Communicating in chaos

What do a watering can an iPad and a autistic kid have in common…. They are all in my room lol. The saying pick your battles is often interjected in dealing with marriage in general and to a lesser extent parenting as well however for parenting a kid with ASD its a survival tool.

A battle I will always pick is being careful of non-verbal communication in front of my kids. Watching a really cool show called Reverie on NBC in the opening sequence of the first episode she talks about how much of our communication is non-verbal.

Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages, conducted several studies on nonverbal communication. He found that 7% of any message is conveyed through words, 38% through certain vocal elements, and 55% through nonverbal elements (facial expressions, gestures, posture, etc). Subtracting the 7% for actual vocal content leaves one with the 93% statistic.

A few days later I had a really cool conversation with a special needs pastor who brought up a interesting point. If someone has a sense impaired their other senses are heightened so by that logic it follows that a child that has trouble communicating verbally would have a heightened sense of nonverbal communication. Our son seems to pick up on lots of subtle non-verbal ques.

How is your non-verbal body language in front of your kids and other kids with disabilities? What are some things that can help direct your body language in a more positive way.

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The Forgotten Key

This key sat right out in the open of one of the busiest streets in Chicago. I wondered what the story was behind it and how so many people over looked it and for how long as it had rust on it. Was it just one of many keys or was it a key that was central to someone’s story? During my seminar we talked about a primary key which is needed for a database to work.

I feel like a lot of us in the busyness of life loose our primary key what makes us… well us. Make sure to take some time and do something that is just for you it will help you to be a better spouse and parent.

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Letting go

So much of our life is wrapped up in our kids it’s hard to do anything apart from them. So when it comes time for us to take a trip it’s always a internal battle. We are very appreciative to the village that helps us but still a struggle to let go. We are always good once we get to the destination it’s just this part that isn’t much fun.

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Angling for the right approach

There will always be moments in your life when you are trying to help someone see the other side of a dark time and your not sure how to help them. One of the biggest lessons my son has taught me is to keep trying different angles. He loves to swim but every year I have to help him remember. He will yell and scream “no Pool no Pool” to which I reply “you love the Pool bubba don’t you remember”. I try different things until something works and then he loves it and it’s hard to get him out of the pool. I help find the right thing to help him start but in the end he has to put in the work.

You can be the catalyst for someone to change but never the fuel. You can spark the engine of change but you will burn up like exhaust if you try to sustain it.

Do you have someone your trying to convince to put their toe back in the water? Are you trying to change someone that doesn’t want to change?

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Brush brush brush all day long.

I would say my biggest hurtle raising my boys especially my ASD son has been myself. What I think he can and can not do can affect what I slow him to try. My greatest rewards have been when we just tried something without guessing what we thought he could do. I hear a lot of parents say my child can’t do that to which I will always reply are you sure and have you tried it anyway they may surprise you. Brushing teeth was one of our biggest lessons and one of my most painful memories. We brushed his teeth every day morning and night but due to the frequency of using candy as incentives he got a lot of cavities. I held him as the staff at the dentist office told me they were going to inject him with anesthesia and he would go limp and to not freak out. I heard what they were saying but I still cried like a baby when they did it as it felt like all the life went out of him. As parents we mix up guiding our children and controlling them to be what we think they should be, as harsh as it sounds that drains the life out of them. I try to remember that moment in the dentist chair when I think I am doing that and I pray I am better able to distinguish the two as I raise my sons.

Do you decide what your child is capable of before letting them try?

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Amongst the critical masses

I ride twice a week for fitness if not more but sometimes it’s good to have a unlikely place to clear your head. For me I go to La for one of the largest regular bike rides you can attend. The last Friday of every month they roll out at 7:29p. All kinds of people and bikes from all different walks of life. This last ride I noticed how many good conversations I had with strangers and realized I don’t really do that anywhere else. Getting there isn’t always easy and the late night takes its tool but every time I go it’s such a awesome experience and I meet so many cool people. Most parents don’t get out much and parents of special needs kids typically even less. When was the last time you did something fun even if it was silly?

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Keep your eye on the ball

I always wondered what a professional baseball players thinks about stepping up to the plate to bat. I know they have life issues but in that moment they need to keep their eye on the ball. To train before they step up and know they have done everything they can and the rest is not up to them.

As a parent of a special needs child life already feels overwhelming at times. So when that next curve ball comes our way we sometimes feel ill-equipped to handle it. We try to often times control everything with our kids knowing full well we can’t do that. Sometimes a lot of the stress is us not being able to reach a bar we set ourselves.

We found out my wife has Lymphangioma behind her eye unfortunately, the masses are wrapped around her optic nerve so to remove them would blind her. The masses are made up of lymphatic tissue so basically every time she gets sick it could flare up and cause pain and vision issues.

The lit up part on the right side of the picture are the masses behind her eye. We are doing everything we can to prevent her from getting sick and stressing and letting go of the things they are out of our control.

What do you need to let go of? What bars have you set too high?

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