STAYING ORGANIZED IN THE CHAOS OF PARENTING
Raising a child on the spectrum presents many unique challenges as their likes, dislikes, and behaviors are often different from their peers and even your other children. However, you can overcome many challenges by keeping yourself organized as you learn to juggle your responsibilities along with your children’s schedules. Today’s tips from Decluttered Life can help.
Organization And Healthcare
Children with autism tend to see their healthcare providers
more than neurotypical children. They may also have comorbidities that make their healthcare more complex. One smart move here is to keep your children’s health records, school transcripts, and other pertinent papers organized in a PDF. PDF documents are typically preferred by medical providers because they don’t lose information and the layout stays the same whether your providers are reading from their phone, a tablet, or a desktop. Further, you can save them to your phone – PDFs go to the downloads folder by default but can depend on where you saved it – for quick access, even if you don’t have an internet connection.
A Clean And Cozy Home
For children with autism, clutter can become a problem. One of the greatest gifts you can give your family as a parent is to keep a clean, uncluttered, and cozy home for everyone. To do this, start by clearing out extraneous pieces of furniture and décor that you do not need and that do not promote your well-being. Once you’ve gotten rid of what you no longer want, you might wish to purchase new items that better accommodate your family. Before you do this, measure your room; Lowe’s offers insights on measuring both rectangular and odd-shaped spaces. If your new pieces won’t fit, consider moving some things around to accommodate them or looking for smaller yet comparable items.
If you need some professional assistance cleaning and decluttering your home, turn to Decluttered Life. With a variety of services and price points, we can find a solution for you.
Children on the spectrum appreciate not only clean and orderly areas, but they also need a calming environment that allows them to get away from sensory disruption. Consider giving them a bed tent, white noise machine, firm mattress, and plenty of pillows.
Dinnertime: A Major Challenge
One of the greatest challenges parents with children with autism face is dinner. Kids with autism are often averse to certain textures, which means that introducing new foods may result in a meltdown. Unfortunately, this can put them on a very narrow diet, which can have a negative impact on their health. Organize your meal-shopping endeavors by offering foods that are similar in texture. Another important step here is to keep mealtimes scheduled as children with autism typically do best with clear expectations, routines, and rules.
Children with autism typically have two educational options. The Best Schools explains that this is a public school or a special school for children with unique educational needs. Choosing the latter is often a wise decision for children that need more hands-on attention in the classroom than their educators can provide. If you choose this route, find a program that focuses on social, emotional, and mental health for students ages three and up. Autism schools can also help keep you organized and, in many cases, can arm your children with additional tools they need to thrive as adults on the spectrum.
While considering education, it’s worth considering your own education and career. Raising a child on the spectrum doesn’t have to impinge on your goals. If you want to become a teacher, for example, consider pursuing a degree online. This may be a good option for you because class schedules are flexible to your needs.
Staying organized means different things for different families. When your family has a child on the spectrum, organizing their medical records (and keeping them as a PDF on your phone), streamlining mealtime, keeping an organized home, and providing them with an education that meets their needs are all smart ways to stay on top of things without getting buried under schedules, appointments, and the other challenges that go with parenting an atypical child.
Article by: Leslie Campos. She created Wellparents.com to offer help and resources to busy parents who want to stay healthy and active. Her site offers parents a variety of information from stress-busters to exercise ideas to healthy eating tips. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, CrossFit and watching the Great British Baking Show.