Behavior

Helping parents whose children have autism

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Hi Everyone,

With autism on the rise, these helpful ideas by Gene Monterastelli can be very helpful.

Hugs, Gary


By Gene Monterastelli

Over the last few years I have been blessed to work with a number of special needs children in my practice (especially those diagnosed on the autism spectrum). 

I love this type of work, but in most cases I will insist that the parent first does work on themselves for their emotions before I start working with their children.  I do this for two reasons. First, I think it is very important that parents know EFT so they are able to continue to do work with their children in an ongoing fashion. Second, it is very important that we are emotionally clear when we are going to help or support someone else in any setting. The more emotionally clear we are the more present we are going to be to those we are serving.  This is particularly important to parents of special needs children.

When I first work with parents there is a series of truth-statements that I use to help parent focus in on the areas that need the most attention.

The list is very easy to use.  Read the statement out loud and see how true it rings.  Not feeling true at all would rate a 0.  Completely true would rate a 10.  Go through the whole list writing your rating down for each statement.  After you have done the whole list, start with the areas that ring the most true.

GC COMMENT: This also an excellent exercise to search for the specific events underlying these globally stated issues. More efficiency is often possible when going to this deeper level.

General Emotions

* This is never going to change

* I am always going to carry this burden

* If my child gets any better it is only going to be for a short time

* Things are only going to get worse

Emotions About Myself

* I want a normal life

* This is my fault

* I did something wrong and this is God's way of punishing me

* I don't deserve this burden

* I deserve a normal life

* I did something wrong to deserve this

* I am missing out on many things because of the special attention my child needs

* I never have time for myself

* I am constantly overwhelmed

* I think I am a bad parent

* There are things I could have done to prevent this

* I feel alone in this struggle

* No one really knows what I am going through

Emotions About My Child

* I feel bad that I think my child is a burden

* I feel bad that I think my child's condition is a burden

Emotions About Family/Friends/ Others

* I can't be present to my spouse because I give so much attention to my child

* I don't get any support from my family

* I don't get any support from my friends

* My family thinks I am a bad parent

* My friends think I am a bad parent

* My child's teacher thinks I am a bad parent

* My child's principal thinks I am a bad parent

* My child's school counselor thinks I am a bad parent

* The school system thinks I am a bad parent

* Strangers in public think I am a bad parent

* This is putting strain on my relationship with my spouse

* This is going to end my marriage

* I am depriving my other children by giving the one so much attention

* My other children are missing out on the attention they need

Emotions About Possible Treatment

* I can't try any new treatments because I am going to get my hopes up, have it fail and be let down again.

* I am overwhelmed by all the treatment options

* I am not smart enough to understand what is going on in my child

* I am not start enough to understand all the treatment options

* I am afraid I am going to make a poor choice about my child's treatment options

Gene Monterastelli

 

 

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