquaintances. Open their world to the art of conversation. Teach them to be a good listener as well as a conversationalist. Kids of autism shy away from these situations. They tend to be loners; often enjoying the company of computers and games.
Encourage them daily to join the family at dinner.Put all tech devices away; put some pleasant music on in the background and just talk. You will be inspired to hear what interesting stories and insights your child shares with you. Enjoy the time together! Life is a series of moments that can inspire and make life very worthwhile!
Can you remember how uplifting you felt when you enjoyed the gift of flowers? How fresh and fragrant their sweet smell! Our need to feel alive and renewed is so needed during our winter days. It is important to take time out to recharge ourselves as mothers. Our responsibilities can weigh us down and overwhelm our need to nurture ourselves.
Treat yourself to some quality time. Book a day at the spa, take in a good book, spend some time discovering a hobby.Find a day in your schedule where you can relax and unwind. Quiet your mind so that you can be present for today. Life can spin out of control and be toxic. The high pace of today; the demands and the inability to hear our own hearts; eventually can frazzle our outlook. Slow down and breathe in the day. Find a pocket of time that is just for you.
We cannot nurture our children to the best of our abilities unless we take time for ourselves.
You will be astonished at how happier your outlook will be after you care for yourself. Most importantly, your children will benefit from your refreshed and cheerful outlook!