Looking back 16 years ago when i became a mom to a cute 3.15kg baby boy. I was still in the operation room half ceaser. Its was a scary moment when i heard doctors talking to each other “the baby not crying!” faster..do something”! I heard foot step running..and within 10 minute i can hear a baby crying. I was relieved, everyone was relieved. My baby boy is so chubby and i remember his smell the first time i hold him..smell so nice. My Sean Matthew is my first born…and thats is the start of my journey of being a mother.
Something is not right
First time having a baby of my own but not a first time taking care of baby. We are the generations who become nanny to our relatives, taking care of our younger cousins during school holiday.
There is something not right when a child became too active, too sensitive and doesnt want to play with other kids. As a mother this worries me.
I know I have to do something, even though I was being denial. Just imagine when you are in a party, he will just scream just because he dont get what he wants or scream and lie down on the floor in a restaurant because he thought the people in front was looking and talking about him. That is just a two examples of many situations we faced.
It was embarrasing, stressful and i might be into depression (didnt get myself check). As i know its not normal to have feeling to jump from my 2nd floor apartment, crying without reason and became worse after my second child was born. I was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted.
The Blaming Game
The cozy home became war zone. Love became hate. There are nothing good to see anymore, everything focus on the bad and the wrong.
Then I wanted to do something different, i want to change!we want change!
To understand something you need to learn about it. Mr. Google has become my good buddy and references. Seeking informormation and knowledge from parenting, special needs and self development. How to control stress? understand emotions….and how to be a good mother?…”change anything you want to be with NLP”.
I packed my bag and took my NS-NLP Certification in KL for 7 days in 2010. Its a complicated things but i slowly understood the way it works once i applied it in my life..to myself and my family.
I didnt stop learning, attending seminar and courses related to special needs and children to be general. Outdoor Play and Certified Teacher Yoga for Kids.
After attended seminars, I then realized there are NLP technique being used in other therapy but the only different is the terms they used.
I did my own research and applied it my son, from how to control his tantrum/meltdown, how to relax, how to get ready for big event and so on.
There are so many Certified NLP Trainers in Malaysia and even Master NLP Trainer in Sabah. I am not sure how many can use their NLP knkwledge to help you as what i did is all through my own experience.
Do check out this Tips to get Autism ready for social gathering.
Should you need my assistant, please do not be hesitate to email me at email@example.com
Everyone know what is communication and why we communicate, in general to convey message and making sure the receiver received and understand the message. You are receiving my message while reading this article.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR ROLES, RESPONSIBILITIES AND YOUR CLIENTS
As a Teacher, your roles are more than a ‘Teacher’. Students and Parents are your main clients. For parents, you are the first person they asked advice from or someone they turned to if they want to share something about their child because you are with their child most of the time at school.
For students, you are more than a Teacher who provides education, you provide protection, support, encouragement, love and care. You are their older sister/brother or even as their parents. You carry lots of responsibilities in your daily duties. Be proud of it!
WE ARE FULL OF EMOTIONS
Yes we are human, we are not perfect. We are full of emotions and everyday we are facing with lots of ups and downs. Remember not only you have lots of stuff going on in your mind…kids do too.
WHAT IS GOING ON INSIDE OUR MIND
BEFORE YOU START YOUR DAY
Before you start your day. Inhale, exhale and be thankful. Keep yourself calm and enjoy the day.
Remember the 5 basic needs, each and everyone of us need these basic needs to get ready to learn. Every child need to be seen, heard, need to be respected, need to feel belong and therefore they will be ready to learn.
HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR STUDENTS
You are not just dealing with any typical students, you are dealing with ‘special needs students’. You might have observe each students and you are fully understood that each students are different but the one thing that is similar are they are fragile. Looks like they don’t understand you but they do have feelings, they heard and understand whenever you talking about them. They don’t want sympathy they want empathy. They want you to show them you CARE and LOVE them.
Always remember to listen to them, look at their eyes, mirror them and speak their language. Observes their action, their needs. The more you observe, the more you be able to understand them. Have vision on them and asked them their vision. Show them empathy, they want to feel that you understand them, that will make them feel secure and safe.
Handling kids are never easy, handling special needs need special teacher like you. Be calm, keep calm because that is the only weapon that helps you go through their mind. Acknowledge them and use their names when you are talking to them. Recognize their ability, even the small things makes a big different. Always encourage them, for the job well done. Even when they fail, keep on encouraging on what they can improve.
DON’T JUDGE THE PARENTS FOR THEIR CHILD’S BEHAVIOR
We use to judge parents when their child behave badly especially in public. I believe this happened in school too, whenever there is a naughty student we assume the behavior must be from home.
I would have think the same before but when my kids are in school I seen some differences, things I didn’t teach from home, things I don’t want them to say, its all there in the package.
...”Over the years, I’ve learned that child behavior is not as cut and dry as I once might’ve believed. Some kids aren’t born with a “don’t hit” and “be gentle” button, and it takes time to nurture those things. No two children are alike, and having a son that hits and bites is further confirmation of that fact. And while before I was a seasoned parent, I thought the only thing that resulted from good parenting was kind and obedient children, now I know otherwise. In fact, I’ve met plenty of wonderful parents over the years with kids who seem like they go out looking for trouble. I’ve come to believe that it’s one of the great lessons of parenting—that you can’t control everything your children do”.-Sarah Bregel- Parenting.com
…”Once kids reach school age (and for many of us, even sooner) they are away from us many hours a day. We have less control over the things—and people, and behaviors—they latch onto. Of course, it’s always important to take note of, and work to curb, any undesirable qualities that pop up, but being away from parents is a good thing. It gives kids room to grow and explore in new ways. We will still be the most influential people in our children’s lives, and inevitably they’ll pick up some of our mannerisms, ideas, habits, prejudices, and talents. But they don’t have to be—shouldn’t be—our mirror image…” Peggy Drexler Ph.D. – PsychologyToday.com
Imagine those parents with special needs child like me, we face challenges in managing our child’s behavior. There are times we can’t control them and they themselves unable to control what they experiencing, remember they are SPECIAL, they have sensory integration issues.
Parents are already stress, not that they don’t do their work but they are things beyond their control. If you focus on the parents too much you are will not be able to focus on the child.
HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE PARENTS
CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO ON HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH PARENTS
You have chosen your career as a Special Education Teacher and I am sure you more willing to learn. Working with different type of special needs students, with all the tools you learn, the knowledge and experiences you have, you need to be physical and mentally strong.
From a parent to all the special education teachers .. I salute you.. and thank you for your hard work.
YOU DID A GREAT JOB!
Here are the full version of the video;
Notes : This article is adapted from my presentation for empowering teachers and Trainers program organized by CHILD,UNICEF AND MPWS. This article may have been different from the actual slides presentation but the content are more likely the same.
My parents just celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary last Saturday, 29 July 2017. While we, the family members preparing for the event, i myself busy preparing my mild autism asperger teen, in making sure he know what is going on and how to react on every situation.
After the celebration last Saturday, i should say its a success. I am happy the celebration has over but i am celebrating the achievement made by my son.
It bugs me when people tell me ‘biar saja‘ or ‘its okay, just let him be’. Maybe for work for other parents but not me, I don’t want my son to get too excited or too nervous which will lead to meltdown which will later regret and embarrassed him.
Autism especially asperger are no different from other typical kids, they too have feelings and dignity. They only need assistance and guidance in whatever they do.
Let me share what we did before the event last Saturday, probably this will help especially those with special needs child.
You will need at least 1 or two weeks to prepare especially if it’s a big event. Let him know what is the occasion about. When is it going to be held, how long and who are going to be there. Be specific and details as you can.
Most special needs has sensory problems so its good to prepare them using VAK (Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic) technique to get them fully understand.
Make it visual, as for my son i just tell him when and he will marked it on the calendar. I informed my son that there will be music and it might be loud sometimes. I also informed him that he can join any dance if he feels comfortable with, also reminded him that its okay if people look at him or laugh as it does not mean it meant for him.
You can show your child a picture of their cousins or a wedding picture with crowds just to give them ideas.
Look into their eyes when you speak in making sure your child know your child know you talking to her/him and it is important to listen. Your tone of voice and facial expression are important in sending them the message. You may need to be strict yet gentle at the same time.
Each day i reminded him about the event and keep on saying ‘I know you can do it’ and ‘remember to relax‘.
I let him know all his cousins and other people will be there and possibility of weather, noise etc. I told my son ..‘the venue might be long, weather might be warm, there will be music and it might be loud…but whatever it is you must relax’.
This is the fun part. We had a role-play of whats going to happened, for example how to interact with people. We did a role-play on how to react when someone come to him and how to introduce himself to others.
WHAT CAN AND CANNOT DO
I keep a reminder on what he can and cannot do. Some simple rules such as..if he is tired..uncomfortable he need to inform me or other family members..this to prevent meltdown. Shouting.. or any unnecessary action are prohibited in public..he may need to relax.
Remember they learn by rules and they will understand more if we keep on reminding..and it may become good habit.
ON THE BIG DAY
What happened on the big day was a success. My son introduced himself and was not ashamed. The moment there were music..he was dancing and when he hears his cousin sang he actually told me he wanted to sing..probably next time as he don’t really know what song to sing either. But he dance to every music beats..I was with him only at the first songs to make sure he feels comfortable..the rest is history.
I have been using essential oil for a year now and for those having sensory problems..such scents does helps but this does not heal autism. I believe certain essential oils such as vertiver and peace & calming does helps but make sure to apply at time there are ready and in a relax mood. Never apply essential oils when they are moody or having a meltdown.
THE GOOD AND BAD NEWS
Yes you just read our achievements ..isnt it good news? it takes 50% of all hardwork, commitment for the early preparations. 20% of the reminder, standby and commitment on that day, 10% of the essential oils scents that helps him keep calm and 20% of his own commitment, focus and self esteem. Bravo my son! We can do it..you can too.😊
Be remided that autism are just full of surprises..today i might succeed but tomorrow with many things that can triggers and things that of our control i might lose the battle.
Thats how it goes..just keep on sharing to others about autism and we will never feel alone and those with autism will feel accepted.
Always be ready with plans. If plan A does not work out..there will always other plans but never gives up.
Thanks for reading!
P/S – This is a sharing from my personal point of view as a mother and may not be right from the medical perspective. Every child with autism are different from each other..my tips may not work for others but there are no harm trying.