Tag Archives | breaks

When It’s Best to Not Speak Up

I tend to have regular periods of down time, that is… feeling really defeated, really overwhelmed… like a total and complete failure. Actually, I feel like that all the time but sometimes it really drags me down more so than others. The struggle I have at these times is whether or not to reach out for support or words of encouragement or just keep it to myself.

Most of the time, like 99% of the time, there are no words of encouragement that will get me out of it… pretty much, I just have to ride it out until one day I wake up and the feeling isn’t so bad.  Still, I tend to keep hitting facebook or twitter or anywhere and everywhere with some rather negative and depressing messages because there is simply nothing else that I can write.

The end result is that a few times a day, I end up typing out something that I really want to hit enter on but never actually do. People are going to ignore it anyway, or not know what to say or in those rare times, actually say something nice to me and I’ll dismiss it anyhow.

The point I’m getting at is, in the Autism community online, we are all there to support and motivate and share stories… we’re also there to help pick each other up when we’re feeling down but sometimes, when you are just going through a rough patch, it’s best to just keep those sites closed, or keep the keyboard away from yourself.

I could go into a bunch of ‘techniques’ to perk yourself back up, such as getting out of the house, indulging yourself in something you enjoy, what ever… but it’s so much more simple than that. If you know that you may wake up feeling better tomorrow or one day soon, then just don’t speak up until then.

People won’t forget about you, people won’t have lost interest in you… there’s no harm in taking a breather even at the best of times, so don’t feel bad taking a breather at the worst of times too.

Now, that’s not to say that when times are truly difficult that you can’t feel terrible and reach out for support and help… that’s different. I’m just talking about the low patches we all get at random times when we just feel defeated and your only intention is to share negativity with others.

There’s an old expression: “Don’t drag everyone else down with you”. It’s a very difficult urge to resist but sometimes just knowing you resisted that urge is enough to help you feel a little bit better about yourself and thus, break out of that funk.

I have a lot of experience with this, I get into those ‘moods’ a lot. If you don’t see any updates from me for a few days, chances are, that’s why. I’m just taking a breather, I’ll always be back.

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School, Camps, Programs, Therapies… Remember to Take a Break!!

Parents can easily become overwhelmed having to deal with all that entails a child’s schedule… there’s school, extra curricular activities after, there’s camps, programs, summer get aways and if your child has Autism, then there’s also therapy sessions, other camps, group sessions and so much more.

Wait, the parents can be overwhelmed? Just imagine how the children must feel!

Naturally, not all children are created equal and so many will be just fine with all that there is to do.. after all, children don’t seem to run out of energy like adults do. They just move from one thing to the next and keep right on going.

This generally isn’t how it is for children with Autism though, at least not in my experience. All of these things are really great and essential to treating the Autism within your child, to helping them over come it and break through. However, when my son gets home from school on a Friday afternoon, you can visibly see the tension that has built up from a solid week of it.

When you start to add up the school days, the friends visiting, the therapy sessions, the camps, groups… without down time, your child might get progressively more and more overwhelmed and possibly even regress. That means that all that you accomplished with the school and therapies and such would be for nothing.

One of the things that bugged my wife and I early on was how other parents kept pushing “me time” on us, telling us how great it’ll be when the kids are in school or day care or off to a baby sitter… it’s not the notion that bugs us but how much people seem to think that it should be done to excess.

It’s as if people are eager to “pawn off” their children at the first available opportunity so that they can have someone else “deal with them.” This does not go over well with me nor my wife because we’ve come to realize that the more family time we can get, the better our Autistic son does.

That’s not to say that one extreme is better than the other… we can’t keep him from every therapy session, never let him go to school and never socialize and hope he’ll be ok… we just have to recognize when it’s been too long and step back and maybe go to the beach or something.

Family time, it’s not something to be feared! It’s also not something to be scheduled for that one 2 week period that you get vacation time. There are evenings and week-ends you know! Don’t be afraid of your kids, do stuff!

The moral of the story is, too much of anything is not a good thing.. unless it’s love, of course. Your children can’t spend all their time away just as they can’t spend all of their time with you.

If your child is in school, camps, summer programs and more and you find there is no break, or if you find that your child is not only benefiting less but even regressing to a point… there’s no harm in taking a break and just being a family. They won’t “lose what they’ve learned” nor will they “miss out” on anything they could have learned.

Your child needs that security, that love and that comfort that only you can provide. Don’t deprive them of that in your search to get them “back to normal.”

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