Narrate!

“He’s making so much progress! Keep bringing him, keep talking to him, keep doing what you’re doing Mom,” I told her, “He is making progress because of you!”  “Thanks Ms. Chelse, but  what else could I do at home?”

I have this conversation no less than 5, 235, 189 times in my career. No, Seriously! There are soooo many things you can do as a parent that are even more POWERFUL than what I do 1-2 times a week/3o mins per session.

Become your child’s narrator!

Each day children, especially children with Autism, are faced with the cumbersome task of predictability . Have  you ever seen a Spike Lee movie, where the person is walking, but not REALLY walking? Well children with Autism sort of feel this way in a world where they have little or no control over what happens next or what role they will play in the events of the day. In other words, schedules are usually already set and Mom knows her routine… but what about Cole? Does he know?

Use carrier phrases like, “Next we are going to…” or “In a few minutes let’s clean up so we can get ready to go!”  Let them know that, “We’re going to Mama Nell’s house today!” or that “I’ll  need you to help me today when we go to Walmart.” Little subtle hints such as these can really decrease the meltdowns and make your day less stressful for your little one and a lot more “free flowing” for you as a parent.  If Cole knows what to anticipate, there is a chance that he may be more cooperative throughout the transitions of the day. Make him the helper by allowing him to carry a few of the bags in from the store if he is physically able. Allow him to ring the doorbell at Mama Nell’s house when you arrive.  In this way, he can anticipate the lights at Walmart that you can’t hear, but he can…or the dog two streets over from Mama Nell’s house with the high pitched bark that causes him anxiety that he can’t put into words just yet. Be. their. narrator. They need you.