We all experience anxiety sometimes. Long ago, when resources were more scarce and we lived more dangerous lives, anxiety helped us to recognize threats like predators. Even today, it can help us in certain situations. Children can also experience anxiety and, just like with adults, if it isn’t managed, anxiety can make day-to-day life less enjoyable and more difficult.
All Blog Categories
By law, children with support needs have the right to school services. If your child is denied access or you’re dealing with roadblocks, you should take the necessary steps to make sure they receive appropriate services. This process can be intimidating, but it’s part of advocating for your child and ensuring that they receive the education and other services they’re entitled to.
As adults, we typically identify and process our emotions and those of others automatically. It can feel effortless to us, but this is an important skill that autistic people can have difficulty with. There is hope. As a parent guide, you can help your child gain awareness of emotions, which will help them successfully navigate many aspects of their life.
Many of us enjoy the benefits of being online. We connect with people from all over the world, we pursue our interests, we are entertained, and we can learn about any topic that we are interested in. Our autistic children and teens benefit as we do from the online world; however, our youngsters can be more vulnerable to cyber threats such as predators, pornography, and bullying if they do not understand the dangers, and if they do not establish and use internet safety skills.
An autistic individual can experience eating or food challenges at any age, but studies indicate that even though eating difficulties can and do carry over into adulthood, they typically improve. A compilation of studies published by Science Direct, authored by Susan D. Mayes, Ph.D., and Hana Zickgraf, Ph.D., report that atypical eating behaviors are significantly more common in autism (70.4%) compared to children with other disorders (13.1%), and neurotypical children (4.8%).
Even though this can look different for every autistic person, autistic individuals – especially children, commonly struggle with executive functioning. Individuals with executive dysfunction can lack acquired motivation to achieve goals and prepare for normal events in day-to-day life (i.e., money management), and they often experience difficulties picking up on skills such as organization, planning, and reasoning without guided learning experiences. Despite these challenges, autistic individuals can learn to manage money.
As loving parents, we want our children to succeed in life. But sometimes, this pushes us blindly into overcompensation. We find ourselves frequently sneaking in and organizing our autistic teen’s school work to ensure they have a positive next day in class. Or we continue to do our kid’s laundry because we do not trust that they will do it themselves and that they will end up with no clean clothes in their closet. By not letting our kid fly on their own, we teach them that they are not accountable and lack responsibility. In turn, we presume incompetence, even if it only pertains to some areas of their lives. This can lead our children to feel that independence is either impossible or that they are flawed.
When we insist on complete control of our children, we do not presume competence. Instead, we presume incompetence, with the underlying belief that our kids cannot learn and achieve growth unless we always step in for them. When we presume competence in our children, we believe that they possess the ability to learn and develop.
We all have different studying and learning styles – audio, visual, and in print. Our success with learning depends largely upon how we reflect on our past experiences with studying, and how we repeat what has worked for us. So, what are the best ways to help your autistic teen to study?
When the world around us pushes us to stress overload, as it often does, we turn to our long-learned coping mechanisms to navigate the challenges. But what if we are autistic, and have crossed the threshold of overwhelm? When our emotional resources are tapped out, in exhaustion our brain may react by going into a protective mode called shutdown.
All parents feel guilty sometimes, but it seems to occur more often when you’re parenting a child who has special needs. You might feel stressed, sad, or even angry or resentful sometimes – and then you feel guilty for having these completely normal emotions! And of course, there are the feelings and worries that go with the types of treatment you choose for your child!
Learning how to guide your child with RDI® – like any skill – takes practice. When you take the time and effort to learn, practice, and implement the skills needed to guide your child, you, your child, and your entire family will reap the benefits.
Parents that set boundaries are less apt to overcompensate for their children, but many parents find it difficult to set limits and end up overcompensating for their child when they are stressed or tired, feel guilty, or simply because they feel that it won’t work. But setting limits can improve your child’s behavior, reduce their anxiety, and help them to develop a greater ability for self-regulation. It also teaches them respect for and consideration of others.
In this webinar, Certified RDI® Consultants Kat Lee and Dr. Sarah Wayland discuss how the pandemic has affected both us as parents, and our children. During the last two years or so, a lot of parents have struggled just to get their kids through each day. Besides the emotional impact of COVID itself on both adults and children, there are many other struggles to contend with.
It is a limiting and unfair belief that all autistics are introverts. Just like neurotypical people, autistics are introverted, extroverted, and everything in-between.
When your autistic child has support from you, they can learn to manage new situations, process appropriate emotional responses, and practice self-regulation – even with the changes that come with the holiday season.
Autistic children particularly struggle with making sense of new surroundings, changes in routine, and changes in the emotions of those around them – holiday season or not so go into the season prepared and ready to equip your child to understand and even embrace change.
In the last year, we have seen a rise in screen addiction, especially among vulnerable populations, such as teens and children with autism. How can we help?
There are a lot of different thoughts and feelings happening when you think your child might have autism. Sometimes it’s difficult to know whether your child is on the autism spectrum, if there’s a developmental delay, or if your child is just developing just a little later than usual. When it comes to what may be autism symptoms, what causes you to seek out a diagnosis?
In this webinar from the RDIconnect online learning community, Kat Lee interviews RDI® Program Certified Consultant Blair Armstrong on communication in the home. They discuss the differences between imperative and declarative communication, why parent training is so important in the RDI® program, and what myths about autism and communication are being perpetuated in the autism community.
One year after COVID Kat Lee and Lisa Palasti are coming back to talk about how they survived and more importantly, how you can continue to move out of the chaos.
Self-compassion is essential. It nourishes our mental well-being by reducing anxiety and depression. It keeps us from making self-limiting choices and from thinking thoughts about ourselves that can stifle our motivation and initiative.
As a parent of an autistic child, do you feel burned out or stressed? Are you in need of time alone, with nobody to watch the kids, yet you feel a heavy load of guilt?
Learn how co-regulation improves communication, encourages independence and practical ideas to implement this core concept of parenting at home.
Your priority in addressing violent stimming is to remain calm and to keep your child and family safe. It may feel incredibly difficult when you are in the middle of an aggressive behavioral episode with your child but know that there are things that you can do to help the situation.
Autistic burnout can occur at any point in your child’s life, but it commonly presents during times of transition, such as toddlerhood, adolescence, or young adulthood. At these pivoting stages in life, children experience many changes which may promote stress and can lead to an episode of burnout.
Being asked questions is perceived as a demand by many children. In fact, questions or demands actually raise blood pressure in the child, putting them on the defensive! Use declarative language instead!
Your child learns and develops from planned activities, but with a balance of free time, space is given for your child to naturally develop the motivation to learn.
Fall has arrived, and your child’s school has gone to online education due to the pandemic. You are not trained as a teacher. You have no idea how to manage online schooling for your child who has autism. What should the schooling focus be? How do you begin to adjust your life to this?
Do you look at your therapist or consultant as the authority that possesses the main role in your child’s autism treatment? You are the one that holds the dreams for your child’s development in life, and you are also the one that can best provide home-based opportunities for your child’s mental and self-growth.
Dr. Sarah Wayland and Kat Lee talk about the difficulties faced by our kids in the days of COVID and how we can help them – and the entire family – to regulate.
Every now and then I come across a message so timely, an interview so relevant that I find myself wanting it to arrive in your inbox before I’ve even sent it. Dr. Sarah Wayland, RDI®️️ parent...
It’s Sunday—like no Sunday we’ve ever known. Maisie and Pete: This short description of steps to maintain and healthy lifestyle while our children are home all day will quickly pinpoint important...
When Family Time is Not a Choice Even the most intrepid saint-like parents might feel the ominous weight and pressure of cabin fever when family time is not a choice but a 24/7 sequestered reality. ...
How Believing in Our Kids will Help Them Believe in Themselves
How can you help your child with autism reach their potential? Regulation, the MindGuiding Relationship, and the right amount of challenge all play a part.
Slowing down is always the first thing I look at with any new family. You have to take care of yourself FIRST.
At RDIconnect, our programs focus on rebuilding the brain’s neural pathways that have disrupted the naturally occurring parent-child Guiding Relationship, which opens the door to learning!
The following video clip is from a recent planned engagement.
What challenges are normal when it comes to Guiding your child with autism? Certified RDI® Consultant Kat Lee shares her insight in this webinar.
How to Treat Your Autistic Child Respectfully and Create a Better Family Life
Are you going to be the parent who believes in his/her child? Are you going to presume competence?
One of the most common concerns we hear from mothers of special needs children…
What are they really trying to tell you when they say “no”?
You have permission to slow down!