Life With A Side Of Autism

LIFE WITH A SIDE OF AUTISM

Monday, October 5, 2015

Resource Monday: Helping Your Child Manage Stress





I came across a great article in Psychology Today about a useful acronym that helps your child deal with stress. The acronym is ACCEPTS. Have your child seek out these avenues to help diffuse stress:


Activities
Contributing
Comparison
Emotions
Pushing Away
Thoughts
Sensations


Head over to  the article for clarification on all of those items and how you can teach your child to apply them - it's great advice!

My son has always had a problem with impulse control and getting overloaded when he's upset. When he was younger, we played a game based on one of his favorite TV shows, Disney's "Special Agent Oso." Oso was a cute secret agent bear who had to help a child with a task in every episode (brushing teeth, tying shoes, etc.) and he always had "three special steps" to complete. They included a jaunty song about those three special steps, so I hijacked it and taught David to self-regulate to a degree by remembering his "three special steps:"


Step One: Stop yelling, hitting or throwing things
Step Two: Take three deep breaths
Step Three: Use your words: tell us why you're upset

Now that David's gotten older, he's found a new way to express all that stuff boiling up inside him, courtesy of the folks at Pixar. We went to see Inside Out a few times over the summer (we both loved it!) and for David, it gave him a means to express what was going on in a way that was organic for him. He now tells me that Anger is yelling inside his head or Fear is really not liking something or Sadness has her hand on one of his core memories. From there we can talk about the best way to manage all those characters in his head, and we also reaffirm that it's okay to feel that way sometimes, as long as you stay in control of it and don't lash out at anyone.

What about you? What are your parenting tricks to help your kid cope?


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