With a New Year here you’ve probably already thought about your New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you want to pick up a new hobby or begin following a healthy lifestyle. However, it’s important that you talk to your child about their goals for 2021, too.
Although they may seem cliché, New Year’s resolutions can actually be beneficial, especially for children with autism. To begin with, they present them with an opportunity to challenge themselves in order to meet the resolution. They can also help children attain valuable life skills, such as focus and determination that they can use in later life.
However, it can be difficult to decide on your New Year’s resolutions. With that in mind, here are some great resolutions for your child and how they can go about achieving them.
Resolution: To participate more.
Children with autism often take a little longer than other students to settle into school. This is because they find it harder to pick up on social queues, and may not understand right away how their friends are feeling. As a result, they may begin to isolate themselves, saying that they prefer to play alone.
However, by encouraging your child to participate, you help them make new friends and gain confidence. One way you can do this is by encouraging them to speak up in class or join in with games during the break. Sometimes a gesture as simple as asking the other children to play with them will make a huge difference.
Resolution: To try something new.
Children with autism and related disorders are often dissuaded from trying something new, as they don’t like change. Whenever possible, they prefer to stick to a routine. This allows them to prepare themselves for the day ahead, as they always know what to expect. However, you can make change less scary by setting it as a New Year’s resolution – under the guise of trying something new.
For example, they may decide that they want to try something new each week for their New Year’s resolution. This can be something small, such as trying new foods, or something more significant, such as picking up a new hobby. By adding this to their ‘schedule’, they will feel notably less anxious about their schedule change.
Resolution: To Talk About Their Feelings
As mentioned previously, children with autism often find it hard to talk about their feelings and emotions. Sometimes, they might not be able to find the right words to help them do so. As a result, they may find it hard to communicate.
One way in which you can make it easier for them to talk about their emotions is by setting yourself the same resolution. Each day, sit down and have a conversation about your feelings. Be specific about how you are feeling, and be sure to discuss why you feel that way. For example, instead of saying that you feel tired, tell them you are tired because you had a busy day of work and lots to do at home. This can help them formulate their own thoughts and feelings. You may also want to use a feelings chart if they find it hard to describe how they feel precisely.
You can also help your child feel more comfortable discussing emotions by attending therapy sessions, such as applied behavioral analysis, which help them gain a greater understanding of their thoughts and feelings.
In conclusion, there are no limits to the goals your child should set themselves. So long as they work hard, they are sure to reach their goals – no matter how big they may be.