When you get stuck, it is for one reason.
There are times on the parenting journey of teaching your childr with Autism when you feel like you are in a hole you can’t talk yourself out of, when you feel like you can’t listen to anyone’s advice, when you are facing massive resistance to moving forward… It is only for one reason.
You have lost focus of what is within your control… What is within your power.
When we focus on what is not within our power, that is where we lose control (of our emotions, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking).
There is no hope. No resolution. No solution. No desired outcome that lives in the place of loss of control and power (in your mind).
This still happens to me.
My mind still goes to the place of, “There is no hope. THIS IS AUTISM! There is No way out of this. It’s a total failure.”
And it does this before the actual measurable result is in. Before you’ve given potty training a chance to land, before you’ve done enough reps with the sign or PECS picture for a cookie for your kid to catch on.
It does this in anticipation of failure. As a reaction to perceived failure.
To try and protect.
Your first instinct is to withdraw your energy. Save energy. Waste no more.
And that is always the indicator to keep going. To push forward. To double down on belief. To remember the WHY. The recommit to the outcome.
For me, this is a process of bringing myself back to power. To what I can control.
It may take all day. It may take a few days.
It’s worth the effort. (Even when your mind is screaming “abort!”)
The process is messy. It looks like resistance. Giving up. Trying again. More resistance. Taking a break. More resistance. Trying to allow an emotion. Failing. Trying to figure out the exact emotion to allow. Failing some more. “I have no idea what emotion this is… Death?”
And at the end, when my brain is most exhausted, tired of fighting, tired of figuring it out… when I feel the most worn down… THERE IT IS.
My power. What’s in my control. My will to keep going.
“Okay. Let’s look at what we know so far. What can I do? What is within me to solve?”
I always find it.
One single break in the cement wall.
You can control how many times we go to the potty.
You can control how many times you show them the picture card or the sign for cookie before you hand it to them.
You can think of what I haven’t tried yet.
You can look at where the process isn’t working. You can re-work it.
You can make a best guess and go with it.
You can submit to not knowing exactly how it’s actually going to end up.
This is what it looks like to potty train and teach communication skills for not just my daughter but the thousands of families I’ve helped to problem solve and do the same for their kids.
We all have human brains.
They all say, “This is going to end poorly.”
In an effort to get us to conserve energy. And give up ahead of time.
WE HAVE TO PREPARE FOR IT!
We have to keep fighting when it happens. Until we find our brain’s breaking point. Until we get that tiny crack in our brain’s foundation and our power and responsibility can slip back in.
UNTIL YOUR DREAMS AND GOALS FOR YOUR CHILD WINS.
This is the only difference between those who get their kids potty trained and communicating and those who don’t. And how fast it happens.
The parent who fights and does whatever it takes to get back into power, who refuses to give up on their belief in their child.
And the parent who quits halfway through. And often only realizes in hindsight that quitting was the problem.
Start learning how to move through this process. To implement a process to get these life skills done, to tweak and test, and keep going. And do it alongside other brilliant families in the trenches right alongside you. Normalizing it for you.
P.S. IT’S NOVEMBER AND YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS…. ITS Julianna’s Birthday Month! And we are going to be celebrating her in a big way! I am hosting a BRAND NEW FREE WEBINAR on November 14th Unlocking Autism – The Path to Independence and you are invited BUT… You have to be signed up for this workshop to get access and seats on limited. SO DON’T WAIT, SIGN UP TODAY!