At HML, approximately 70% of the time, parents are in a phase in their journey to help their child where they appear overwhelmed and lost. The options to help your child with Autism is seemingly endless, and that is why we think parents need an overall encompassing educational process to help them determine what is best for their child.
Nowadays it starts with searching for options online, Facebook pages dedicated to parents with children on The Spectrum, going to the pediatrician, then referred over to a specialist such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, or behavioral therapist to get a diagnosis, get the diagnosis, then start to receive services at school and through private pay such as PT or OT. Parents will be at this for a little bit, then maybe research nutrition, supplements, detoxification protocols, you name it. By the time they come to HML they are wide-eyed, exhausted, their marriage may not be in the best of shape, and worst of all their child has only come so far in their functionality.
The following suggestions are just that, suggestions. This is coming from 20 years combined experience of Dr. Alex and Dr. Lauren. Please see our other blogs and The Dr. Alex Show podcast for more information to help piece things together. This applies to all children with special needs: https://hmlfunctionalcare.com/doctor-for-adhd-at-hml-functional-care/ This one applies as well: https://hmlfunctionalcare.com/signs-of-sensory-processing-disorder-in-toddlers/
You know that saying on the airplane, put your mask on before your child’s? Carry that into all aspects of life. This does not mean you negate your child(s) needs; however, parents and families that struggle the most, and whose child with ASD are the toughest, are the families where parents do not put the majority of their needs ahead of their child’s. Assess your situation at home for yourself and your relationship with your wife/husband or partner. Stress is the number one “killer” in the U.S., slowly and silently degrading our health. Is your health falling apart? Are you now requiring regular medical attention? Could your relationship be better with your partner? When was the last time you had an hour to yourself?
A meme I saw on Instagram was of a mother that suffers from a few rare phobias. She is a stay-at-home mom with a husband that adores her and will do anything for her. She stated that when her and her husband are feeling “apart” because life is busy, they make sure they go to bed at the same time. Maybe they don’t even snuggle or have pillow talk because we’re all dead exhausted, but they are with each other, next to each other and NOT ON THEIR PHONES!
We understand there are limits on what can be done, people have budgets and time constraints and other obligations, so you have to work with what you have. Even the smallest of changes can be huge for you. Ask trusting family, friends or neighbors for one evening a month. Can you afford a cleaning service one time per month? Is there a job you’d be willing to take that allows flexible hours and the ability to work at home? You know one of our families we work with helps make ends meet by running a YouTube channel where they show that you CAN have a life and this family has TWO children with special needs, and one of them is in a wheelchair. The channel is called See the Seitz.
The long and short of this post is… Look after yourself a little! Make sure you are eating all of the foods that Mama told you to. Are you getting regular exercise? Don’t make excuses anymore. There are free training videos on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and all over the internet, in as little as 15 minutes you can increase muscle tone, flexibility and energize your body to take on the day! Regular sleep schedule is the best thing you can do. Can’t sleep well? Checkout Melatonin and our post on that! https://hmlfunctionalcare.com/is-melatonin-addictive/