TAKING CARE OF YOU

As discussed on pages 20-21 in our Family Resource Guide, the caretaker plays an important role in the stability of the family.  It is easy to get lost in the whirl of taking care of your child(ren) along with all the other responsibilities of life.  Taking care of yourself is just as important as anything else you will do.

Make this a habit!

MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness Exercises for Beginners
Box Breathing 

Recommended Apps:

  • Calm
  • Headspace
  • Insight Timer

 

LOCAL RESOURCES

Respite

  • Respite care allows caregivers some “downtime” without worrying about the care of their child.  Unlike a babysitter, respite workers are trained healthcare professionals.  Hours of service per week vary, but taking some time to care for yourself and other members of your family allows you to be a better, more refreshed caregiver to your special needs child. Please check with your insurance about coverage.

Articles

SUPPORT GROUPS

In Person

  • Hispanic Support Group
    • Meets on second Thursday of the month, 9-11 a.m at Our Lady of Guadalupe, 6212 Tuckaseegee Road, Charlotte. (Due to COVID-19, please check availability.) 

On-line

  • Virtual Village 
    • Meets Thursdays from 1:00pm-2:00pm.  Registration is required.
FAMILY MATTERS

How to talk to my child, family and friends about an autism diagnosis.

  • Learning about a diagnosis of any type can be a life changing experience for the individual and those that love them.  Deciding who to tell, and when and how to tell them, can be a difficult decision.

 Tips for explaining an autism diagnosis to your child

  •  When to tell your child about their diagnosis
    • Although there is no standard or exact age that is best to tell your child that they have been diagnosed with Autism, many professionals agree that when your child becomes aware of their differences and starts asking questions about why situations are difficult for them, it is time.
    • Consider your child’s unique abilities and social awareness, when deciding when to speak with them and how much to say.  Children may need minimal information to start.  More information can be added over time.
  • How to tell your child about their diagnosis
    • It is important to take a positive approach and speak in ways that are meaningful to the child.  It could take weeks, or months for a child to process the information about their diagnosis.
    • Choose a familiar comfortable place where you won’t be interrupted and when both you and your child are in a calm mood.
    • Decide who should be present to best support your child
    • Starting out with a discussion of differences between family members and strengths and weaknesses, can be a bridge to explaining autism.
    • Another option is to have a professional (doctor, school counselor, psychologist), introduce the diagnosis to the child.  This would allow the family to take a more supportive role in the discussion.

Tips for explaining an autism diagnosis to family and close friends

  • Focus on noticeable behaviors that they might have seen and taken note of.  Explain how these behaviors are a symptom of autism
  • Explain autism basics
    • Autism is a life-long disorder that starts in utero, but with treatment and support, individuals do learn and progress.
    • Autism is a neurodevelopmental disability effecting the normal development of the brain and impacting social interaction, communication and cognitive functioning.
    •  It is a spectrum disorder and no two people experience it  in the same way.
  • Individuals may need time to process the information and may react in different ways. Some may reject the diagnosis, others may be relieved to finally have an explanation for behaviors they have noticed. 

 Siblings

  • Speak to each sibling separately.  This allows you to speak with them in a way that is meaningful to them at their age level.  Young children may need only minimal information and more information can be added over time.
  • Use age appropriate books to help explain autism.
  • Be honest about what they should expect and how this might affect them.

(704) 943-9416