Gear Parenting Resources

Importance of Maintaining Your Composure

As parents, many of us are full of emotion when we finally make the call to someplace/someone to help “fix” things for our child with special needs.

What happens is, our emotions alienate the very person that can help us. Our emotions come through as frustration and anger.  Then we become even more upset when this person rejects us.

The fact is, we need to take the time to think about what we really need to say, so we can better communicate and make better sense for the person who has answered the phone and is willing to listen to us.

So next time a problem arises, take a good deep breath, do some research, find out what opportunities are available and exactly what your child needs.  Take some notes before you make the call, and do all you can to make this person your friend.  If we are asking them to help, or to work with us, then we need to be sure they want to be a partner.

Our children will reap the benefit of the time we took to reorganize our thoughts.

Intervention Strategies For Attention Deficit Behaviors

1. Reduce stimuli whenever possible.

2. Pay attention to and respond warmly to the child’s positive behaviors often. (such as playing quietly or being responsible)

3. Communicate approval by facial expression, tone of voice and touch.

4. Show excitement around accomplishments.

5. Ignore negative behavior whenever possible and appropriate.

6. Refrain from giving unnecessary commands.

7. Respond calmly and effectively to negative behavior.  Please do not yell at children!

8. Use timeout when necessary. (30 seconds to 1 minute per year of age) and only if this method does not escalate the situation!

9. When necessary, become trained to do therapeutic holds. You should be trained or certified so you don’t accidentally harm your child or yourself.

10. Avoid making unrealistic expectations of the child.  Example: expecting cooperation during a long shopping trip or expecting good behavior all of the time!

11. Use the following communication techniques: The parent telling about his/her experiences as a child, and asking follow up questions, listening and paraphrasing, tracking and describing….verbalizing the child’s behavior during play with the child.  Have a “nightly review” celebrate with the child, the positive behaviors noted during the day

12. Arrange day time activities to include: large motor activities like outdoor play.fine motor activities like playing with blocks playing alone playing with other children being alone with a parent being with the family.

13. Avoid making negative remarks about the child or generalizations to negative attributions.

Where Parents Are

Compiled by Helen Jones (former G.E.A.R. staff member) through personal experience.

There are 30-31 days in a month. Here are 31 examples of everyday life for us, the parents of children with special needs!

1.Sitting in an emergency room or hospital with their child, waiting for a bed

2. At home by the phone awaiting a call back from crisis intervention

3. Exhausted from lack of sleep from being up all night with their child who doesn’t sleep most of the night

4. At home awaiting crisis workers to arrive

5. At a hospital visiting their child in treatment

6. At a hospital with their child who needed medical treatment

7. Out of state to be near their child in residential treatment

8. At home trying desperately to grasp the opportunity for some “quality time” with the rest of the family

9. At home overwhelmed by stacks of paperwork that need to be filled out for services, wraparound supports, SSI, Medicaid, etc.

10. At home with the children, waiting for respite so they can get out

11. At home tending their children who are too fragile to leave

12. At home yearning for the opportunity to have their voices heard

13. Making phone calls, only to get yet another answering machine

14. At home, not knowing who to call or where to start

15. At home in crisis with no phone or transportation

16. At home juggling a budget that doesn’t allow for much gas monies

17. At home, depressed, embarrassed to let anyone know their child needs help. Feeling inadequate.

18. In the hospital because they didn’t have time to care for themselves

19. At home, recovering from being in the hospital

20. Meeting with the child’s case manager

21. In a meeting to access in home supports

22. At a Dr’s. Appointment whether it is medical, therapy or other

23. At their school to a PET meeting trying to develop an IEP

24. At a meeting for supported work programs

25. At a meeting for supported living

26. At home with their child who has been sent home from school

27. At home with their child who can’t go to school

28. In court with their child who made a bad choice

29. In court filing paperwork for guardianship/conservatorship

30. Visiting their incarcerated child

31. Visiting their child who didn’t get services in a timely manner and is in foster care

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