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“I am here for you.”

Raising a child with autism can seem like a vice of minute-by-minute management: engineering the strict structure he needs, the visits to professionals whose expertise we need, our own need to feel that we are doing everything we can, or at least doing enough – these needs frequently dictate all the minutes of our days. Structured, professional help and self-evaluation are necessary – but not to a slavish degree. Do you live by the clock? If so, it’s important to take a giant step back and reflect upon how your child learns and grows. Yes, he learns by doing – but long before he can do that, he learns and responds to his environment in the context of how it feels to him. We all know from personal experience that emotions can and do sometimes overtake logical thought or action.

 “Being emotionally available (to your child) may be as, if not more, important
than what activities you do.”

 These wise words come from Jennifer Rosinia, PhD, OTR/L and president of Kid Links Unlimited, Inc. Strong, stable relationships with the primary adults in his life form a child’s potent front line against stress and anxiety during the long process of learning self-regulation. Dr. Rosinia advises us to “be as much in the business of being as of doing.”

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from 1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism or Asperger’s, Chapter 2 (2010) by Ellen Notbohm and Veronica Zysk. Contact thru www.ellennotbohm.com to reproduce in any way. More excerpts and full table of contents at www.ellennotbohm.com.

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