With the start of a new secular year, many parents of children with autism may be thinking about their New Year resolutions. Here are some tips to make 2015 an amazing year:
1. Organization: Many parents of children with autism feel overwhelmed due to having to maintain a large amount of paperwork.
Parents may want to use one of the following different technology applications to help become better organized:
2. Maintaining child’s therapist and treatments: If your child’s therapist and treatment schedule is becoming exhausting, make a list of your child’s treatment programs and think about the following:
a. Which treatments/therapists are having the most or least impact on your child?
b. Does the therapist or person in charge of the program understand your child and family’s needs? Does his or her personality fit with your child?
c. How much time does it take to travel to and from the therapy program? Is the amount of travel time worth the benefits your child is receiving? Are there any similar programs closer to where you live?
3. Delegating responsibility: Remember that it is not always easy to handle all the roles and responsibilities related to being a parent of a child with special needs and maintaining a home. Share the responsibilities with all members of your family. For example, you can assign everyone a weekly task by having them spin a chore wheel or pick chores out of a hat. Make sure to clearly explain your expectations on how the chore should be completed.
4. Time with others: Make sure you spend quality time with your spouse and children –individually and as a family. Even a few minutes per day can help to reconnect and maintain your relationships. When planning weekly or bi-monthly family time, rotate amongst family members and allow each person to decide how that designated time should be spent.
5. Time for yourself: Try to set aside a certain amount of time per day or week for yourself. Even if the time is spent doing something very simple such as playing a game on your phone. Allow your mind and body to rest and recharge. Remember that even a little down time for yourself will allow you to better handle all upcoming challenges.
Feel free to use the comments space below to share your tips on making 2015 an amazing year.
Dr. Frances Victory received her PhD in Developmental Psychology at CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. Her thesis was titled, "Exploring the Role of Perceived Religiosity on Daily Life, Coping, and Parenting for Jewish Parents of Children with Autism." You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org