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Let’s face it, being a parent is hard. Anyone that says otherwise is living in a Leave it to Beaver sit-com. As if it wasn’t challenging enough, being the parent of a child with Autism has it’s own mix of hurdles and challenges. In many ways, I guess I am “lucky” because Sebby is super bright, pretty darn verbal (though often on his terms) and is considering high-functioning. Some days though, some weeks even, are just hard. So I’ve been working ways to cope with Autism.
We all have we ways we are coping with Autism, but here are some tips that make a daily appearance in my life.
Any parent knows that children need routine. Most kids are okay with a loose routine, but I’ve found with Sebby that some routines are not to be messed with. At all. It’s funny, because Sebby gets less upset about the structure of the day, but very distressed if we take a different route somewhere. It’s going to sound nuts, but we’ve been helping him cope with Google Maps. It really helps and I suspect at times he knows where we are better than we do.
The Food Wars
I’m really really REALLY thankful that we don’t deal with a bunch of sensory issues when it comes to eating. But what we do deal with is a particular palette. A VERY particular palette. It’s hard, because I want to encourage Sebby (and my other two kids) to try new things but I never want battle – because that can lead to food aversions and refusal to eat, and that’s a bad thing. There’s a lot of creativity around meals. We make a lot of protein shakes, and a ton of fruit, with some fish shaped crackers on the side. The good thing is Sebby is a snacker, so we make it very easy for him.
Sebby doesn’t respond to things the same way my other kids do. It doesn’t help that Quincy, his sister “feeds off him” and parrots him which is one of the most annoying things ever, but what can you do? It might take 6 or 7 times for him to “hear” a request. It’s not that he’s ignoring me, he’s just not making the connection. It certainly doesn’t help that he might learn differently at school. The point is, reward the good behaviors, gently correct the bad ones. Eventually he gets it.
We give Sebby a lot of leeway, more than our other kids. Maybe that’s not fair or right, but the poor kid has so much going on in his head we let some things slide. Maybe we’re creating a monster, but then again, maybe we aren’t.
Sebby is a night owl. He stays up LATE in his room at night. We have a pretty solid bedtime routine that includes stories, songs and sitting on the potty for a good long time before bed (more than most kids I bet) but we still occasionally face bedwetting, (so do 1 in 6 children between the ages of 4-12) And that’s not fun for anyone. So we’ve been using GoodNites® Disposable Underwear to help out.
Bedwetting is a fairly common, developmental condition (yay for once Sebby is a “typical” kid) and there isn’t a way to “train” out of it. The bummer is – kids get embarrassed about it and end up missing out on sleepovers etc because they don’t want to participate. Who wants wet sheets at a friend’s house?
I found GoodNites® Disposable Underwear at my local Fred Meyer.
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