The new year is here and two weeks have flown by; 2018 is officially underway! There is always talk of change this time of year: new resolutions, new beginnings, new you! Those are great, but there is also something to be said for consistency, especially for parents that have children with special needs.
Instead of resolving for change, how about instead to resolve to be more consistent in schedules, nutrition, bedtimes, self-care, and consistently reaching out for connection in 2018? It hard being a parent, we all need social connection – like it is said, “it takes a village,” and that is so true, especially for parents who have children with something in common.
Here are some ways you can resolve to be more consistent and reach out to connect in 2018:
Make Routines Consistent: You already have a schedule, simply strive to be consistent in your routine. If you don’t have a schedule, make it a priority to make one. Kids don’t have a lot of control in their lives, but routines can give them a sense of organization, stability, and comfort. Be consistent in 2018 in your routine – your family will thank you!
Consistently Put Nutritious Food on the Table: This may look different for each family. Everyone has their own dietary restrictions, schedules, and needs. As long as you are feeding your family good, nutritious food, be consistent in that. Ditch that processed junk, and move forward in 2018.
Work toward a Consistent Bedtime: This is so crucial for yourself AND for your child! Work on a bedtime routine and be consistent. Your child will thank you for that routine, and their little bodies will too. You may even love your new bedtime. Sleep is self-care and our bodies need the rest.
Consistently Take Time for Yourself: This one can be hard, especially as parents, but even if it is a walk by yourself, an hour to reconnect after the kids are in bed, a massage to relax, or a date night here or there, it is important to make sure you are taken care of, too!
Consistently Connect with Others: Whether it’s through text, phone call, Facebook groups, social groups, or one-on-ones, it is very important to reach out to those around you. Community is important; we were made for human interaction and we can help each other connect and grow. If you are struggling, a support group is a great way to reach out and feel connected. There are plenty of parent groups, mommy and me groups, play groups and more in local communities as well; you don’t have to feel alone! Make an effort to connect with others in 2018, love one another, and help each other.
Consistently Give Yourself a Break: You will not get everything perfect. No one is perfect and we don’t have it all together! We are often our own worst critics; you are doing better than you think. Take deep breaths, allow yourself to make mistakes, and forgive yourself often this year.
It takes a village! Find community with local parents, support groups, Facebook communities, or other local organizations. Email us, or join us online: Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram – we’d love for you to connect with us!
Local Events & Resources
The Ugly Duckling – An Autism/Sensory Friendly Performance
Saturday, January 20, 5:00pm
The MVCPA SecondStage – 500 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA 94041
The timeless Hans Christian Anderson tale about finding your place in the world has been given a humorous update in this world premiere adaptation by K. Gardiner. This sensory-friendly performance offers guests and families living with autism or other special needs an opportunity to enjoy “Stories on Stage” in a safe and accepting environment. An inclusive space is created with special considerations such as scaled-down production elements (lights, sound, etc.), extra wheelchair accommodations, and a quiet zone outside the performance space.
Free with optional donation to the Pacific Ballet Theater.
Price: $10 General Admission
Children’s Discovery Museum Play Your Way
Saturday, January 27, 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Children’s Discovery Museum – 180 Woz Way San Jose, CA 95110
Play Your Way is a special event designed for children with autism, ages 2-15, and their families, including a professional resource fair. Enjoy the entire museum supervised by our trained employees and volunteers.
This event will feature: Book signing by Jonathan Ebel, author of The Magic Pencil and The Lost Penguins from Antarctica. Also featuring The Dream Achievers Band.
Tickets: $20/family up to 8 members
We’ve been talking about being consistent in 2018. It can be really hard to get a routine together and be consistent in that schedule. There are many apps, calendars, tools and ideas out there to help manage routines and schedules. Apple has a great visual schedule app made specifically for children with diagnosis with Autism or ADHD.
The user interface makes it easy to create a picture-based tailored daily schedule. This can be used by you or your child to independently keep track of scheduled activities and understand:
• What is the activity you are engaged in this moment
• How long the scheduled activity will take
• What tasks to complete
• How much time is left for the scheduled activity
• When to get ready to transition
• When the next scheduled activity will happen
You can use it in conjunction with the apple watch as well. There is an easy to understand icon and progress bar, and the app will also display how much time has passed and when the event will end. In addition, the user can see and check the tasks related to the event. This unique feature allows individuals to stay-focused and be fully present in order to complete the task at hand.
Ask A is for Apple
Have a question you would like answered? A story you would like to share? A testimony about your experience with A is For Apple? We would LOVE to hear from you! Email us with your questions, stories or suggestions and it could be featured in our next newsletter or blog topic!