It’s January, and so many of us are ready for a fresh start! The new year before us is a clean slate and we have an opportunity to kick it off on the right foot. We all know some of the more common resolutions – exercise more, get organized, or learn a new hobby. And those are all great! We also know it may be tempting to skip making a resolution entirely this year (2020 kind of laughed at all our plans, didn’t it?).
If you’re willing to give it a try, though, we have a few ideas for parents—and especially parents with children with special needs—that we think will start 2021 off right for you and your family. Making big sweeping changes all at once is hard (and as ABA therapists, we know not always effective!), so here are a few small ideas that bit by bit we hope will lead to a bright and happy 2021!
Focus on the Positive
When parenting, it’s natural to get bogged down by the negatives – difficult behavior, skills that are harder for your child to master, or even just day-to-day challenges. Starting today, we challenge you to do the sometimes-difficult work of finding the bright spots. Try to take a moment to appreciate the unique perspective you might have on the world.
Kids—and especially kids with Autism and other special needs—thrive on structure. As parents, we know it takes work to create the boundaries and schedules that our children crave. 2020 upended all of our previous routines, so this year, start fresh. Think about times of day or activities that tend to trigger meltdowns, and build a new routine to smooth the process. This is one of the many areas where our ABA team can really help!
Ask for Help
As parents, we so often feel like we need to do and be everything for our children. But with only 24 hours in a day (and a very real need to sleep!), that just isn’t always possible. This year, resolve to ask for help when you need it. Find and use community resources, and embrace the support.
Practice Self Care
We know – practicing self care is easier said than done! But parenting well requires being at your best, and that’s not possible to do without taking breaks. Look for ways to recharge, whether it’s a cup of coffee by yourself before anyone in the house is awake or dedicated time to get in some exercise. Figure out what works best for you, and commit to making it happen.
Each year we help clients improve their independence and increase adaptive skills, and we’re excited to see what 2021 holds for our IBO families! If you’re interested in learning more about ABA therapy and our approach (and how it can help you meet your 2021 goals!), please give us a call at 770-250-0093 to learn more.