Monday, August 24, 2009

Understanding Your Child’s Control Issues to Break Through Barriers

Everything comes down to control! Trust me; this will explain every issue you come in contact with. The simple word of control can explain so much if we understand how it evolves as we challenge and use it. Children on the spectrum have enormous issues with control in many different ways. From potty training to obsessive behavior, control is always an issue. Success comes down to the ability to drop control. The people that can adapt to the world around them, coping with constant changes, disappointments, and unpredictable events are able to live successful and independent lives by simply dropping control.

As your child drops control he/she will always push back again to give their system another try. Think of it as the rhythm of dropping control, even though your child lets go, he/she will still make another attempt, making it look like it's coming back, when it's only part of the process of letting go. This is the very thing that takes a simple challenge and complicates it. A child pushing back it the very reason why parents feel unsuccessful and often give up. So to really confuse you, this avoidance is a valuable part of growth and flexibility, if you stick it out. You as the parent, feel like you are on a roller coaster with alternating growth and feelings of being stuck. Successes tend to hide under the surface and then pop up all of the sudden.

Parents often ask me for a new strategy because of the level of frustration they have experienced in the past. Although I have hundreds of specific strategies, I often recommend repeating a strategy longer. This is due to one simple problem in a very simple equation. If you consistently give up before your child does, this pattern becomes cemented.

What to do

1.Write down four challenges your child has.

2.Write down what your child is attempting to control. Example would be with Aspeger’s Syndrome, your child would be controlling his/her state of vulnerability (safety) by not approaching other children socially. An example with autism, would be your child is controlling his/her environment and the predictability of it by remaining locked into the same object for long periods of time.

3. Write down what would be the slightest degree of dropping control for your child. Example, increased interaction by one minute, increased community tolerance by one new store, increased independency by putting on one more article of clothing without help, or handling challenging noise either one minute longer or one step closer to the source of the noise.

You now have four extremely clear and concise goals and have transitioned from the vague state of, “I wish this was easier.”

4.Now that you have created a place for child to get to, hold that place as strong as you can, and put five times the energy you every have into it. Make it certain in your mind that it is impossible to go backwards.

5.You might be wondering at this moment, “okay I understand the concept of being strong, but what am I doing exactly?” I encourage you to ask yourself the same question. If you are feeling strong and certain, how would what your strategy and the steps to follow look?

I also encourage you, the reader, to read my article, “Knowledge Comes Second to Persistence” you will learn through reading and using these concepts that knowledge and strategy ALWAYS COME SECOND TO YOUR STATE OF MIND!!!!!

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