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Workshop Recap – What Do We Do About Fizzling?

Fri, Nov 5th, 2010

The following is a recap from the workshop I just held for a few parents here in Connecticut. For those of you who live in CT or nearby you can find out more information by contacting myself at andrew@voglautism.com. I am including these notes so anybody can join in who doesn’t live nearby.

The theme in this week’s workshop was on creating steps to act on, to make things happen immediately. This is simply taking many things that parents already think about doing and putting them into action. All participants wrote down goals in three categories to be followed through with over the next two weeks. We all struggle with this subject, it is by no means specific to parents of children on the spectrum, we see it happen everywhere. We see this in business, in politics, and in our children’s schools.

There are so many things we want to do as parents, myself included, that don’t happen. They fizzle away, simply because anything that is part of a goal is something we aren’t doing! Doing something new is always challenging in so many ways and we haven’t even begun talking about our children! Doing anything new, requires more time, so there is an immediate need to take time away from something else on something else, forcing you to make two changes.

A new goal or step will also bring up new emotions and questions, more specifically, self-doubt. “Why haven’t I done this before?” or “what is my problem?” These are questions I have asked myself about my children or my business, it’s something everybody has. The difference is some of us want to do something about it. Some people want to answer the questions, and those are the people I want to get to because I see the incredible amount of potential in the families I closely work with. This is not say helping your child with his/her difficulties is as simple as solving business issues or anything else people are going through, it is only a way of saying we could do more once we are empowered, clear, and focused.

The three categories are:

1)Social

Now those of you with younger children or children with autism, might be in the playroom with your child or simply trying to connect with your child at home. This is social as well, and I encourage to read my article on “Following.” This category is about helping your child socially. This could mean anything having to do with social growth, from making a stronger connection with play to contacting social groups in the community. Write down one thing you would like to have happen in the next two weeks that would help your child socially.

2)Inspiring Growth

This is actually touching on the second stage after Following, called Building. This is where we take what is inspiring and motivating to your child and expand on it. You will soon see, if you haven’t already, that these categories overlap. Of coarse, many things in this category can be social, but you will have to decide where to place them. What is your child interested in and how can we add to this? Can you connect your child with other outlets in the community to be able to do this activity with more resources? Can you help your child in the playroom expand on this passion. If the passion feels more like an obsession or self stimulatory behavior, that’s okay, take it as a passion, it will open many more doors for you. Write down one way you could help make it easier for your child to turn an obsession into a passion.

3)Inspiring Maturity

Explained by looking at your child’s emotional maturity and behaviors. What is your child doing that may be limiting the last two categories? What behaviors does your child demonstrate with you or someone else that hinders the ability to expand on interests or social connections? Are you putting more energy, attention, and time into the negative than the positive behavior? Write down one thing you would like to change about your approach, your rules, your praise extc.

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