Make Your Child’s Return To School Stress Free!

how to get your ASD successfully back to school after the holidays

how to get your ASD child back to school easilyThe end of the Christmas holidays, for many parents of ASD kids can be a blessed relief. The trauma of Christmas with its over stimulus of flashing fairy lights, noise and colour can be hugely confusing and terrifying for our children, that the welcome return of school can be a God send.

But how do you get your child back into the swing of school when their sleep patterns, daily activities and so on have been geared around being at home?

That’s easy!  For a parent like me with an Autistic teenager who also has a pathological aversion to getting up before noon, I have developed a quick and stress free strategy to coax even the most immovable children on the first day back at school! So here we go to ensure your ASD child gets back into the routine of school!

 

 

STEP ONE:

  • Rehearse!  One of the best ways I have enabled my son to get up ready for school on the first day back from any school break is to do a dummy run at least one day before. That way, the stress of waking up at what he decides is an ‘unearthly hour’ will be less anxiety filled for both of you. You might want to try it two days before. Simply remind them in the best way you know how the night before that this is what is going to happen so they can expect it. The key here is to the always try and take the sting out of the event. Gradual build up to something like going back to school will always be easier on everyone in the house!
  • Use small steps! Jon never, and still doesn’t like the idea of having to deal with any event in one hit. So when I need him to get up early and be ready to go somewhere like school, I will walk him through each step of the day, one bit at a time. If I know it is going to be a very intense event for him, I will go through the day half an hour at a time. That way, he knows he can feel calmer throughout the day so that he can focus on what is expected of him. If you’re not going to be physically with him, make sure that anyone who is going to be with him that day (school support, teaching assistant) has a heads up before of what they need to do.
  • Gently Gently! Jon is so much better to coax into doing something if I take the calm approach. There is no point losing my rag with him when I know that time is ticking on and he needs to get going. I have found that there is a much better way of asking him to do something if I word it like this…

‘Jon, if you have your breakfast now, you will be able to watch a few minutes of TV before the school bus arrives..‘ Rather than ‘Jon, you will be late if you don’t hurry up and eat your breakfast’

I find that the latter will only enable him to focus on the most stress making word in that sentence – late – so that won’t help with his stress levels and is more likely to hinder any motivation to want to move. Using word techniques to help people with Autism cope with tasks has been used for over 40 years in methods like NLP, but my particualr favourite is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It has helped people with all sorts of disorders from Autism to depression, not to mention how to help positive thoughts and keep your child motivated, happy and confident!

I have been using CBT with my son, Jonathan for almost ten years, but I will be honest with you. It has only helped Jon when I have tailored the methods and used the regularly. That’s the secret I have found to CBT. Using it in daily life, or at least a few times a week in activities is the only way to ensure that Jon gets the tools to help himself deal with the anxities of life that comes with Autism.

WHAT YOU CAN DO NEXT….

I would like you to download my FREE paper on how I have used CBT successfully in Jon’s life. I was determined to really get the best out of using techniques like the ABC Model and working with Schemas that I decided to become a qualified CBT Therapist myself.

So here I am, giving you a flying start in helping your child to be confident, independent and successful in social and communcaition skills! I think you will gain an awful lot from the technqiues I cover in this 23 page guide which I have written especially for you. It is completely FREE and the knowledge that I wish someone had told me about when Jon was first diagnosed!

 

 

Unleash The Positive Mind e-course is awarded top ratings on Udemy

top udemy courses

But there is more in store for this amazing parent and author. Read on to find out more.

The new and exciting Unleash The Positive Mind 2 hours e-course on Udemy focusing on CBT methods with Autism has, this week, been awarded 4.5 stars out of 5. Created by CBT and NLP therapist, Michelle Hatcher, she has worked hard on her research on communication skills over the last 10 years so she’s had little time to stop and reflect. With a #1 Best Seller on Amazon already making heads turn and the launch of the official course handbook, we caught up with her on her recent successes to ask why, where and what was the inspiration behind this revoluntionary course.

 

Following the mad rush to enrol by hundreds of students in its first 72 hour launch, the Unleash The Positive Mind course was expected by its creator, Michelle Hatcher, to do well, but says the mother and CBT Therapist, she was still taken by surprise. Yet her goal isn’t to stop there. Next week, she and Jon embark on some pretty life changing events…

It was quite extraordinary. I knew there was a call for parent training in Autism but we didn’t expect such popularity. It means that a lot of hard work and effort has paid off. I am delighted. My next venture is to document Jon’s forthcoming corrective spinal surgery due to his Scoliosis through a YouTube series. The idea is to do two things; one, to enable other parents out there with ASD children going through corrective surgery, and two, to help me through a pretty dark and emotional time. I never forget that I’m a parent too! It will be good therapy for me as well as helping others all over the world.

The short course which focuses on only a handful of carefully restructured CBT methods, has been an incredible help to many families already, encouraging once non-verbal children to quickly pick up communication skills which had been otherwise, put aside.  Michelle says,

I have always had the belief that some barriers in Autism are down to a deep lack of self-trust. Once children found an ability to do something well, the progression from there on is natural. Many parents experience their child’s frustration in not being able to be heard. It can be hugely disappointing for the parents when children move into their own closed worlds, feeling safe there.

The fact that families could see results by implementing some core strategies in communication is hugely encouraging, but it still has to be said that there is still no cure for Autism. Michelle Hatcher, mother of 15 year old Autistic Jon, whom she bases much of her work and research, said,

We must be realistic in our mind set that there may never be a cure for Autism, however, the methods I worked on with my own son have indeed, worked. Taking these methods beyond our own parameters, I’ve been able to work personally with other parents and got the same positive results.

So why is it down to the parents then to teach the skills that specialist teachers and ASD units should be doing? I found Michelle Hatcher had a firm answer to this.

The key when working with Autism is not to work against it but work with it. One of the things I discovered was that a child with Autism has a very powerful bond with their primary caregiver. Thus meaning that they see this person as their lead teacher in life. So in that case, why not just train this caregiver to teach the child what they need to learn? For me, it was perfectly simple. All I had to do as a parent was to teach my son the skills that the school wasn’t teaching him, for one reason or another.

Yet perhaps the one thing that does stick out from the success of this new e-course for parents is that schools are letting our children down. Does this mean that this course will highlight the failings once more of our own educational system?

That may well be the case, but I do think that for parents, this isn’t new news. Parents for many years have felt frustrations of their own when it comes to the relationship between school and home. This course is merely handing back to the parent the dignity and importance where some schools have undermined that in the past.

You can find out more about the e-course Unleash The Positive Mind here and download the official course handbook here. 

Follow Michelle on YouTube here and subscribe to her Autism Parenting series and follow her and Jon LIVE from Monday 28th of November ‘Correcting the Scoliosis’

 

 

Parenting Autism: How To Get A Diagnosis For Your Child

how to get a diagnosis for your child

Getting a diagnosis for Autism can be a very stressful time for the parents. You have probably spent weeks, months and possibly years wondering if you’re going loopy or that there is actually, something wrong with your child. Now you have got this far, you want to know what’s going to happen next.

There is no medical test to prove whether your child has Autism or not. It is not like testing to see if they have a fractured toe. It is rather a process of elimination. You, as their carer will be asked a lot of questions about family history, environment, school (if appropriate) plus they will want you to give in as much detail as you can your child’s developmental progress as you see it.

michelle hatcher's powering parenting for autism

There will be, for the paediatrician or child development professional a checklist they will go through to determine if there are signs of Autism. Depending on how old your child is (as they can see many teenagers as well as toddlers) they will perform some role playing with them, chat to them, ask them to engage in a board game, play with toys and so on.

What he or she is looking for here is interaction, imagination and communication. These are the three areas which are particularly affected by Autism. After a few weeks (possibly 3 to 6 meetings with you and your child) they will offer a report for you to go through. It will also offer a diagnosis. You have plenty of time to read through it thoroughly to see if you agree. There will be some information on suggested support interventions to help your child develop the areas where they appear to struggle.

One of the main points in this film is that you don’t have to go with the first opinion you’re offered. If you are not happy with the diagnosis, ask to be seen by someone else.

One of the things that parents tend to do is rely heavily on what they are told by a group of professionals and ignore the questions piling up in their minds. It is very easy to feel as though you are being swept along with the tide. Along the line you may find it all very overwhelming; you though your child’s life was going one way and not suddenly it is going in a different direction. It is sad but parents can tend to be forgotten about during the process. It is vital that you talk to someone when you feel swamped. You can call either the Young Minds helpline or, if you wish, the National Autistic Society helpline. They are open 24 hours a day are specially trained to help with any worries you have confidentially.

The more supported YOU feel, the better the outcome for you and your child. So do please remember to look after yourself too.  Watch the following video on the subject of getting a diagnosis and don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode!

If you like this post, please subscribe to ensure you never miss an post! I will be covering all aspects of Autism from diagnosis to Autism in toddlers, school and KS1, KS2, KS3 and beyond, transition to adulthood, social environments, hospital stays and how to cope with them, employment and independent living.

Don’t forget to enrol in our FREE Udemy course called ‘Unleash The Positive Mind’ a short, but amazingly effective course to help you become the best teacher and power parent for your child. Take the course and you will find your child’s social and communication skills will rocket, simply by using the easy to follow methods. The course is for you and your child to complete. It provides easy to follow videos, downloads plus games and role playing making the learning process fun for both of you!

ENROL HERE!!

michelle hatcher's powering parenting for autismMichelle Hatcher is an Autism researcher and campaigner, consultant CBT Therapist, NLP Practitioner, Accredited Life Coach and mother of an Autistic teenager.

She is also a member of the Association of Integrative Psychology, the Institute of Leasdership and Management and the International Association of Neuro-linguistic Programming and Coaching. She has studied Autism and childhood conditions over over 15 years. She is the author of the #1 Best Selling parenting book: How To Turn Your Child’s Autism Around And Save Money. She currently conducts Autism parenting classes along with her practice. She lives in Wiltshire in the UK with her son, her family and three cats. 

 

 

 

How to boost your child’s self esteem

dawn-nature-sunset-woman-largeWhat if I was to say to you, that each group of difficulties you have with your child could be dealt with effectively in simple, digestible brain games?

Sounds too easy?

Ok, that’s the answer I was expecting and to be honest, I would have said the same thing 2 years ago. We have all spent long hours searching the net, being talked ‘at’ by professionals and therapists telling us we should do this and that but not really caring about your plight and our children. After all, every kid on the spectrum is different. I know that, you know that, and the reason why we know that is because we are parents, and we care about our children. We want them to thrive just like any other kid on the planet. Why should they not have the chance to lead rewarding lives? This isn’t have to be a ‘best dog wins’ world. We know we have the best kids because of their Autism, right?

So, today, you’re going to hear a mum talk. Today, I am going to tell you how I work with my son, Jon; the strategies I came up with that work because I have 15 years of bringing up my child who has Autism, PDA and Scoliosis, so yes, I know what I’m talking about, and what’s more, I understand your needs, worries and fears too.

Ok, today, I am going to walk you through the plan I came up with, how I implemented with my son, Jon and saw it work, permanently.

I called it ‘The Progress Pentagon. (Catchy name, huh?)

And it looks like this…

The progress Pentagon
Copyright Michelle Hatcher 2016

I took each problem I had and parents I asked around had and divided them up into five categories (making up the pentagon shape.) This are;

  • Meltdowns
  • Food intolerances
  • Social interaction
  • Communication
  • Daily routines

I found that after studying Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Neuro Linguistic Programming, we could take the principles behind these alternative methods of adjusting thought processes, an tailor them into methods we could use to help our children. NLP and CBT has been proved across the world to help people with depression, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, anxiety and a number of other psychological and cognitive disorders.

Take for instance, shifting mood.

We know that we can shift our current mood by shifting our physiology. That may sound all well and good for a Nero typical person but what about a person on the Autistic spectrum? We can still help our children to shift their ‘state’ into a ‘state’ which is more appropriate for them. We can also use these methods to help with your self-image, self-esteem and confidence in communication.

For example;

We can use a simply NLP method called Anchoring. You might have come across this before but not worked with it in terms of helping someone with Autism. We ask them to remember a time when they felt happy/confident/excited/motivated and when we recognised they are at the peak of that state in remembering, we anchor that feeling for them by touching the back of their knuckle, for example, on their hand, so when they need to feel in that state again, they can either anchor the state required themselves or you can do it for them.

The kind of technique is hugely powerful and highly useful to young people who need to get through something which is causing them a state of anxiety, such as taking an exam, going to a new school, starting a new job, attending a social gathering and so on.  Anchoring can be an effective way of dealing with states of anxiety.

A word of caution needs to be added here; if your child is in a heightened state of meltdown, you won’t be able to simply trigger the happy state by touching their knuckle (if that’s the place where you anchored the positive feeling.) Once a child or young person is in meltdown, they are usually unresponsive and need to come down from that state of stress themselves by taking themselves away from the stressful situation. What anchoring can do is help a child get through something before the anxiety has time to set in. It is a means to use prior to a stressful event and not to get out of one quickly. Changing the state of someone in

meltdown requires these types of strategy highlighted in a previous post you can find here.

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Like this post? You will love How To Turn Your Child’s Autism Around And Save Money!michelle hatcher

get your child's social and comunication skills up to speed today!Michelle Hatcher is the author of the Progress Pentagon parenting courses and founder of the best-selling : Unleashing The Positive Mind Masterclass. She is a certified CBT Therapist, NLP Practitioner, mother of 15 year old Jon who has Autism and PDA and certified Life Coach.

She is also a member of the Complimentary Medical Association, the International Alliance of Holistic Therapists
and The Association of Integrative Psychology.  Her autobiography, How To… uncovers the secrets of Autism and how to overcome it plus it tracks her life as a mother of an Autistic child, how she developed her best-selling courses using CBT and NLP with Autism. She is also a public speaker on Autism Awareness.

She lives in Wiltshire with husband Nick, son, Jon and three cats; Apple, Missy and Augusta.