Many people welcome the new year as a breath of fresh air, a symbolic clean slate, and a chance to achieve new goals. For parents of kids with autism, adding a new year’s resolution to your list of responsibilities may seem challenging, but it could also prove to be a worthwhile achievement. If you’re looking to make this new year more than just an exchange of calendars, here are a few ideas of new year's resolutions to consider.
- Explore new recipes: You can set the goal of trying out a new recipe each month, or perhaps even each week if you feel up to the challenge. Parenting for kids with ASD typically means trying to achieve adequate nutrition with a relatively limited diet. There are plenty of casein-free, gluten-free, and low sugar recipes out there that will satisfy your child’s appetite. You can also invite your child to try cooking with you for a fun shared activity. Did we do a non-holiday recipe or story about cooking with kids? If so, we should link it here, no?
- Take more advantage of local resources: Community is important when raising children on the spectrum. It can be easy to feel isolated or even lost without guidance or support. Thankfully there are plenty of organizations, such as the Autism Society, that work to connect families, provide education, and create fun events designed to accommodate autistic children.
- Achieve more physical activity: This applies to both parents and children. For children with autism, physical activity is an excellent mood stabilizer, coordination builder, and overall crucial component to maintaining a healthy body and mind. The same applies to parents as well. As hard as it can be to fit into your schedule, the results of getting regular exercise will be well worth it.
- Plan a family vacation: Children with autism often struggle a great deal to work outside of a set routine and have a hard time in excessively stimulating environments. That being said, the idea of breaking a routine to go to a place that’s likely full of sensory overload comes across as a nightmare of a situation for a child on the spectrum. However, with some attention grabbing toys during travel, a carefully chosen location, and effort to include your child’s familiar activities into the itinerary, a successful family vacation is absolutely possible. If you do your research, you can even find vacation companies and locations specifically created for families with autistic children.
- Take up a new hobby: With so much attention and effort poured into parenting, the dangers of neglecting your own passions become very real. Make it your goal to find at least one hobby you practice on a regular basis that is specific to you and makes you happy. Whether it’s art, music, crafting, or perhaps something along the lines of bouldering, do something that allows you to recharge and feel like a more complete you.
Introducing Neural Balance Parent's Portal:
Do you have a resolution that you’d like to share, our Neural Balance Parent’s Portal is a great way to tell your story and help other parents along the way. If you’d like to submit a story, blog or tip, visit https://www.neuralbalance.com/parent-portal/ for submission info. Here is to a happy and healthy 2018!