What do you do when you have nothing left to give?
Caring for our children, additional needs or not, is the most important task we are given. When your child has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) it becomes even more important, the strength, love and patience needed drains you continuously. Constant top-ups are needed to keep you going. As a single parent of two children with ASD I know this! Everything can become a struggle especially if the children are having a “wobbly” day. No amount of careful planning can negate how they feel. I know myself that sometimes by the time the two children are in school (if I manage to get them there), I am exhausted, I could sleep for Wales! You know what? If that’s what I need to do, I do it. Gone are the days when I struggle to do things, I re-prioritise, sometimes today has to be cancelled. The secret is learning to not feel guilty about it. It’s built into us, our children come first, and they do to an extent but how can we be there for them if we aren’t coping ourselves. Our charges are so close to us that they can sense when we have a wobble too. Next time, watch the behaviours of your child change according to your mood. Keeping ourselves happy when we aren’t is hell, it’s tiring, we become an empty vessel, numb and we just go through the motions. I know, I’ve been there and I’m not perfect, there are still times when I am at the end of my tether and all I want to do is shut down. What we need to do though, is reboot ourselves. Allow ourselves to do exactly what we need to do to get back on an even keel. Always remember that you need to be more than OK to be able to be there 100% for your family, it is NOT selfish!
Love Bomb Yourself!
We all know how our ASD children thrive on routines, put selfcare into your routine and put it first. It could be anything from a 5 minute meditation to a spa day, coffee and a moan with friends or if you are lucky enough to have respite, that night away. If you still can’t see that you come first, think of the much quoted aeroplane scenario, the oxygen masks come down, who’s mask do you put on first? Yours! Yes, yours, you’re that important, start believing it. There has been much research into the well being of parents of children with ASD and the severity of the stress has been likened to that of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). If you would like to research further try this peer reviewed article to start by Weiss et al (2012).
I get a bee in my bonnet about self care, it really has changed the way I parent my two, I am calmer, less frazzled and I take things in my stride more. This coming from someone who has always lived with anxiety!
On a serious note, looking after yourself, mentally and physically is vital. Stop comparing yourself to the media’s idea of the superparent. You are super just the way you are. Your best is good enough! Look out for my list of top ten self care strategies, coming soon!
Wax, R., (2013), Sane New World, Taming the Mind
Weiss, J.A., (2012), The impact of child problem behaviors of children with ASD on parent mental health: The mediating role of acceptance and empowerment
Coming soon …… real, honest blog about the ups and downs of parenting children with Autism.
The truth of the matter is that the British family in 2012 comes in all shapes and sizes. We can no longer pretend that mum, dad and 2.2 are the norm in the UK today. Beth urges the UK to “Get Real” on the issues facing families today. Beth has extensive knowledge, including:
* single parents
* the effects of divorce on the family
* acrimonious family relationships
* family breakdown and finances
* step families and half-siblings
Look out for Beth as she offers her insight and raises awareness on the “alternative” families in the UK today.
The waiting is over, the results are in and I would like to say, CONGRATULATIONS to all my Year 11 pupils.
You’ve all worked so terribly hard, and I’m delighted that most of you got the results that you wanted.
Extra special kudos goes to James Davis who did so well after a very difficult year.
I’m so very proud of you all.
Mrs Ryan 🙂 x
Beth was invited back on to TCR FM’s Saturday Social to talk about the London Riots today.
She took part in an in-depth debate on the cause of the riots and stressed that, in her opinion, the riots highlighted that depriving young people of real education will ultimately have a negative effect on society.
If you would like further info on Beth please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Beth is launching a new venture, offering private one-to-one tutoring to students of all ages.
Everyone needs additional help at some point, whether it’s to get through an exam or just general study help. Pass Exams with Beth offers unique one-to-one tutoring from a team of professional and dedicated tutors.
All expert tutors offer help to: key stage 1 and 2, 11-19 year olds, and young adult learners. Beth can also offer parenting advice, and guidance on returning to education after a break. Bespoke tutoring designed to maximize your potential.
The website will be launching shortly, in the meantime, contact Beth directly to discuss your needs.
Keep checking the website, Beth will post some seasonal activity ideas to do with your children, spend quality time with them and help them learn!
Beth has been named as the Educational Ambassador for The R-Word Campaign UK. A movement being imported from the U.S aimed at promoting inclusion and respect for people with Learning Difficulties.
In association with the Special Olympics, the campaign has already benefited from the support of the stars of ‘Glee’ and ‘Scrubs’.
” I feel so honoured to be part of “The R Word” campaign in the UK. One of just a number of words that is unacceptable to be used in everyday language , it’s time to stand up and acknowledge people with learning difficulties as the valued members of society they are.” Says Beth.
To keep up to date with the R-Word Campaign visit r-word.org
Beth will be giving advice to readers of ‘Pick Me Up’ magazine in their Christmas Special.
As Christmas becomes ever more commercialized Beth will, amongst other things, be giving tips on how to manage your child’s expectations during the festive season. Handy Stuff.
The ‘Pick Me Up’ Christmas Special will be available in October.