When Your Teen With Autism Gets Aggressive

Here I go again, I feel like I come on here from time to time and talk to you all about how to deal with your child who has autism and aggression. I’ve noticed a trend myself on posts where I discuss autism aggression and meltdowns and I wish I could tell you that it gets better. The truth is, it gets much harder especially when your child becomes a teenager. They get taller, they weigh more, they eat more, and they are much stronger. 

I wish I could tell you that I have a few tips to help you with aggression and violence, but I truly don’t have many tips to give. I can however, give you my experience and words and just tell you that you definitely have to put on love more than anything as well as be physically fit, mentally fit, and emotionally fit. You guys, it is really hard.  Do your best and rest up when you need to and God will give you peace that surpasses all understanding when you need it most for sure.

“Look deep into my heart, God, and find out everything I am thinking. Don’t let me follow evil ways, but lead me in the way that time has proven true.” Psalms‬ ‭139:23-24‬

Listening to: Andrew Ripp Jericho

Latest podcast: To listen to the podcast click down here👇🏼

https://anchor.fm/molisfam

Get Maritza’s Books Autism in Our Home and The Autism Stress Less Guide on Amazon and Barnes and Noble Now!! Putting God first when parenting your child with autism is the best thing you can do for your family! I want to help you to get your mind right and point you to the right resources. My second book is a small booklet and out on Amazon now!! Autism in Our Home: The Making of a Bittersweet Family https://www.amazon.com/author/maritzamoliswww.bn.com/s/9781642993400

Autism Stress Less Guide Booklet: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08NTZ4XW9/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_m18TFb7282ZSV

If you wanna go much deeper than the blogs and podcasts are giving you then make sure you go to www.strategies2cope.com and I can go one on one with you. I can give you a free 10 min consultation to see if I am the right fit for you so just go to strategies2cope.com and send me a message!

Check out my husband👉🏼Kevin on his YouTube page for more tips!https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClCgg1lNqI3cmeE4fBHFjvw

http://bksnfr.me/Maritza_A._Molis

https://booksniffer.com/maritza-a-molis

The FREE Autism Stress Less Guide

Hi Everyone! Happy October and it’s almost over. I wanted to post the FREE PDF of The Autism Stress Less Guide I created to help parents to stress less when parenting their child with autism. If this works for you great! If not, please pass it on to someone whom you think would benefit from it. Thank you and praying you are all stressing less this month!

“A Heart At Peace Gives Life To The Body.” Proverbs 14:30

Listening to: Awake My Soul-Hillsong

Latest podcast: https://anchor.fm/molisfam/episodes/The-FREE-Autism-Stress-Less-Guide-elg21a

Get Maritza’s First Book Autism in Our Home on Amazon and Barnes and Noble Now!! Putting God first when parenting your child with autism is the best thing you can do for your family! I want to help you to get your mind right and point you to the right resources. My second book is in the works and will be out soon!! Autism in Our Home: The Making of a Bittersweet Family https://www.amazon.com/dp/1642993409/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_D2BLFbQJ0F8CK

If you wanna go much deeper than the blogs and podcasts are giving you then make sure you go to www.strategies2cope.com and I can go one on one with you. I can give you a free 10 min consultation to see if I am the right fit for you so just go to strategies2cope.com and send me a message!

Check out my husband👉🏼Kevin on his YouTube page for more tips!https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClCgg1lNqI3cmeE4fBHFjvw

http://bksnfr.me/Maritza_A._Molis

https://booksniffer.com/maritza-a-molis

Free PDF:

Breakthroughs: Teens, Screams, And Everything In-Between

Let’s talk about breakthroughs and when challenging behaviors present with your child who has autism and developmental disabilities. Jaiden has lots of challenging behaviors and what that looks like is being disobedient, screaming, spitting, kicking, throwing himself on the floor, biting, pulling hair, scratching himself and there maybe a few more I can’t recall.

Back in the day like 1700’s they had what were called norms of behavior where there were rules and norms of society and for those people who did not follow the norms of society they were called misfits. A long time ago, they would place the misfits those people that couldn’t follow the common rules of society, in separate places to live in the so called asylums. How crazy is it to think about that they placed people with criminal behaviors, intellectual disabilities, dementia, and schizophrenia all these people were bunched into asylums. I read that in the 1800s they began to separate the criminal individuals from the others and then eventually the mentally ill was bunched in with the people that had intellectual disabilities, however they still kept all of these people secluded from society. It wasn’t until they discontinued mental hospitals and institutions for people with intellectual disabilities in the 1980s where things started to change.

What happens now when our children with autism and intellectual disabilities have breakdowns and a first episode of psychosis? What do you do as a parent? I can tell you a little bit about how it’s been for Jaiden and how hard it is being a teenager with all that he has going on. Jaiden has a lot of stuff going on because his hormones are fluctuating all over the place, he’s 13, nonverbal, has seizures and is on medications. So of course he has frustrations right?! His first episode of so called psychosis was December 2019. The look in his eyes changed he screamed repeatedly, not any of us could help him calm down and became combative.

What we did as parents was made sure he was safe from harm, we were safe from harm and called the psychiatrist left a message for him and then called the emergency room for psych intake nurse. We spoke with a nurse who basically left another message for the psychiatrist to call us as it was an emergency. That’s pretty much it. His meds were changed and he was stable within three days. I know it’s a lot for some you to take in, but I feel who better to take care of Jaiden then his parents. It was hard, but we helped him manage and you can do the same for your child too.

I’ve been reading the wonderful book by Bo Hejlskov Elven “How to make behaving positively possible for people with autism and developmental disabilities.” He explains that nobody with an intellectual disability ADHD or other developmental difficulties are referred to diagnostic assessments and treatments because they experience problems themselves. The actual reason for the assessment is because someone close to that person has difficulties handling the person in question. Ouch! When I read that I was guilty and frustrated because there have been times where I have reacted when I shouldn’t have. We know that some of these behaviors our children have are very hard to change.

We have to except the responsibility and we have to be motivated to help change the maladaptive behaviors. If the responsibility is placed within a professional person helping your child, and they accept the responsibility then the probability of problems disappearing will improve greatly as well. We have seen this with Jaiden too. We have to find methods to change it and I know that there are some behaviors that are not OK. I totally understand that, trust me, Jaiden can get into some dangerous behaviors like slapping, hitting, kicking, biting, and pounding. I can also talk to you about behaviors that are difficult but not dangerous such as him being disobedient, him biting himself, him literally digging in his underpants and sniffing his fingers things like that are disobedient, but not dangerous. So how do we deal with these things?

I’ve been working with some great behavioral therapists and one thing that I have learned is that you can’t remove a strategy for difficult situations without replacing it with a good one so you always have to find a better strategy in the long run. We have to learn how to endure these behaviors and work with the causes we have and step in immediately when they’re disobedient, when they are abusive, and dangerous. We have to figure this out as their parents.

It’s so much easier to blame other people too because we don’t know what to do with our children. Trust me, I was like that about a year ago and was blaming everybody but myself and what I’ve learned is I didn’t want to lose power over my life. I’ve had grandparents tell me just give me a few months and you’ll see I’ll change him, but that kind of thinking is not the right kind of thinking because my Jaiden with all of his disabilities doesnt need a schedule lots of candy and scolding or punishment Jaiden needs structure and also needs to be present with his difficulties.

I know that if Jaiden can behave he will behave I know that it’s hard because he lacks communication skills that we have, he lacks patience that we have, he lacks flexibility. Jaiden will get into a state of anxiety and react because of not being able to be flexible with certain things. I have learned a lot about Jaiden, a lot about myself, and brain development. I’ve graduated with a psychology degree, but as a parent to a child with severe special needs I don’t think I’ve learned particularly too much. I have attended lectures, conferences on mental health and adults with autism. I have learned a lot about dealing with behavioral problems and I also worked in and out a group homes, in a behavioral health unit, but even with all of these things I am still a parent and I still have a child with behavioral difficulties.

I have a wonderful behavioral health team in place for Jaiden, however I still need guidance for how to understand and deal with behavioral difficulties and it is rarely given from a psychiatrist. You will get explanations of this medication or that medication, what works what doesn’t work, what may work and what may not work, therefore we use a lot of working methods and a lot of non-working methods. It is frustrating so I will tell you yes I have experienced lots of problems because I have not had a lot of methods that are necessary to help to deal with Jaidens behaviors therefore I have to learn methods and take responsibility and work with my child who has special needs and I want the same thing for you to.

I can literally go on and on and I don’t wanna do that because I know that you don’t have much time because you’re a very busy parent. I get it. Hope this rent helped you a little bit with your teen with screams and everything in-between. Please check out the autism stress less podcast and click the link below to see the top 20 autism podcasts I’m number 11!

https://blog.feedspot.com/autism_podcasts/

“I’ve commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go.”Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭CEV‬‬

Today on the podcast: https://anchor.fm/molisfam/episodes/Breakthroughs-Teens–Screams-And-Everything-In-between-efgfpu

Get Maritza’s First Book Autism in Our Home on Amazon and Barnes and Noble Now!! Putting God first when parenting your child with autism is the best thing you can do for your family! I want to help you to get your mind right and point you to the right resources. My second book Confident Autism Parenting will be out soon!! https://www.amazon.com/author/maritzamoliswww.bn.com/s/9781642993400

If you wanna go much deeper than the blogs and podcasts are giving you then make sure you go to www.strategies2cope.com and I can go one on one with you. I can give you a free 10 min consultation to see if I am the right fit for you so just go to strategies2cope.com and send me a message!

Check out my husband👉🏼Kevin on his YouTube page for more tips!https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClCgg1lNqI3cmeE4fBHFjvw

Are you finally burnt out? 3 tips for you and your child with autism

Whenever you have concerns about your own mental health you are probably right, so please do yourself and your family a favor and quickly get some help. Whether it be speaking to a trusted member of your church, work group or a counselor so that you can talk about all that you and your family are facing. It helps to have someone to talk to other than a family member because the advice will be based on the facts of what is going on in your situation. If you feel your problems go deeper than that then please head to your nearest ER department and get checked out. Do you have concerns about your child and their development or behaviors it’s important to take action right away. Parenting a child with autism can be very stressful, however you don’t have to be burnt out. We have lots that goes on in our family day to day and it varies in the severity of how things happen. We have gone through numerous amounts of appointments, hospitalizations, medications, therapies, familial issues you name it we have gone through it. Just this past week Jaiden had a toy thrown at him from a classmate, got stung by a bee, tripped and hurt his foot and discovered he could open a child proof bottle of Benadryl and drank it. The whole family was in the living room and we were all just hanging out and I said “Where is Jaiden?!” There ya go. Lots to handle in one week, however I did not go stir crazy nor did the GRAND parents 😉

Here are three tips to help you and your child with autism.

1. When figuring out the best interventions, medications, and therapies it is important for you to take a step back and take a deep breath so you don’t become overwhelmed. Every child has different strengths and different weaknesses. The therapies that you choose for your child should be suited best for them with the goals to improve whatever it is that they need socially, academically and behaviorally.

2. Work closely with professionals that are helping your child. Find good ones and if the ones that are paired up with your child are not the best for them then find others. Work with them closely to follow your child’s progress. It really makes a difference. If you need to find different professional for autism in your local area try looking at www.myautismteam.com.

3. Know that God is always with you during the trials. At times you may want to scream, run away and are driven to madness. God KNOWS your pain and will always guide you to help your family in the areas that you all need. Stay close to him, pray, praise and stay in peace.

I know you may feel like you may be losing yourself, your mind and your family. Don’t care about what anyone else thinks about your situation. Some days will be great and some day will hurt like hell. Keep yourself spiritually, mentally and physically fit. Don’t run from God and don’t run from your family. God will keep you in peace, run to him and take a break already.

jai

I wanted to do this blog to let you know that you are not alone. I wrote the book “Autism In Our Home, The Making Of A Bitter Sweet Family” to help you believe that with God NO THING is impossible when parenting a child with autism. I want those of you who feel like you don’t know where to turn after your child receives a diagnosis of autism to turn to God and start advocating for your child and then other families. I know for some of you, it’s very hard. You may have more than one child on the spectrum. Hold tight to God and don’t let him go. Keep believing the best in your child/children. We are praying for you daily. Have a blessed week!

I plan to have a book release party soon when the book is done and if you like, You may even be able to get a free copy to share.

Listening to: “Do it Again” Elevation Worship

Isaiah 26:3 New King James Version (NKJV)

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.”

Autism In Our Home: This Week

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Strength, support, compassion from others is what I have been blessed with since my son Jaiden was diagnosed with autism. It wasn’t always like that especially in the beginning. I had to given up lots of my time to educate myself in areas of education for Jaiden, therapies, medications and now he is a tween going through the dreaded puberty.

I am super grateful for his educators and the lovely grandparents that have reminded me from time to time that Jaiden has lots of great things about him. I need to be reminded of the good he does especially when he is having screaming fits, meltdowns and acting out. How many times I prayed for a better way to parent him and the rest of my boys.

I like many of you at times will question my parenting skills. Am I doing the right things? Am I good enough of a wife and mother to continue doing this?

Today Jaiden had a meltdown when Sebastian our 6 year old was with me picking him up. Clearly, I know that the meltdown was due to a change in routine, but very hard for Sebastian to understand why his brother is pushing him around and screaming. The question arose again , am I good enough Lord, cause this is very hard at times. The answer I clearly receive from God is yes. Yes, you are good enough for your child and yes you will get through the hardest struggles like I did. Not without God almighty though. Praying, reading the word, and worship are crucial when developing your relationship with Christ. He is all you will need to get by when life hits you with a blow that hurts so bad you lose the wind in your gut.

At times, you will feel alone but you are NOT alone. Four important things for parental sanity lets get right to it.

1.Time…with God and your spouse if you have one

2. Support…from those who have gone through the same struggle, from professionals that work with your child and from friends and family that love you

3. Education…research, read and educate your mind about the struggles. Ask to visit your child’s school as well to see how they work with your child to get some tips.

4. Commitment…love your child, spend time with them, believe the best in them, though they will drive you mad at times.

This has been an interesting summer. I have been working, taking care of the family when not working, trying to start a ministry and am just finishing my first book. As a matter of fact, it’s in the cover design process at the moment. I have been super excited, down at times and elated after going on a trip with my husband Kevin of 10 years. Have any of you experienced any ups and downs this summer? I am sure you’ve got some great stories.

Kevin is a cast your care, have some fun kind of a guy whereas I’m a what about this? What about that kind of girl? I started writing a few years back to help others move toward a change for their lives as I love to help people and I didn’t think I would be ever finishing a book, or starting a ministry. God has pushed me through so many obstacles, he has been there through so many screams, bed wetting, hair pulling, toy throwing moments.

I wanted to do this blog to let you know that you are not alone. I wanted to write the book “Autism In Our Home, The Making Of A Bitter Sweet Family” to help others believe that with God no thing is impossible when parenting a child with autism. I want those who feel like they don’t know where to turn after receiving a diagnosis of autism for their child to turn to God and start advocating for their child and then other families. I know for some of you, it’s very hard. You may have more than one child on the spectrum. Hold tight to God and don’t let him go. Keep believing the best in your child/children. We are praying for you daily. Have a blessed week!

I plan to have a book release party soon when the book is done and if you like, You may even be able to get a free copy to share.

Psalm 62:2 AMP

” He alone is my rock and my salvation, my defense and my strong tower; I will not be shaken or disheartened”

Listening to: Citipointe Live into the deep

4 Powerful things Parents can do to lead the way when a diagnosis of autism has been made

Focus on your resources. 

You will be coming in to contact with so many resources. Lots of websites, books, blog posts, and social media all have a ton of information that will help you on your journey through helping your child with autism. A parent’s job doesn’t begin and end with research you have to put into practice with your child the things you find that work. Focus on three things, master those and then move on to the next three. Please remember this, God will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go we must trust God in the process (Psalm 32:8-11).

Know who you’re taking your child to see.

Knowing exactly who you want to help your child empowers you create the village you need to help your child succeed with their therapies. Do they need speech, occupational health, medication, music therapy, aquatic therapy? Are there certain family members that your child adores? It’s important for you to know the names of the professionals that work with your child, what is their approach in helping your child and even if they are a good fit to work with your child.

Learn from your experiences.

Some of the best insight you can have when parenting a child with autism is to watch and see what made it a good or bad experience for your child? Did they learn anything, are they having a hard time? How do you decide what therapies are best, what therapists work well with your child? What are some of the details that make that experience positive or negative? So in reverse, think about how you can make the experience for your child a good one. www.myautismteam.com is a great website to connect with other parents to find out what health care professionals get good reviews and which therapists may be helpful for your child.

Your time and attention to your whole family is extremely important.

When parents have invested their time with their child with autism some may tend to focus so much on how to help their child they lose focus of the whole family unit. Be more eager to spend time with God first in prayer asking for his leading and wisdom and with your spouse if married, so you two can be on the same page. Share your hurts, wants and needs with each other, pray together and definitely have a date night if you can set up a babysitter, if not take advantage of school hours when they are school aged and have day dates!

Remember that there is no shortage of information out there in the world for you to consume. To have the least amount of anxiety, be sure to understand that where there is no peace in any situation that is a warning for you to take a step back and reevaluate what to do next. No peace…No go…

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” Psalm 32:8

Now I want to hear from you! How do you parent your child with autism and keep it together? Which of the four points do you feel have helped you? Let me know in the comments below! 

Listening to: Shawn Mendes “In My Blood”

Blended Families Read This!

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When you come into a marriage and one or both persons have had a previous relationship where there are children its gets tricky. However, what if the children are both great kids and one is with autism it gets even trickier. When I met Kevin I was super excited to meet such a great guy with such great energy. When he met my boys I was like a lion read to pounce if he made one mistake concerning them. He was great all around with me and with them. If I needed something for Julian he was readily there, When Jaiden was diagnosed with epilepsy he was there, when I had to medicate Jaiden for the first time he was there, when I found out Jaiden would need therapies he was there and after Jaiden was diagnosed with autistic disorder he was there for not only me but Julian and Jaiden too. My behaviors after the initial diagnosis of Autism was to delve into as much material as I could to find a “cure” and when Kevin didn’t join in I punished him.

When you come into a marriage with kids the non biological parent has to show ownership of those children. I understood they were not Kevin’s children to begin with, but I wanted him to show he was ready to be a dad and a family man. I had displayed favoritism when it came to my kids and that was wrong. Marriage is trust and I will say if you don’t trust a man or woman with your children NEVER marry them. Jesus said ” A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Kevin had already made the decision to love my boys when he met them and I was emotionally a mess from being in my previous relationship and didn’t believe anyone would love my kids as much as I did. The truth is Kevin was and is the best gift that God has ever given me and my kids. Though Kevin didn’t have the natural love I have for my boys he did love my boys and he did so by choice. Divorces happen when a spouse says “You will not be around forever but my children will be and if there is a choice I will choose my kids.” That is terrible mistake, ownership needs to be shared by both parents. Kids need to see parents operating as team. From the moment I met Kevin all he did was preach “WE, WE, WE” I come from a blended family and growing up with a stepfather I always saw my mom and stepfather working as a team when it came to my sister and I. However, my emotions did get the best of me, I was strongly opinionated and when things got tough in our marriage instead of going to him and loving him I chose to go against him. Don’t go against your spouse, you  are to leave your father and mother and CLEAVE to your spouse. 

Once I figured this out everything fell into place concerning our marriage. I needed a break away from our marriage to pray, get closer to God and quiet the noise that was going on all around me and my family.  Everyone at some point in their marriage will come to a place where they will not be able to solve a problem on their own. Getting help from a pastor, counselor or coach is sign of wisdom and not a sign of weakness.  I highly encourage those of you who are at odds with your spouse now to PLEASE have a teachable spirit and get some outside help. Once we both got some outside help things began to shift in our relationship. I began to have more faith in God and in turn started to see Kevin in a different light. You have got to trust Kevin with your heart and your kids is what I kept hearing God tell me, having time away from Kevin I realized that he isn’t the biological father of Julian and Jaiden however I knew that he loved my boys and I wanted to repair our marriage not only for Julian and Jaiden but for our biological son Sebastian, for all of them to see how we are a team.  All of our decisions are made together and we don’t choose sides. We want for our children to see that God is first and foremost, we are solid as husband and wife and in turn our family is on solid ground because of that.

  • Love God, trust that he has a plan for your marriage , read the bible, go to church, prayer groups, worship events and in time he will begin to show you what that plan is
  • Love your spouse, pray they have a peace that surpasses all understanding make time for one another, go on dates and be playful with one another especially in front of your kids. Be a team, united together always and honor each other in front of your children.
  • Love your kids, pray for them, show them what is truly important when it comes to family and later on they will show the same exact thing when they are faced with similar moments.

Remember it is God that enables us to be parents they are a temporary assignment. We need God and his direction and once your priorities are right everything else becomes right. Get right with God, spend time with him, trust him in the process and your family will be secure, blessed and at peace.

Have a blessed week!

 

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1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

How to help your child stay safe at home when he is a runner

My son was diagnosed with autistic disorder at the age of two. He displayed a slew of behaviors that a lot of kids with autism have such as insistence on sameness, meltdowns, biting on things that he shouldn’t be biting on, and bolting. Before Jaiden was born I had only my son Julian and I would go to a lot of different places and some of the places you guys are familiar with, such as the grocery store, the mall, the post office and even church without any worries of my child fleeing. Jaiden was an active little child right from the start and when he started walking he had this so many interesting things. He took much interest with spinning objects such as a cartwheel spinners on lawns, doors that would open and shut, lights that would flicker on and off, ceiling fans and shopping carts.

I never thought that I would ever have to hold onto my child for dear life when with a group of friends at church, at the zoo or at a childs birthday party. I found myself super stressed out whenever going to these places as Jaiden would just bolt out of nowhere. My husband and I would find out the hard way that Jaiden needed constant supervision after he would flee from our presence out into a neighbors yard because he liked the door or the porch lights. This did happen on a handful of occasions thankfully. Back then when he was young I didn’t know that this was called “elopement”. I would then frantically secure Jaiden with various items after figuring he could at any time just leave us. These items are more for the 4 and under group of kids and these items to note are:

  1. I used a monkey back pack leash Animal 2 in 1 Harness http://amzn.to/2q8PUPX he was so in love with it I couldn’t stand It cause I used it for safety he was just using it for tug of war!
  2. I used a chair with a strap and tray, looks like a big high chair what’s called Rifton chair http://www.abledata.com/product/rifton-toddler-chair-models-e760-e770-e780 we used for meals and story time because he could not sit still I thank God for Andrea who was Jaidens occupational therapist at the time as she was the one who recommended we get this for Jaiden.
  3. We loved to take the family on walks by the lake as we lived right across the street from it so we would keep Jaiden secure in a  Maclaren stroller http://amzn.to/2poeQGc We used this stroller for years and well past the age of four for him though he looked big in it. I was thankful we were able to have something like this as I feared for his safety daily when going out on trips to the park, zoo etc.

It took a lot for my husband and I to go anywhere with the family because of how out of nowhere Jaiden would just get up and run or have a huge meltdown when we stopped him until we started to understand what his running, bolting and elopement was all about. According to research done on children with autism it is said about 49% of kids with autism elope. It is a scary thing for parents especially when you have a child who is newly diagnosed you may have a child that bolts, but I want you to understand that it is not your fault and that it is truly something that happens to our kids with special needs and autism. It is the scariest thing for any parent, stepparent, or caregiver to go through. There are stories all over the news where kids with special needs and autism are found in lakes and rivers because they have just left with no notice and wander off.

The way that I have dealt with the bolting, running and the wandering is that I have made sure that Jaidens areas are secure. That is making sure we put in a fenced in yard, placing locks on gates, locks on doors and windows to where he can’t reach them. Jaiden also has some great help from his teachers at his school in Westlake, Ohio where they do applied behavior analysis (ABA) which is a form of behavioral therapy that rewards them with a reinforcement upon achieving a desirable goal. More on ABA therapy in another blog to come.

The national autism association has an article about the percentages of our kids that flee, run, wander and or elope. Please educate yourself and others about this as you will be helping a family that may not know the risks. The article is found here:
http://nationalautismassociation.org/new-study-highlights-lethal-risks-of-missing-persons-with-autism/

Working with our Police Departments is also another great way to inform your community if you have a child with autism and you can explain that you are new to the area or that you have a child who is at risk for wandering. I would always keep their safety first and ask if you can have them fingerprint your child and update dental records just in case your child does go missing. I know this is a lot to take in for some of you, however it is a MUST if you have a child who does wander off.

As my son Jaiden has become older, he understands more now that he cannot wander off and he does know that he can get into all sorts of troubles if he does. It is hard for both kids that are non verbal and verbal to understand safety when they are young. As time goes on my hope is that you and your family find ways to help your child and keep him safe. Rely on God and run to him when you are in distress. Have a great week! 

“Those who know your name trust you, O LORD, because you have never deserted those who seek your help.” Psalm 9:10 (GW)

A few options concerning Autism and Early intervention

As a parent we always have a hunch as to when we believe something just “isn’t right” with our child.

Early signs of autism can include:

  • Abnormal social approaches such as not being able to voice interests, back and forth conversations, showing little to no emotion
  • Poor eye contact for some, lack of facial expressions
  • Barely interested in playing with other peers
  • A need for the same routines, difficulty with transitions
  • Fixed interest on certain objects
  • Sensory issues meaning indifferent to sounds, lights, smells and textures

All of our children are different, however these are some of the traits that kids with autism will exhibit.

There are a lot of websites, books and articles on what to look for when concerned about your child and their behavior. One resource I like is the national autism association and I have provided their link below.
http://nationalautismassociation.org/resources/signs-of-autism/

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), autism now affects about 1 in 50 children. Don’t quote me, but I believe that is 1 in 42 boys as boys are more prevalent to have autism vs. girls. That is a scary statistic, considering the rate was estimated at 1 in 88 in 2007 and 1 in 1,000 just ten years ago.  https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all kids are screened for autism at ages 18 and 24 months. Please get your children screened as soon as they are 18 months as this will help you to figure out your next steps if your child does show any red flags. All you have to do is call and make an appointment for your childs well child appointment and ask them about the MCHAT questionnaire. When you arrive at the appointment the pediatrician or nurse will ask you a series of questions about your child and their behaviors and will discuss any red flags with you and then refer you out to a developmental psychologist or autism center for further testing if needed.

A resource I believe would be most helpful when caring for your child with autism is milestones which is a great website to start with as it has lots of information and the center is located right here in the Cleveland ohio area. They have a lot of helpful information to help you care for your child and hold an autism conference every year and will provide a scholarship for parents upon writing an essay as to why you would like to attend . Here are a few links from their website to get you started. I’ve included links for financial questions you may have, and  early intervention for your child and where to start.
http://milestones.org/resource-cat/financial-planning-agencies/
http://milestones.org/resource-cat/early-intervention/

There are lots of wonderful people I have met on this journey and one of them is a developmental psychologist who helps families with newly diagnosed children. She has years of experience and she asked me to read a book that her colleague wrote about early intervention and autism. I took the time to read the book and was moved already in the first chapter. I wish I would have had this book when Jaiden my son was initially diagnosed as it has a ton of information on helping your child at home with behavioral approaches, as well as encouragement. I am not selling anything or receiving any compensation for mentioning this book, I just want you all to check it out and buy it if you have a child that was just diagnosed I promise it will help you with your child.

You can find “An Early Start for Your Child with Autism: Using Everyday Activities to Help Kids Connect, Communicate and Learn” at https://www.amazon.com/dp/160918470X/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_c_api_KP9bzbNEXC8PN

I’m always praying that those of you with newly diagnosed kids be blessed have a peace that surpasses all understanding and be lead to where ever it is you and your family need to be. Keep hoping and believing for better things.

“The word is life, healing and health to all who find them.” (Proverbs 4:20-22)

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Have a great rest of the week!

-Maritza