Mission Statement: This blog was created to provide information on getting help for autism in general while focussing on locally available resources for families with newly diagnosed children in Belleville and Quinte area.

Please browse the blog at your leisure. You are welcome to comment on the posts. If you are a parent, an autism consultant, counselor, teacher with information on autism resources available in our area, please email your information to benziesangma@gmail.com. Your information will be added within 24 hours.

Local Autism Support Groups

Parents Engaging Autism Quinte (PEAQ), an autism parent support group, meets once a month on the first Tuesday of the month (no meetings in January, July and August) at Kerry's Place, 189 Victoria Avenue, Belleville at 6:30 to 8 p.m. If you have questions or suggestions for autism topics that are important to you so that we can invite appropriate autism professionals to speak at these meetings. Next PEAQ meeting is on June 5.

Autism parent support group meeting hosted by Mental Health Agency, Trenton and Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) meeting is on the Second Thursday of the month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. If you have require any further information please contact Marya Peters for more information at 613 392-2811 ext 3953 or email marya.p@trentonmfrc.ca

For info on Community Living Prince Edward County Parent Support group, contact Resource Consultants @ 613 476 6038

Central Hastings Autism Support Group meets in Madoc at the Recreation Centre. Contact Renee O’Hara, Family Resource & Support, 613-966-7413 or Tammy Kavanagh, Family Resource & Support, 613-332-3227

Transition planning for elementary school students with autism

Friday, May 10, 2013

Getting past the feeling of parental embarrassment over "misbehaving" child with autism in public

When children with autism decide to throw a tantrum, sing loudly, swear furiously, throw things or just decide to completely go au naturel in public, do their parents experience a momentary feeling of embarrassment? Maybe they wished that it didn't happen just that once? Maybe that feeling made them turn around and punish their child for behaviour they knew very well that he or she could not control? A veteran mother of an autistic child is long past any embarrassment over her child's behaviour in public but this could become a huge hurdle for parents of children newly diagnosed with autism. They may not even understand the behaviour of their child. Maybe they've been dealing with the diagnosis and everything that came with it - the severe behaviours, the child's inability to control his or her actions - all on their own at home without professional help. But they see very well that the "misbehaving child" drawing attention is their child and that they should be able to do something to make the situation go away, maybe exert parental control etc. so that they can continue to have the appearance of "a regular family" out and about doing errands, much like other families. These parents new to autism will need to work hard to get past their natural embarrassment a parent feels when their child misbehaves or behaves in a socially unacceptable manner. These parents will need to consciously choose whether or not they are going to be driven by the opinions of people around them. They will need to focus their energy on calming or redirecting their child the best way they know how and not worry about people around them who may or, giving them the benefit of doubt, may not be judging their parental skills. I say this because it is human tendency to look in the direction of any unexpected noise - whether a crying child or one that's hitting herself or biting her parents or pulling stuff off shelves at a grocery store etc.  But if those people are looking and openly judging, then they are doing so on a child with special needs and that says a lot about them than it does about the child's mother or father's parenting skills. Truth is, a parent one will likely experience feeling embarrassed at some point in the beginning by watching their child with autism become centre of negative attention because of seemingly socially unacceptable behaviour in public. But a parent can make that wilful choice to remain calm and ignore rude, judgmental looks and opinions from others. It's a lot easier said than done, of course, but it couldn't hurt to try and to keep trying. One day, those negative and hurtful public opinions will be just a  breeze that simply does not have the power to ruffle one any more.

No comments:

Post a Comment

In it for the long haul...

I created this blog with my sincere wish that those of you reading this will want to share your own stories, both good and bad, what worked for you and what didn't and together, we can make it easier for the next family beginning their own journey of discovery. By posting what you know, where you have recieved certain services, who you have talked to, whose expertise you trust, how you navigated the school education services and by responding to questions in the discussion thread, know that you have helped a family in need. So, parents, experts in the field, counsellors, teachers and everyone who has any information on resources available, please feel free to post on this blog.