Author: joannegiacomini

Exceptional Patience- What Exceptional Parents Need To Do To Build More Of It

Once again it was a struggle for Michael to get up this morning. I knew it was probably partially due to the fact that he had gone to bed a little later the night before, and partially to do with the new medication he is on that may be making him more tired. I also knew though, that the bus was coming in five minutes and my little angel was still finishing his breakfast. When it arrived, he power dressed and was out the door (with my help), but also with a lot of yelling along the way, that is, on my part.

I was not proud that I lost my temper. It was so obvious to see that his problems with sequencing are the reason. He was not acting out and going slow on purpose.  After the bus left the curb this morning, I felt so guilty. I needed to reach into my patience reserves as an exceptional mom and parent coach. I needed to understand where Michael was coming from. Usually I do. Michael responds to me because of this, as well as families I’ve worked with. When I thought of what strategies I could build into our routine over the summer to prepare him for next year, I realized: videos, pictures of him doing his morning routine. There were lots of options. The most important thing was realizing that Michael sees the world differently than I do, than many of us do. He sees the world through his unique and different brain.  I see both similarities and differences in how he views things than others on the spectrum. It is important to respect and respond to this.

How am I going to do this? First off all, it means taking care of myself physically, spiritually and psychologically. This means doing things that fill up my Mom bucket with hope, love and patience, so I can show that to Michael. It also means having time to myself to think about how my words and actions affect Michael. Finally, it means being open to admitting when I have made a mistake and learning from that. It’s easier to do in one’s job or adult relationships than with a child sometimes, but unless a parent can show their child it is ok to mess up and learn, the child will not be comfortable messing up and learning from their mistakes. This morning was one of those lessons of humility for which I am grateful for and I know I will learn from.

Exceptional Parents, how do you build more parenting patience into your life with your child? The first thing is self-nurturance. Only when you can heal yourself, can you show your child how to begin healing themselves and learning from their mistakes. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

5 Ways to Help Your Exceptional Child Work on Their Self-Esteem

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“I am having trouble playing with my figurines Mommy? Did you and uncle have trouble playing with your toys growing up?”

It both broke my heart and filled it with wonder that Michael was making this effort to try and play on his own properly with his toys. I know it is hard for him. He has a great imagination, but not for the things that require playing pretend. I knew I had to encourage his effort though. I have heard over the years from professionals how Michael’s self-esteem is on the low side, and he is too hard on himself. Time to remind him of what his strengths are.

“Honey, it’s ok that you find it difficult to play with your figurines. Your uncle and I did not cook full meals at your age, have your navigation skills, and we did not do clay artwork. Those are some pretty amazing talents.”
“Really Mommy? Yeah. I guess it’s true.” His face immediately brightened. I felt good that I was able to remind Michael of his many strengths. Kids who are exceptional often struggle more with self-esteem than other kids their age. It’s up to parents to help them learn to love themselves, inside and out.

In that vein, here are 5 ways parents can help build their kids’ self-esteem:

  1. Praise what they can do: No one can do everything, but all kids have a talent or two doing  things they really enjoy.
  2. Spend time having fun with them: It’s so important to spend time with your children. Have fun doing things they are good at and enjoy.
  3. Encourage them to try new things: It’s important to always try new things. Only by doing that, will they be able to eliminate what they are good at and what they struggle with.
  4. Talk about your failures: Talk about your failures, and don’t be afraid to tell your exceptional children how you coped with them.
  5. Help them learn from their failures: It’s so important that kids learn that we all fail sometimes, big and little kids. It’s what we learn from these mistakes that makes or breaks us

Exceptional Parents, how do you build your Exceptional Child’s confidence? The most important thing to do is just be there for them. Help them recognize the gifts they can offer to the world by just being them. In time, this will help them love themselves for who they are. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

Controlling Impulses-The Challenges for Exceptional Parents and Their Children

It’s been a hard two weeks watching Michael struggle with controlling his aggressive and anxiety-provoking impulses. I’ve been seeing some new stims and compulsions that have flat out scared me. I am not proud that I reacted with anger to some of them, if not at first, then eventually.  I then reigned myself in and both sympathized with Michael and showed compassion for myself. It is not easy handling his anxiety and mine. This made me realized I also have to reign in my impulses as a Mom. I have to learn not to jump the gun and panic when my child does something very weird or potentially dangerous. Yes, I need to react, but I need to do it calmly, and as I said in a previous post, be Buddha Mom.

At the moment, we are not sure if the new medication is helping or harming him. All I know is that for the last two weeks, I cannot leave Michael near food, he will compulsively eat. That is not new, as one of the meds causes an increase in appetite. He also has developed stims that cause him to want to cover up the oven timer or turn it off and on, close drapes not to see my car, and on a walk the other day, he jumped into a traffic lane as he felt he couldn’t stop himself. In between these acts, he is my smart, responsible fun boy, but the impulses to act in silly and dangerous ways has steadily been increasing. This morning he did not want to take the school bus to school saying it may not bring him home. He has had a few bus driver changes, bus changes and time changes on bus, but I’ve never seen him so worked up. Slowly with his team we are looking for answers. In the meantime, I am realizing that it is more important than ever to look at the fun moments we have; a great bike ride we took the other morning, swimming at the pool, and the wonderful way he is making lunches and doing his artwork. The questions he asks and the friendships he has.

Exceptional Parents, how do you handle your child’s impulsivity and your own? Remember, go easy on them and you. You are both under a lot of pressure, and the best way to succeed is to give each other space and time to regulate physically and psychologically before talking things through.  Seek hep for yourself, professional or other if you need it as you do for your child .They need you to be strong. You will find the answers to the problems you are looking to solve in time if you do this. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

The Little Moments That End Up Being Big Ones- Exceptional Child Surprises

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“Are you enjoying the blues music Michael or are you bored?”

I watched Michael closely on the beach towel while we both relaxed listening to the blues music being played by our local blues festival. It was late afternoon and there were not too many people. Perfect for a beautiful sunny afternoon out. We had just finished eating dinner. He had done so well as always, with cooperating for his blood sugar and injection. I remembered last year how restless he was after he had his Jamaican patty and veggies. But this year he seemed calmer and serene.

“No, Mommy. I like the music. I want to stay a long time this year. Maybe till 11:00 pm.” I smiled to myself. It was 5:30 pm and though he was happy, I thought 11:00 pm would be pushing it a little. Then, the next words out of his mouth both made me proud and broke my heart a little:

“Last year I was not able to sit here and listen to the music with you. I had diabetes Mommy, and I didn’t have my insulin. I was very sick. This year, my diabetes is being treated with the insulin and I feel so much better.”

The pride I had in his maturity was matched by my sorrow for my little guy that has to deal with living with diabetes though he is such a champ about it. He is so good at carb counting and learning more every day. He reminds us of his snacks, what injection pen he needs and knows the difference between high and low blood sugar. He also is so good at remembering the timing of his injections. And his attitude about having diabetes is very matter of fact, though there are times he is sad of course. He has asked me if he will have diabetes for life. I told him yes, but now he explains his disease to others patiently and says what we told him, that as long as he manages it with proper insulin, diet and exercise he will be fine. He also told me that he does like learning about the diabetes equipment he has to use, that it’s kind of cool. I don’t think I would have coped at 11 years old as well as Michael is coping with this new health condition. He is my hero here as well as for so many other reasons! When he has challenging behavior days and learning challenges, I remember the high times.

But this moment in time also reminded me of something else-how precious those little moments are that we spend with our children and what it means to our relationship with them. Michael and I really bonded that afternoon, as well as earlier that day bike riding. I am seeing more and more each day how Michael is maturing. He is better able to communicate his feelings to me, stay more in the moment when doing his activities, and asking very important questions about life. This is what really matters in the end-to see the light at the end of the tunnel when times are rough for parents and for their child.

Exceptional Parents, how often have you noticed that those little moments you spend with your child actually end up being the big ones they and you remember? It’s amazing when we realize that we as Exceptional Parents can help make our Exceptional Child’s reality good or bad by what we say and do, and by showing them how much we love to spend time together. Today, don’t be afraid to look for those little moments to have a conversation, hug, laugh, or just sit next to one another and enjoy each other’s company. This is what they will remember, and will help them become even more resilient in life. Who knows, they may even help you become more resilient in your life too. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com

When Your Exceptional Child Understands Self-Regulation And How To Help Them Continue On The Path

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I am so happy to write these words on screen. Michael is really, really connecting how to self-regulate with his new body. I say new body, as he had reached this point prior to his Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis and puberty, but then it seemed he had to start learning all over again what made him calm down. As he got older, he also developed new fears and anxieties, social ones, self-esteem ones, and worries about his future.

My little boy that talked about a job, getting married and moving into his own home, all of a sudden started regressing. He talked about living with Dad and I. Being afraid to be alone. Being afraid of his thoughts. He still has some of these fears, but he is recognizing how to handle them. He is learning new strategies (and using some old ones), to calm down when he gets angry, anxious and stressed. I am so proud that he has started in the last two weeks connecting his thoughts to his actions. He has started seeing his patterns of thinking. Sometimes he understands where his anxious thoughts come from. Sometimes he does not. Regardless, his new combination of behavior therapy, medication, and old sensory strategies, as well as our new parenting techniques, seem to be doing the trick in helping Michael trust us again, trust himself, and build up confidence in the world again. It is beautiful to see. Now for Dad and I, it is about encouraging him to continue to make strides. We are seeing what works and what doesn’t. Every child is different, but here are some ways to tell that your child is starting to self-regulate and needs continued encouragement to stay on this path:

  1. Your child stops and thinks more before he/she acts: This sounds like a no-brainer, but it is hard for Exceptional Kids to do this. Even if they stop a fraction of a second before saying or doing something aggressive or stressful, or realize it a second later and apologize, wow. This is a step in the right direction.
  2. Your child automatically does the techniques or goes to the area to regulate: A child who is calmed by breathing may start doing deep breathing on their own when anxious or upset. A child who needs movement will seek out a trampoline, swing or jumping in place. One who needs deep pressure will squeeze stuff or ask for a hug or massage.
  3. Your child asks for your help in this area: Sometimes they will not know what to do. If they ask for help in any way, verbally or by pulling you to hold or hug them, you’ve made progress in reaching them.
  4. Your child will want to be with you more: We had a period of time when Michael’s peers mattered more than us in ALL things. I know it is normal that peers become more important during the tween/teen years, but he had a hard time trusting us and feeling secure. Therapy, seeing the effort we were making to spend quality time with him and let him talk without jumping in, made all the difference. Kids will seek the adult’s opinion if they feel validated and respected by said adult first.
  5. Your child will recognize others who don’t self-regulate more and possibly want to help: Michael will now recognize when friends have a hard time self-regulating and will comment to me and his teacher, that their behavior is not appropriate. Sometimes he will even  try and help them learn from it. I consider this massive progress.

Exceptional Parents, does your Exceptional Child have a hard time self-regulating or have they found the perfect formula? If so, praise them (and yourselves), for having worked so hard to help them learn how to manage their emotions. This is no easy feat for any child, but remember, Exceptional Kids’ brains are wired to handle stress in a more complex way. Keep looking for what works for your child, and never ever give up that they will learn from what didn’t work, as you do too. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

How To Jive With Your Exceptional Child And Grow Your Family Bond

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Things have been getting a whole better between Michael, me and Dad. That is, Michael has been learning to manage his anger, frustration and emotions much better, and finally seeing that Dad and I are the good guys, so to speak. With puberty as well as his other challenges, he was forgetting that just because we sometimes have an issue understanding what he means, it does not mean we are not trying to see his point of view or understand him. We all lost sight of that for awhile. Michael has also learned that he has to learn to see things through our eyes, in other words, that Mom and Dad can see things differently than he does.

The books we have been reading and the therapists we have been working with have helped us see this. The other things that have worked for us though, have boiled down to parenting instincts. That is, as parents we have learned to trust ourselves more with what we know of our child and how he will react. This has helped us in times of overreaction on Michael’s and out part.

So, on this note, I would like to share with everyone what we have learned  to do if you want to jive with your Exceptional Child:
1) Do not force them to see the world as you do: No, why, because I said so! This kind of thinking does not compute for exceptional kids, and really, for any child, it is insulting. They deserve a logical explanation for why you are saying no or putting in restrictions. It is usually for their safety anyway.

2) Spend designated time when you are ONLY with them: Put aside a specific amount of time that is only for your child, and no one or nothing else. Exceptional Kids often have self-esteem issues and need to be reminded that they are special to you. When they feel loved and cherished, trust me, you will see less behaviors.

3) Find an activity that only you can do with them: If you find an activity that you and your child do together to bond, it is the best thing. It is another version of that special family time and they will look forward to that with you.

4) Tell them you love them and mean it: I know it sounds corny, and for some children who have a more difficult time with receptive and expressive language, many parents would probably say, they may not understand me. Trust me on this. If you feel the love in your body and regularly hug, show affection by facial expression and body language as well as words, your child will know they are loved. This will make a HUGE difference in their communication style.

5) Find the right combination of therapy/medication/and extra curricular activities/hobbies that make your child come alive: Once the other elements are in place, finding the right balance of physical, psychological and spiritual nourishment is what will help your child grow into the amazing little person they are. Be patient. This is the hardest step, and with time, you will see the real gem, your child, is emerging.

Exceptional Parents, are you feeling lost with your Exceptional Child in any area at the moment? Are you feeling as if you are not reaching them? Remember, help them feel safe. Help them feel they are loved and cherished. Love them for who they are, not what you (or others), think they should be. They will recognize this and be able to find their ground within themselves after that. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

 

 

 

The Healing Power of Nature And How It Helps Exceptional Moms Let Go

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Saturday was not a good afternoon for this Exceptional Mom. The morning had been a very rough one as a family, but then things turned around after Michael’s art class and other activities. The thing is, a little tiff with Dad ended up looking magnified to me. I had been doing something that Michael admits to doing. I had been pushing down my anger, fear, exhaustion and frustration at the tensions and fights between my boys, Michael’s personal anxiety and struggles, and my own guilt that I could not fix things. Yes, I know it is not my job to fix things. It is my job to point my child in the right direction. But like every good parent out there, I sometimes forget that I can’t make all the pain go away even when I want to. So I blew up. First I went outside on my patio and had a mini anxiety attack when the boys were out of the house, and then I realized, I could not go on pushing down all these feelings anymore.

When the boys came home after yet another fight, I’d had it. I blew up and said I needed them to move out or I would. I didn’t mean it. It was the heat of the moment, and I was just feeling so tired. After the tears had all come out and we all made up, I thought that was the end of it. We went to a friend’s party as planned  and had a nice evening as a family.

The next day was Sunday. I woke up with a heavy stressed feeling, but got something surprising. I was up early as usual, and both Michael and Dad slept in. I had a whole 2 hours to myself before church. I left for church feeling happy I’d had some me time, but worried. I’d hoped everything was ok. Once there, being in that spiritual place worked its usual magic  on me. I felt all the heaviness start to fade off, but as it did the sadness I was still carrying around became more pronounced. I needed to unload some more. After mass finished, I texted Dad and said I was going where I always have gone to heal-nature. I went to a beautiful park close by. After I shed some more tears, I felt finally calm and went and sat by the river letting it  soothe and replenish my soul. How long had it been since I had taken time for me and admitted I was afraid and angry? A long time. When I felt ready, I did a long walk around the lake. I felt reborn after this experience. I realized that I needed to go back to doing simple self-care things like these to keep my soul strong and positive for me and my family. Simple things go far in a complicated family.

Exceptional Parents, what are some of your simple truths that you have forgotten to live in order to stay calm and in your truth? They are usually so easy to do, but we make excuses not to do them. Stop making excuses right now. It’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to be afraid. It’s ok to not always have the answers. Be patient and gentle with yourself. When you are, you will see many of the answers you are searching for right under your nose. You will also know you are not responsible for your family’s interactions. Take care of you. Live your truth and you will show them how to live theirs. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com

 

Speaking Your Exceptional Child’s Love Language- Another Great Tool To Reclaim Your Child’s Love

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So on this journey to reach Michael through puberty and everything else going on, our wonderful Educator has told us about another great resource: Dr. Gary Chapman’s tools in his book  “Five Love Languages.” Though I pretty much have Michael’s love language down pat, what I have learned from the videos alone were great to add to my parenting arsenal when times have been tough these past few months. And Dad is also following a lot of the wonderful advice from this book. Our Educator brought some wonderful exercises based on the book for Michael and Dad to do, as they have been struggling in the bonding department. In the last week, it’s amazing the improvements I have been seeing. It’s slow moving, but they are getting there. I also can’t believe how it’s the little things, even when there are big discrepancies due to impulse control, blood sugars and rigidities that can make all the difference. I truly am seeing what is making my little boy tick.

On another note, I am reminded by these languages: 1) Words of affirmation, 2) Time spent together, 3) Gifts received, 4) Acts of service and 5) Physical Touch, how we are all the same yet all different. Michael’s and my love language are quite similar. Words of affirmation and time spent together are my two biggies as well.  This has helped cement for me what we share in common as a great way to bond. I will tell Michael stories about how when I was scared of something, this is what I would do. This is helping him realize that he is not alone and can turn to me again.

Don’t get me wrong. There are still those tough days and weeks. I had a mini Mommy burnout over the weekend due to being physically and mentally tired by all the anxiety Michael is experiencing, the drawing together and pulling apart from Dad, and the sheer physical responsibility of working and running the house on my own lately as the boys are each  finding their footing. I look forward to the day we will all be on the same page again. It is coming as everyone heals separately and together. But it is a process. I know our family will get there.

Exceptional Parents, are you having a harder than normal time reaching your Exceptional Child? Is it more than just their issues? Puberty and the natural pulling away from parents happens for all children, including those with challenges. Don’t be afraid to think of your child as like other children, but in their own way. Don’t be afraid to try using all types of tools to reach them emotionally. Even if the tool is not the right one, you reaching out to touch them, physically and emotionally, will show them your love and care for them. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

Impulse Control and How To Reach Your Exceptional Child

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I am so happy I have rebuilt the bond that has always been there with Michael. Or maybe it never really went away. Maybe puberty just interrupted it a bit, and rocked that boat. Regardless, I am so glad that Michael is opening up, talking to me, and telling me about his world again fully. On difficult weeks like this one, with high blood sugars, hormones and sadness, whether due to medication that needs to be adjusted or other issues, I am so happy Michael is trusting me to tell me about his school day, good and bad, and what he did and did not. I am also glad he is beginning to see that whether or not we have a fight or get along, I love him always. This was so hard to grasp at the beginning last year. I could only imagine what his body was going through, in diabetic shock and puberty, but I digress. Now, I see that he has so much to offer. He is creative, funny, kind. As a friend and student, he is amazing. As a son, he is also out of this world. He has made me open myself up to things I never would have dreamed of doing. He has made me question who and what I am. That is a good thing. I needed to focus on what I am really here to do. Michael also has shown me that no matter how hard things get, I don’t back down. I often will tell him after he has had a bad meltdown, a low or high diabetes episode, a good or bad day, that we don’t give up. We keep moving forward.

I have tried to tell him how proud I am of his strength, his perseverance in the face of his obstacles. I hope he has believed me. Every word was true. Though his impulse control needs serious work and he is his own worst enemy with worrying ( I know that feeling), I also know that his mind, so intricate, detailed, organized and original, will bring beautiful things to the world one day.

I know that I will continue to work hard to help Michael recognize that he can exert lots of control over his impulses. He has the ability to do so if he asks for help, has strategies in place that have worked in the past, and continues to try new things when the old things don’t work. I also will continue never giving up on him, especially when the going gets rough in terms of listening, safety and other issues. He is my number one hero. When I begin to worry I remind myself what I tell other parents. You need to take things one day at a time. Your child will grow and learn and so will you. Then, you will both know what to do.

Exceptional Parents, how do you help your Exceptional Child with impulse control problems? The key is to get them to trust that they have it in them to find strategies that work to calm them down. Once they do that, they can move on from there making positive choices and learning how to relax and focus on the present. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com

Disaster At The Dentist-What My Exceptional Child Taught Me About Resilience

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It was every Exceptional Parent’s nightmare, and one many of us have over and over. The visit to the doctor for a checkup that goes wrong, so horribly wrong. This is usually common for many parents of all types of children, when their children are babies and toddlers. At this age, it is normal for a child not to understand how to act in a waiting room, to be loud, to make inappropriate comments etc. They usually outgrow it. With Exceptional Kids, the process can make many years.

I have to say though, that as an Exceptional Parent, I have been lucky here. Michael adapted well to most doctor visits. Though the family doctor is more challenging, seeing his eye doctor and dentist has always gone relatively well, that is, until this afternoon. This was the first dental visit he has had since he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the end of last summer. It was a hard night. Michael had high blood sugar at dinner. At least I gave him dinner before the appointment. He was also overtired after a late night sleep the night before. These factors did not mix well with a busier office and having to wait. Michael attempted to start bouncing on a couch next to another patient. Then on the bench with me he attempted some silly inappropriate behavior to me and another patient. Finally, I thought to give him access to Google Maps to navigate streets and areas, a thing he used to love to do. No, today he wanted to watch pop/rock videos on You Tube at full volume. Well, you can all imagine what happened when I told him he needed to a) watch at super low volume as the office was super quiet or b) watch something else. We stepped outside the office where I could still hear when his name would be called, but when he started making threats and hit my shoulder, I knew it was time to go. I wish I had seen the serious signs at home and just rescheduled then. What were those signs? Talking about silly things, having trouble listening and sitting still. I was not at all surprised when I saw the high blood sugar before dinner. I wondered how he had made it to the appointment without worse behavior.

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What ensued afterwards in the car when I half pulled him out, was a meltdown that I had not seen in over a year. My poor child. Yes. I’d come a long way as an Exceptional Mom to see that though my kid messed up how he handled his stress throughout the day and evening, I also had missed the cues that not all was ok. But it was too late. He needed to let it all out. So I let him do that, all the while staying outside the car. I called Dad as I did not have the clinic’s number and asked him to let them know I had to take Michael home. Shortly after, the hygienist came outside in the parking lot and I explained that he wasn’t well. Driving home at first he did more silly things, but then gradually calmed down.

Once at home, he talked to Dad while I had my dinner and two very large glasses of wine.  Then after dinner, Michael went on his swing downstairs to regulate and asked if we could talk. He asked me a lot of questions about behavior, about when police arrested people, and about aggression. We talked. I told him how important it was he learn to control his excitement, anxiety and anger. As upset as he would get at me or anyone else, he could not say threatening things or hit, even if it would never go further. This was aggression, illegal, against the law.

I also called back the dental office. Michael has been going to them since he was 6. They know about his autism and hyperactivity, and though I had phoned to update his file with the Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis, the secretary was extremely grateful when I called back to apologize for having to leave due to high sugar because of his diabetes. I also reschedule the appointment for when he would be on summer vacation in just a few short weeks. Why didn’t I do this before? Don’t know, but lesson learned.

Michael though, once he got over the anger of having to leave, did very well at home. And glory be, the sugar came down for the first time in 4 days at bedtime! What a relief for all of us! I thought to myself how resilient Michael was through all of it. He accepted what needed to be done, listened afterwards at home, packed his lunch for the next day, then did his bedtime routine. I was humbled by his acceptance, and so glad that with such a bad start to the evening, he turned things around so well. He even went to bed early!

Exceptional Parents, how has your Exceptional Child ever humbled you as a parent? What have you learned in parenting them through some challenging moments? Though at first we may become discouraged that we made a bad judgement call, it’s important we give ourselves kudos, and our child, for trying something new. It’s also important we learn from the bad experience what we can do different the next time. Your child still deserves praise for their effort and you for yours. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com