This information applies to parenting both neurotypical children, as well as children with Autism, Asperger's, and ADHD. Many parents I work with find themselves constantly trying to put out fires and are always chasing behavior. Without some way to be proactive, you will always find yourself dealing with behaviors. (Click here for a larger version of the psychological needs infographic)
I encourage parents to examine these needs and determine which ones are high for their child in general and then work at meeting those needs proactively. I'll be talking more about meeting these needs proactively in the future, but for now I'll summarize.
Proactive parenting involves meeting psychological needs before they cause a conflict or a behavior problem. It is a more subtle approach to parenting and involves a bit more thought and planning. However, it is nearly always far more effective.
Which needs seem to be strongest for your children? What proactive solutions have you tried? Let me know in the comment section. Make sure to check back for future posts on proactive parenting. I'll be sharing my experiences from my time in wilderness therapy, therapeutic foster care, play therapy, and family therapy.
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The Spectrum Parents group is made up of local parents of children on the Autism Spectrum. The group is "closed" or private, which means you'll need to request an invite from the group moderator, Suzi Noyes. I know many parents who are able to build supportive relationships with others, even though everyone is so busy with life. You'll find links to resources, websites, blogs, events calendars, and, most importantly, other parents to connect with.
One of the group's goals is to remain positive and helpful, which means that you can turn to other parents, without the fear of being judged. If you're a parent in Virginia Beach or Hampton Roads with a child on the spectrum, I'd really encourage you to check out the Spectrum Parents group.
by Dr. Rick Ellis
Spectrum Psychological's Dr. Rick Ellis, posted this graphic recently on our Facebook page. He wrote, "What you see is not what you get on the Spectrum. ASD kids are usually misidentified first as ADHD, then ODD, etc.. Anxiety/ Arousal/ Dysregulation is at the center of the emotional/ behavioral difficulties and should be addressed through consistency, predictability, stability and structure. Sensory issues are often overlooked and must be addressed." Click to see the original post of Layers of the Onion for ASD
Autism behaviors can be mistaken for so many disorders, since many disorders share some of the same symptoms, such as difficulty paying attention, hyperfocusing, and perseverating. Getting a solid psychological evaluation can be crucial to good intervention and outcomes for children on the Spectrum. (Did anyone catch my silly reference to the movie Shrek?)
What is a Neurotherapist?
How does "feedback" help the brain calm itself?
How does the brain know it's controlling the game?
Let me know in the comments what you think about neurofeedback for yourself or for your child. I love to hear from readers and always respond to your comments.
ADHD Tips for Parents: Background Music
You can find the link to start the grant application process on the their website. You'll need start a user account on their website. If, in the last 90 days, you've experienced a job loss, foreclosure on your home, natural disaster, a death or critical illness, or termination of employment, you're family might qualify for an award of financial support. According to their site, they review applications once per month, so you might consider applying a second or a third time, if your family is not chosen the first time.
I think it's great that organizations like AutismCares offers assistance to families in need under these types of circumstances. Do you know of other resources where families with a child or family member with autism can receive financial asssistance? Let us know in the comments, I'd love to post about other resources.