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Celebrating Milestones: Recognizing and Honoring Progress in Children with Autism in League City

 

Finding out your child has autism spectrum disorder can be a pivotal moment in your parenting journey. You may find some peace in knowing there are explanations and resources for your child's development. However, you may grieve the expectations you had for your child, such as being able to have a conversation with them. There is no denying that a child's diagnosis is heart-wrenching. Since autism is a spectrum, children have unique needs, some of which are long-lasting. It is expected to feel hopeless at times, seeing a child's or loved ones' distress. Parents of children with autism can find comfort in noticing and acknowledging the small steps their children make toward a healthy and happy lifestyle. Here are a few ideas for honoring your child’s growth.

Highlighting Strengths

With autism diagnoses on the spectrum, children's skill sets are extremely diverse. For children who need more daily help, it may be hard to see changes in their behavior. Finding a child's strengths is a way to show them that although some helpful skills can be learned, they are still just as valuable as any other child. If your child needs help getting ready for the day, you can highlight small moments where they helped with the process. Thank them for their patience. Point out the trust they have in you to help them. Praise any little help they give, such as raising their arms so you can put their shirt on. Mornings may be challenging, but there are opportunities to celebrate your small moments together. Not only can this change parents' mindset about progress, but it can also boost the mood and confidence of the child.

Creating New Paths

  When one pathway is consistently getting blocked, create a new one. In American society, there are expectations for how one should live: go to school for twelve years, go to college, get a job, retire. This route fits only some people's values, passions, or abilities. Of course, parents want their children to have the same opportunities as others, and it is always worth the effort to try. However, sometimes, people need help creating avenues that align with their skills and interests.

Children are expected to have basic skills to enter school, sports, or other activities. Parents can get creative when they are told their child is not ready for to join school or activities. For example, consider re-creating a classroom setting at home, where your child can practice sitting at the table for prolonged periods or raising their hand to get needs met. Your child can take swim lessons until they are prepared for team sports. Parents may consider inviting family and neighbors over to create opportunities to practice social skills. Parents know their children's needs best, so parents' creativity is extremely helpful in honoring children's progress.

As a child gets older, if continued education does not seem like an option, parents may consider teaching their adolescent occupational skills so that their child may obtain a job. An example may be washing dishes for someone who enjoys the sensory input from water play. With an income, people can be more independent, which most parents desire for their children. Finding an alternate path for your child is not giving up, it is creating more options as they develop.

It can be challenging to create new paths. Grief and acceptance are part of the journey. You do not need to do this alone. There are licensed therapists who can help your family through these challenging times.

Advocacy

While accessibility has increased in recent years, more advocacy must be done for individuals with disabilities. There is a chance your child is not making progress because the environment is not suited for growth. Learning becomes more complicated if a child feels unsafe. If a child feels a sensory overload, their nervous system might not be primed for learning. If police officers do not know how to look for signs of autism spectrum disorder, it could lead to a traumatic situation for a child in danger. Your child may have the capacity for growth and learning. However, the external conditions may not be conducive to those goals.

Having a team of doctors, teachers, therapists, family, friends, and more who will advocate for your child can lead to tremendous results. Most importantly, find support from other parents of children with autism. For example, advocate for road signs to be added to neighborhoods to indicate to drivers that children with special needs are in the area. If drivers are more careful, children can play safely with other children and build friendships. Rallying together toward the common goal of advocacy can change the community. Having the right environment for growth makes a difference in children's progress.

It’s All About the Relationship

As a former client's mother once told me as we said goodbyes, "It wasn't the lessons you were teaching my son, so much as the relationship you built with him, that changed our lives."

Many families value growth toward goals; however, sometimes work takes away from the time we spend bonding with one another. Life gets hectic when we must work, manage the household, and care for children. Play may not seem a priority, but it allows parents and their children to build attachment, heal trauma, and boost mood. Finding safety and creating memories is what your child will carry with them.

Setting aside time to play or talk with your kiddo is one way to maintain the bond you have. If you are too busy, invite your child to join you in chores, cooking, or gardening. Not only will your child look forward to the special time you have together, but they will also be learning new play, social, and occupational skills because they are naturally motivated. Additionally, parents might consider giving their child a break from learning skills, to show that it is okay to be you just the way you are.

Building and maintaining relationships can be challenging, especially when communication is difficult. Resources are available to help you bond with your child and celebrate milestones together. To enhance your relationship with your child, reach out to a licensed therapist today.

Diverse Therapy Services Available in League City


At Therapy for Families, with locations in League City, The Woodlands, and Midland, Texas, we offer a wide array of mental health services designed to support your overall well-being. Our dedicated team of counselors is experienced in addressing various mental health concerns beyond traditional marriage counseling.

We provide specialized treatments for anxiety, couples counseling, insomnia therapy, teen counseling, and play therapy. Our services extend to managing stress, school-related challenges, grief, self-esteem enhancement, impulse control, peer relationship issues, and support through life transitions such as divorce.

Additionally, we offer guidance in parenting, behavioral concerns, trauma recovery, anger management, ADHD treatment, and developing effective coping strategies. Our approach also includes fostering social-emotional development, resolving family conflicts, and providing support for sexual assault recovery and domestic violence.

Explore how Therapy for Families & ADHD & Neurofeedback Clinic can support your journey towards mental and emotional health. Visit us to learn more about our comprehensive therapy services.


Contact us today!