Managing my Anxiety

So because anxiety always pops up uninvited, I had to learn some combat skills to keep it from ruining my life. I could be having a great day… and then those crazy thoughts come out of no where. Thoughts like somethings going to go wrong soon or thoughts of people that have been nothing but kind to me will betray me soon. I’ve gotten tired of these thoughts ruining happy moments for me so I begin to get to the root of them.

  • First thing I do is remind myself that NOTHINGS HAPPENED. I’ll be sitting there worried about things that haven’t even happened.
  • Secondly, I think of all the possible outcomes of what I’m worried about. I’ve found that the worst case scenario is something I can live with.

For instance, I had terrible anxiety a couple of weeks ago because I hadn’t renewed plate sticker because my car wasn’t passing the emissions test. After I sorted through all the anxiety, I calmed myself by remembering that the worst case scenario is that I will get a ticket…and I can pay a ticket.

Anxiety is always an inconvenience and there is never a good time for it to show up. However, I am determined to continue to fight for the good life that exists beyond anxiety.

Anxiety

The word Anxiety has been getting a larger spotlight in mainstream media lately as more people are realizing they suffer from it. This disorder can be absolutely crippling and at the very least, a big hindrance to anyone that suffers from it. According to the Mayo Clinic some of the common symptoms of anxiety are Excessive worry, insomnia, feelings of impending doom, fatigue, lack or concentration and racing thoughts. 

As a parent to a special needs child, I myself have experienced many of these symptoms. It’s often times forgotten by others, that as a special needs parents we have a lot more planning to do for our daily routines. We have to research schools harder, make sure our children know and use proper bathroom etiquette, remind them to use their words when they want or need something,etc. This is why being plugged into a network of parents that have the same special concerns as you is so important. Even if it’s just exchanging phone numbers with the parents who have children in the same classroom as your child.

The most important take away from this post should be that your are not alone. Feel free to contact Autism But Life Goes On as we are definitely supporters of our Special Needs families.

Dreams or Delusions

wp-1531415439569..jpeg

Life sometimes leaves you questioning reality. You’re told to do good in high school so that you can get into a good college, and then do well in college so that you can get a good job. Next you’re told to embrace the entry level position offered right out of college so that you can build your resume. However, after more than a decade of skill set building and networking and you’re still not where you want to be in life you begin to wonder what went wrong. Have your dreams turned into delusions?

As the parent of a special needs child, I’ve had to modify the route I planned to take to get to my dreams but I didn’t think I would have to forfeit them altogether. The reality is that spending 9 hours a day in an office does not work for me because I have to get my son on and off the school bus 2 hours before most jobs want you to leave. Of course I am always looking for freelance projects and jobs that will allow you to work a portion of the day from, but they are difficult to find.

Am I to assume that the “Good Life” is reserved for people that don’t have special needs children? Hmmm… I didn’t get that memo when I was racking up student loan debt. I did read in the somewhere that “the race does not go to the swift, but to those who endure to the end.” On that note, I’ll continue to try to put together the pieces of this dream that used to be crystal clear as I don’t want them to shatter and be lost forever.

Summer Camp for our Special Children

Summer camps are a great resource for parents.

All over the country children are bubbling with excitement, for they know summer break is days away or for some has already started.  Many parents are bubbling to; I’m just not sure all of it is excitement as much as a tad bit of stress. For the next 2 months we’re in charge of making an itinerary to keep our children busy and happy for the several hours a day that they were in school.

Summer camps are a great resource for parents. A lot of camps have 8 hour schedules, which allow the children to be somewhere safe where they can interact with other children and learn some cool stuff at the same time. This of course allows for the parents to keep up their work schedule and/or other interests they’re committed to.

The Park Districts in most cities have “Special Recreation” for special needs individuals ranging from the ages of 7- 19. In addition the prices are drastically lower than other camps. However, don’t let that be the determining factor.  We know our children better than anyone so definitely choose the camp that’s a good fit for your child. I highly recommend visiting the park with your child prior to signing them up. Good vibes makes for good experiences for both the parent and child.

I look forward to sharing and reading your summer camp stories very soon.

Big Hug

Bernadette

Why so few Options?

The recent events involving the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union(CTU) put some things on my mind as I was left feeling extremely vulnerable within the last 72 hours. The City of Chicago and the CTU announced that they had come to an agreement at 11:55pm last night; 5 minutes before the deadline to avoid a strike. In the event of a strike Chicago Public School teachers would not have gone to work which means students would not have been able to go to school.

This is bothersome on so many levels because for one, Education is one thing that is key to having a prosperous future and therefore should not be looked upon as an option. Secondly, everyone in this country has the right to an education, so having a lapse in what we are owed seems like an infraction upon or rights. However, being faced with the possible scenario of a strike left me wondering where my child would go while I was at work? I found a short list of places that would open their doors to children that attended Chicago Public Schools and, were not able to stay at home due to parent work obligations, but on that list it was only one organization that was properly staffed to work with Special Needs children. The Chicago Park District has a Special Recreation program and staff that work with Special Needs children on a regular basis. However, though I was relieved to know that my son would have a safe place to go; it left me wondering why my options are so few.The parents of the children that are not special needs had several options as to where they could take their children while I only had one.

I am going to make it a point to talk to aldermen and any other necessary city officials to get more resources for special needs families. We should have multiple options as to where we can take our children when they are not in school. Autism, Down Syndrome and other disabilities are not new therefore resources for people touched by them should not be scarce. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this topic.

Politics and Autism

“but then it happened… I heard a little piece that was targeted specifically at me.”

The upcoming Presidential Election has once again brought the fierce exchange of insult slinging between the two candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Like many Americans, I’ve been following the Presidential Debates and watched the latest of the two which aired on Sunday, October 9th. There was the typical talk of politics and how each of the candidates felt they could do a better job than the other… but then it happened… I heard a little piece that was targeted specifically at me. Hillary Clinton stated that she has worked to make sure special needs children are give the proper resources in schools to lead meaningful lives. My brain immediately hit the refresh button for my body as I immediately became more attentive and focused on what the two candidates were saying.

Hillary Clinton was right to make note of the efforts that she has made to insure that our children have education equality and are given the same opportunities as other children to become productive members of society. NEWS FLASH everyone, WE MATTER. Every single day we take care of our special needs loved ones and our efforts are not in vain. We are preparing great people to do great things, so it is befitting that a Presidential Candidate boast about what she is doing and plans to do for us because WE MATTER. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this topic; I welcome your comments.