I’m writing this blog on the way to my office in the financial district in San Francisco. I’m on a bumpy muni train so any typos are clearly not my fault. First off, I want to make it clear that I take animal health and their well-being very seriously and this is not to make light of that.
I was reading an article about how people are starting to not feed geese and other birds because they’ve discovered or been informed that it is not the best nutrition for them. As a result, some have died out of starvation, because they aren’t able to get enough natural nutrients from their surroundings. Now, park rangers are actually posting signs saying, “in moderation, it’s ok and please continue to feed them”. How does this relate to autism? Well it’s not about parents feeding their kids chicken nuggets just so they eat something, it’s a metaphor for your program. This is a good reminder that something is better than nothing!
What is your “program” as I keep referring to in this blog, you may wonder. Your program is the amount of time you devote to your child’s growth each week. This is not everyday growth and it’s not about just being a parent. It is when you take the parent hat off and become your child’s teacher.
It was a reminder of how this can happen to your program; programs can die. When a program dies, so does the learning. Life is very difficult for anyone with children, this is meant to help you hang in there in any way you can. There are often very common and extremely valid excuses between the family that do need to be addressed, but we should find a way to keep the program alive while addressing these issues. If we don’t, the program will stop many more times than we want it too and what qualifies the stopping of a program? It’s bound to be different from parent to parent as well so now each parent has their reasons for stopping the program. Sometimes we have grandparents too!
It can be tougher to restart a program as well. Some programs can go along fine and then a sickness or hospitalization happens and they never restart. Find ways to keep it going, here are some suggestions from my practice:
- Lower the number of hours.
- Take a day off in between.
- Have your spouse or family member take one of the days.
- Agree to take a week off if you need it with the concrete plan of returning the following week.
- Engage in easier or more relaxing activities for the week.
- Remember, your mission is to teach, that’s it. Teach something in the week.
- Redo your playroom or workspace. See this video showing how to setup your playroom.
Good Luck and please go to https://facebook.com/voglautismmethod or visit my instagram page at voglautismmethod for videos, comments, and questions.