This post comprises five promises from a dad to his son on five separate pages. At the bottom of each promise is a link to the next promise, or you can jump directly to a page within this post. Comments left will be visible on any of the five promise pages.
1) “I promise to be patient with you when you’re agitated and cannot express yourself.”
On top of being moderately cognitively impaired and on the autism spectrum, The Little Professor has severe speech apraxia. He has receptive language skills, but his expressive language is minimal. Understandably, he gets frustrated and agitated fairly often, which results in one, or some combination of the following:
Add to the fact that he has had sleep issues his entire life, and we occasionally find ourselves getting screamed at and hit in the face at three o’clock in the morning. I will tell you that it is jarring, to say the least, and it’s not easy to deal with when it happens.
Whether you have a child with special needs or a typically-abled child, chances are you’ve lost your patience at some point. Think about a time when you felt your ire rising. Did you feel it in your chest? Your head? Did you notice an increase in heart rate? Did you grit your teeth? Take note of those warning signs that you’re about to go Nicholas Cage on your kid(s). Practice stopping that feeling in its tracks. We’re not always in a situation to remove ourselves from situations involving our kids, but if you are, go ahead and take a few minutes. Breathe–whether or not you actually leave to compose yourself. Take a few deep breaths and compose yourself. When we get angry, the more basic, primal area of our brain takes over, and we no longer think rationally. You don’t deserve to be so riled up, and your kids don’t deserve to be on the receiving end of it.