We’re not really into cliché New Year’s resolutions. Been there, done that, fallen off the wagon countless times. We do, however, dig resolutions that help kids to learn and grow at home. They’re absolutely worthwhile. For example, let’s say you commit to helping Sally speak. With a bit daily work – you have to be consistent for good results — she could be saying “I love you” or “I want some crackers” instead of screaming for 15 minutes. Her words will be music to your ears and you’ll want to continue with your New Year’s vow. Awesome! So, sign up for a resolution that’ll help your kiddo bloom in 2017. Here are several suggestions.
1. Play, play, play! Board games, tea parties and pretending to be superheros have a lot of benefits: Playing helps build social skills, joint attention, communication, imitation, problem-solving and turning-taking. Since play doesn’t come naturally to kids with autism, promise to teach your sweetie the skills. It’s a fun-filled resolution!
2. Teach joint attention: If Johnny has a hard time getting, holding and shifting attention when he’s interacting with others, then commit to honing these skills. It’s an important resolution because joint attention is a crucial part of social, language and cognitive development.
3. Increase emotional awareness: Does it seem like your child with Asperger’s is on a never-ending emotional rollercoaster or that she’s the real-life version of an Inside Out character? Make it your mission in 2017 to help your honey better understand and regulate her emotions, so she feels more calm and connected to herself (and you!).
4. Work on tantrum-free transitions: Simply ending one activity and beginning a new one can trigger some kids to meltdown. Sound familiar? Vow to implement the tips and tools it takes to make transitions easy-peasy for Tina, so you both have a less stressful, more peaceful year.
5. Encourage your child to talk: If your child with ASD is tight-lipped when it comes to chatting, commit to using communication temptations to help him talk. 2017 will be so much brighter when Timmy asks for exactly what he wants and needs!
6. Practice positive reinforcement: Kids are more likely to do something over and over again when they receive attention for their actions. To shape good behaviour, promise to consistently shower Suzy’s desirable deeds with praise. Stick to your resolution and your sweetie will act positively more often than not.
7. Teach your child to read: Have a young learner who doesn’t know how to read or is struggling with it? Resolve to help her learn how, so she can read you bedtime stories. All you need is Teach Your Child How to Read in 100 Easy Lessons – it’s an effective, affordable and step-by-step phonics program – and 30 minutes a day.
Wishing you all the best! Happy New Year!
Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net