Archives for posts with tag: managing stress

I invite you to read this with an open heart and an open mind. It’s clear and beautiful…

The Beautiful Truth.

 

Ciao!

In college, I was given this book, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman.  It was my first experience hearing the term “let it go.”

The term has become so popular in every group of people I meet, and has become wonderfully  appropriate for the parents I work with who struggle with their child having a  label/disability.   While I don’t particularly love labels at all, if it’s whats required to get a child the services they need or the classroom that will serve them better, so be it.  Since the child is not aware of the label, why make them aware?  In considering the term “special” education, I think everyone deserves this special-ness.  Don’t you?!

In order for us to understand how to let a child’s disability go, or what I actually mean is – go back to school when everyone was put in a category, pretty, popular, ugly, smart, lonely, athlete etc. When you are put into the “real world” no one tells us- “ok now you can be yourself, change groups if you want, be a part of many groups, hang out alone’  After finishing with organized education, many people follow the crowd. The lucky ones realize they can do what now pleases them!  Then there are the people that get stuck in situations that don’t serve them best.  Not having the place to be “popular and pretty” anymore makes them feel lost.  On the flip side the ones that were “nerdy and unpopular” may begin to thrive, with finding like-minded people.  To realize no one is judging , and no one cares…  By letting these given titles go, the world and life is so much fun!  It allows room to grow to change!

As a therapist working with parents of special needs children I see many parents depressed and anxious about their child.  They can only focus on the future and of the negative.  Will my child ever make friends?  Will he be potty trained?  Will he ever say “I love you” or give a hug?  When I begin to work with a child, I come and play with a child, not an Autistic child, or a Down syndrome child, just a kid who intrinsically wants to be comfortable and learn.

Parents are surprised when I bring out regular toys and sensory items to use with their child. As a therapist they imagine their child’s session will be clinical and different than a “normal” child.  This is the beginning of the impression they will feel, and they will begin to let the label given to their child go…

Who cares if a child has Autism?  If a child can be happy and comfortable and express their needs, it is the first  steps headed in direction of success. If a parent is doing all they can for their child, then it’s all good.  When their child is not in school or having a therapy session, all a parent needs to do is play with their child.   Join the child’s world, do exactly what the child is doing. Let go of what a child is supposed to be doing.  By doing exactly what they are doing, it’s showing them you respect them. Do this every day for 20 minutes. Do not place expectations on the child, no goals.  This is time for loving the child exactly where they are at.

This is the best therapy of all. No therapist or  fancy physician can be with a child and get the same results as a parent can. Lets call it LOVE THERAPY.  You don’t even need to use words, if a child is non-verbal, talking may be overstimulating which can cause repetitive behaviors.  Keep it simple:

 

  • Set aside 20 min(or less) with your child
  • Approach your child
  • Smile
  • Join and copy them
  • Have no distractions, no phone, no computer etc.
  • Let go of your expectations

I know it will help other parents if you have a story to share about “letting go.” Let this be a space of sharing…

Have a wonderful holiday. Practice LOVE THERAPY with your child every day during their break. Write down a short paragraph about the wonderful changes you witness.

Be love,

Shane

Aloha from NYC,

I’m not exactly sure what the statute of limitations is on using Aloha….but it sounds a lot more exciting then just hello;) Either way, GOOD MORNING! I am excited and a tad overwhelmed that my radio career begins today!  Just returning home from my stay in Hawaii, I have unpacked, organized, welcomed Cooper (my baby dog) back into my life, and things are back to usual…. except,  I was wide awake all night, I stopped looking at the clock at 4am. Ugh.  Today’s radio show set me off into thinking of a million things I need to follow up on, do, and remember, oh and I had to move my car this morning. I am usually a good sleeper so needless to say I’m a bit wound up this am.

As adults, most of us are lucky enough to be able to work these issues out, we can write lists, sleep with blinders, meditate, practice yoga etc.  Most children are not taught how to manage stress. Without realizing many parents keep their managing stress a secret, they want their children to have continuous smooth sailing.  I see children get the raw end of the deal when parents have a day that isn’t working and they are the ones who are forced to feel that negative energy.  Whether your child is verbal or non-verbal speak with them.  It actually hurts me when I am out and about and I hear children being spoken at.  In their little lives they learn by actions.  Ask yourself ,or someone you love (who won’t bite your head off) to think about what positive learning experience is a child l receiving when an adults stressful day ends up in their lap.

If a child knows what is going on the night or morning  before (depending on the child) they can learn so much. Communication, daily expectations, and managing time, are three major lessons.  Keep a notebook or a list on the refrigerator, of a schedule or to do list.  This will help your day tremendously, but also will lay out a plan for your child to understand, whether you think they do or not, it’s good communication process. It may take a long time to begin this process, but like any good habit, it takes a bit to make a regular practice.  I like to make three sections, and keep it simple. I use stars, in order of importance. You should include all daily activities and tasks, even ones while your child is in school. At the end of the day there is nothing better then looking at a crossed off  list, share this with your child! Dance in celebration, sing a “I did it” song!

We all have special needs, luckily we have tools to help us through our tangled days.  A child with special needs is sometimes referred to as “being in their own world,” well who isn’t in their own wold? Try driving down Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, the majority of people are in their own worlds.  My overall advise for drivers of Flatbush and parents? SLowwwwwww down….

Love and light to you all,

P.S. I’ll meet you on the radio later!

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