As the New Year approaches, it is human nature to review our misgivings. We ponder what bad habits need to be worked on. Perceived flaws in our personalities and negative living habits are scrutinized by many individuals as the year draws to a close.
Assessing what could be restructured within our lives is definitely important. Unfortunately, focusing on the positive aspects such as goals accomplished, strides already made within our lives, emotional and spiritual growth within us is left on the back-burner. It is common to focus on what needs to be fixed then what does not.
In regards to parents of special needs children, this is commonplace. Parent’s work 24 – 7 to support their children’s development, medical needs, social and emotional needs, special dietary requirements and more.
As the children struggle, parents seek ways to assist their children’s growth, development and most of all, happiness. Their children’s challenges are their challenges as well. Special needs parents wish for happiness and success in their children’s lives just like parents of neurotypical children.
For special needs parents, the road is a bit more daunting but the same parental goals for children are universal nonetheless. Parents of special needs kids self-esteem can get bruised through noting children’s physical and emotional delays, behavioral challenges and comparisons to typically developing children.
Constant self scrutinization of parenting skills can be resultant in negative self efficacy. In other words, we can carry a negative self-image into other aspects of our lives. This may affect how we see ourselves as a person within society at large. When our children do not meet developmental markers on time, parents tend to personalize this as poor parenting skills when this is not true.
My goal this year is to establish a new personal resolve. I challenge other parents to join me. Let’s focus not only on what is wrong within our lives. Focus on what is right as well. We all have areas where change and growth is necessitated. However lets remember that “to err is human” and non of us are infallible.
New Years Resolutions:
1) I will celebrate my child’s strides and not merely focus on what he/she cannot do. (YET)
2) I will acknowledge that I am a separate person from the rest of my family with individual needs.
3) I will remember that occasionally embracing my self and remembering my talents and achievement’s is beneficial to the whole family. If I cannot accept myself, I will be too emotionally burnt out to make positive contributions within my family.
4) I will look in the mirror every morning and evening and recite this mantra three times. I will recite this even on my most challenging days when nothing seems to go right. “I have tried my best today. My best is all I can offer for I am merely human.”
5) I will learn to ask for help from others and accept it graciously from those who offer. I will accept the fact that bringing up a special needs child is a task that takes a village. I am not wonder woman or superman. I cannot perform every function and responsibility alone.
6) I will avoid self-deprecating remarks and learn to accept compliments from others without deflecting them. Special needs parents are more than worthy of praise and worthy human beings.
7) I will rejoice in the part I played in helping my child reach milestones, even baby steps. I will not merely focus on what did not work. Most importantly, I will remind myself of what is out of my control despite effort and measures that I applied.
8) I will learn to laugh at what is unresolvable and attempt to be less of a perfectionist. Laughter is the best medicine, even in the direst circumstances.
9) I cannot control the fate of others nor mold the total outcome of their future. I will attempt to remind myself of this daily. Thus, accepting the reality that I cannot fix other people.
10) I will be open to change in my life and changing myself within realistic parameters. I will embrace what is already good and right within my life as well.
I hope you will join me and resolve to embrace yourself this New Years. Accept yourself for the wonderful person you ALREADY are and the contributions you make to your family and society at large. Be open to change but also note your positive attributes that we tend to miss.
Most of all hold your head up high with pride as you venture out and about this year.
Happy New Year: and a wish for positive growth, happiness and success. Do not let life define you. Make sure that you define your life.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel if you just look hard and far enough.
I am a published author and focus on books pertaining to autism and Aspergers Syndrome. I have had special needs articles published in several magazines. I have been interviewed several times in print, on pod casts, and internet T.V. regarding the autism spectrum. I have presented autism workshops to staff, management teams, and parent groups. I offer tips on curriculum development and behavior modification within the classroom and through in-services. I am certified by the Department of Early Childhood Education as a lead preschool teacher, an infant and toddler teacher, and site coordinator qualified to manage school age programs. I have recently ventured into public speaking engagements to educate both parents and educators on autism and Aspergers Syndrome
I want my experiences and challenges to be used productively as a learning tool for other parents and for educators as well. When my son was diagnosed with Asperger’s a decade ago it was a foreign word among many parents and professionals alike. I fought for help never giving up. Through my books I wish to help parents feel like they do not walk in the dark, that they are not alone, empower them and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I also want to educate society at large on the topic of the autism spectrum. I believe all parties involved need to work as a collaborative team in order to insure a special needs child’s Amazon.com at Mari Nosal : Please stop by my site at Amazon Books and check out my published books on autism aspergers special needs and more you like my articles, aside from being the parent of an adult with Aspergers Syndrome/ A.D.D and an educational professional, I am also a published author of many special needs and autism related books written to inspire and support parents, families, educators and society at large as well. Please stop by and check out my books on http://tinyurl.com/kdspqy9
Mari Nosal M.Ed.