Monthly Archives: January 2019

Tips for Outtings and Errands

Going out with a child that has been diagnosed with autism can be overwhelming for the child and the parent. The child may not feel comfortable in their environment and that may cause them to panic or have a tantrum and their parents are constantly worried about what they will do if their child breaks down in public. Outings don’t have to be scary or cause stress. In fact with the right preparation, outings can be a lot of fun. Here are some tips on what you can do to decrease the level of anxiety in your child when planning an outing.

  1. Let them know what to expect – Setting expectations for your child is a great way to minimize stress and increase awareness of what is happening around them. Start off by letting your child know where you are going and give them visuals so they can better understand what to expect to see when they get there. Take pictures of the places you visit frequently like the park, your favorite restaurant, the mall, your family and friend’s homes etc. Providing this type of support will allow your child to manage outings more successfully.
  2. Involve your child in planning the day – Often parents drag their children with them on errand after errand without allowing them to participate in activities their kids find entertaining. Start your day by letting your child know what you need to do, but don’t forget to allow them to pick a few activities they want to do as well. This way you can get your errands done and your children will be happy because they can (A) be part of the planning process and (B) participate in some fun activities that they enjoy.
  3. What happens if things don’t go as planned – It is important to understand that at times things won’t go exactly as planned. Sometimes your plans will change, other times you will experience delays…It is also important to let your child know if there are changes made to your plans and to help them understand that delays and changes tend to happen. It is always good to have a back-up activity that your child will enjoy in case something like this occurs during your day out.
  4. Ask for assistance/Bring an activity with you– Your child is less likely to break the rules if they are busy. When you are shopping, have them help you pick things out (such as groceries, gifts, clothes etc.)If you are looking for something specific, let them know what it is and have them help you find it. Bring reinforcers, games and toys that they enjoy playing with along with you so that you can distract them or keep them occupied if they start to get fussy. Keeping them occupied and keeping them focused on something decreases boredom and allows for a parent to have additional tome to complete an errand.
  5. GREAT JOB is something all children like to hear – Don’t forget to praise your child for their good behavior. Telling your child they are doing a great job listening, following directions, being kind to others etc. shows them that their good behavior gets rewarded.

Whatever it is that you decide to do with your children, make sure they know what to expect and that they understand that sometimes things change. Involve them in your activities and reward them for good behavior. Most of all learn to be consistent with them so they know that you mean what you say and do what you say. Teaching your child to trust your word is important to a successful day out with your child.

Indoor Winter Fun

With rainy, cold and snowy weather plaguing us daily in the beginning of this new year, we know that it is hard to get out of the house and entertain your kids, so we wanted to share some great indoor activities with you to keep them entertained. Whether your child is on the autism spectrum or has developmental delays these activities are great ways to develop skills during play time.

  1.  Sensory toys such as slime and kinetic sand are great ways to keep them entertained while also working on fine motor skills. Teach your kids to use the slime to pick up small toys and objects. Help them build and shape things with kinetic sand. If your child is either a sensory seeker or a sensory resister, this activity is great for everyone.
  2. Creating an obstacle course out of everyday items you have at home is a perfect way to incorporate gross motor skills into a fun at home activity. By lining up a few chairs in two rows and throwing a blanket over them you can build a tunnel, use pillows to build hills or a fort that they need to get to. Lay towels on the floor and tell them they are traps they need to jump over, the possibilities are endless. For more advanced fun, try hiding toys around the house and turning the obstacle course into a scavenger hunt.
  3. Create a craft corner filled with construction paper, glitter, glue, Popsicle sticks, scissors, tape, feathers, buttons and more. Working with your child on arts and crafts will help your incorporate skills like following instructions, turn taking, and sharing into the activity. How about making your own sensory toys, like your very own bean bag tossing game. Once you’ve made your bean bags, it’s time to get creative. For indoor fun, set up toys or plastic cups and make your kids stand a distance away and toss the bean bags to see if how many they can knock down.

Don’t let winter weather bring you down, enjoy indoor fun time with your family and keep your special needs kids entertained while also working on vital skills to help them advance.

2019 New Years Resolutions!

A new year is upon us and as with the start of every new year, we spend time thinking about our resolutions, what we want for ourselves, our families and our kids in the year to come. This is the time of year that we are determined and motivated to make this year a better year than last year.

Since we have started a new year, Beautiful Minds Center thought we would share some new year’s resolutions we’ve heard parents make to start the year off right.

Here goes:

  1. I will exercise more and eat a healthier diet, I will cook healthy food for my family as well.
  2. I will try to figure out a way to spend a little more time on myself and with my spouse without feeling guilty that I have not giving my child 100% of my undivided attention.
  3. I will find a way to manage my anxieties, and turn them into motivation and determination to improve being in social situations with my child.
  4. I will try to see the world through my child’s eyes and try to understand their needs from their perspective
  5. I will identify and help my child develop areas of strength
  6. I will get involved in the autism community more by building a stronger support network for myself and my child so that we have the emotional and social backing we need.
  7. I will spread more awareness of autism and seek out more information and support.
  8. I will be a strong advocate for my child and for the autism cause. I will also work hard on monitoring my child’s progress at home, in school and in the community.
  9. I will help raise money and/or donate time or money to grow and strengthen autism awareness
  10. I will take things one day at a time.

 

What are some of the resolutions you have made this year? Let us know!! We’d love to hear what motivates you. Ours are simple. Our new year’s resolution is to make sure we offer the best possible service and therapy to our clients. We resolve to work with our families to make their lives better day by day and to help them through their struggles and answer any questions they may have. We vow to spread awareness.

Happy 2019 everyone! May this year be a successful year for all of us, both personally and professionally!