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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Parenting

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Parenting

The six stages of emotion

Posted: 03 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

STUDIES have shown that children with autism can be diagnosed as early as two years old, but it is often difficult for families to come to terms with the diagnosis. These are the stages most people go through, and some ways to deal with the emotions.


During the initial stages, being in denial is perfectly understandable, but don't let it get in the way of taking action. Don't deny your child the help he needs to overcome any symptom he's expressing.


An overwhelming guilt is what most parents feel when they first discover their child is autistic. You may always wonder if there was anything that you could've done to prevent the situation. Channel your energy into getting help for your child instead.


There will always be risks involved in having a child. Passing around blame serves no useful function and can strain the marriage.


Feeling angry isn't always a bad thing.

Channeling your anger towards appropriate and useful action can sometimes help in conquering a challenge.

But if your kind of anger makes you sullen and resentful towards people who are trying to help, then get help.


Many parents with autistic children prefer to stay away from social situations for fear that their child will act out in public. This starts a bad cycle: the effect of social isolation is that your child won't learn how to behave in social situations. And as his behaviour in social situations deteriorates, the parents will feel even more compelled to stay home.

It's a slow climb, but learn to get control over the problem behaviours. Try to create as many positive social opportunities as you can so your child can learn and grow.

Get external help if you must, so you and your spouse can also have alone time together.


Feeling depressed is to be expected, though most parents find that their initial feelings of hopelessness lift once they plunge into actively seeking interventions for their child.

Uncertainty and inactivity can be very depressing but when you start taking the necessary steps to improve your child's symptoms, you might just pull through and feel optimistic again.

> Source: Familyeducation.com.

Related story:

Breaking down the walls 

When relatives tease your child

Posted: 03 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

WHAT would you do if your relatives teased your child or talked with others about his or her "bad behaviour"?

Let's say your child, like mine, has learning disabilities and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. One relative condescendingly asked me why I was unable to control my hyperactive son while someone else in my family was able to.

That relative believes my child "must have behavioural problems at school" even though he has never had one issue in all his years in school. The list goes on and on.

So how did I handle this? I started by following some suggestions from the National Center for Learning Disabilities: What to Do If Your Child Is Being Teased by Relatives (http://bit.ly/1cqzzrn).

I asked my son questions, as the website suggests. "Teasing can be good-natured or it can be hurtful," it says. "This is true whether a relative is doing the teasing or a classmate.

Ask your child what was happening when he was being teased. Was it meant as something hurtful? If so, why would that person want to hurt him? Was the teasing playful? Did the teasing bother your child? Why? Asking your child these kinds of questions will help him learn how to analyse situations on his own in the future."

I also "played some tennis" with my son, as the article suggests, and taught him how to quickly respond to good-natured teasing. I explained the difference between that and mean-spirited teasing.

We had a discussion with the relatives, but discussing the matter didn't change their behaviour. Ultimately, my husband and I had to make a difficult choice to stay away from these people for our son's protection.

It is hard enough to build up a child with ADHD and learning disabilities, work with teachers on an almost daily basis and with doctors to get your child all the tools they need to make sure they succeed. In my never-humble opinion, people working against your child and your family don't get to be part of their lives.

If you have a relative or friend behaving this way around your child or disparaging your child to others, I strongly suggest trying work it out with them first. Use honest, open communication, if possible. Try to inform them.

Suggest they do some research on learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders and the autism spectrum, so they can better understand your child. But, also tell the individual it's never OK to tease your child, talk to him or her in a condescending or mean-spirited way or about him to others.

If that doesn't work, keep in mind that this is your child. It's your job as a parent to keep your child safe, sometimes even from relatives. – The Orlando Sentinel/McClatchy Tribune Information Services.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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