Welcome to “On the Horizon”
Issue 80: Getting Through the Valley
On the Horizon is an award winning weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their child’s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.
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A Note from Nicole: Fall Family Fun
Idea of the Week: Crispy Cheese Stars
Feature Article: Getting Through the Valley
The Horizons Team Recommends: Raising Minds®; Horizons Workshops
Upcoming Events: CORE Approach Parent Teleseminar; West Michigan Sensory Awareness Event
The gorgeous stretch of summery weather we had in the month of September has now turned to a chilly wet October. We’re hoping things dry out soon so we can take advantage of fun fall activities like apple and pumpkin picking. I can’t believe it’s the month of October already. Where does the time go?! I hope you all are planning some fun fall traditions with your families.
If you haven’t yet checked out our new workshops site, make sure you get over there for dates and details on all the training events we are offering for the next 9 months. To make things easy for everyone this information can now be found at www.HorizonsDRCWorkshops.com. We have an assessment workshop coming up at the end of this month, as well as great opportunities for parents and professionals in November.
This week’s feature article is one that Michelle wrote shortly after her son was born about getting through the “valleys” in life. While it may not be something we want to think about very often, challenges in life are a reality. How we face those challenges can make all the difference in how we come out on the other side, not to mention how our children fare in the process. If you are currently experiencing a valley in your life, I hope you find some inspiration and motivation from this article.
Make it a great week!
Looking to the horizon,
Crispy Cheese Stars
Take a flour tortilla and using a star cookie cutter (or any other shape you want) cut out the shape. Then with the same shape, only slightly smaller cut out a slice of cheese. Start by baking the tortilla on a foil-lined baking sheet at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, then add the cheese on top and bake for another 2 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Make sure they are completely cooled before serving. Enjoy doing this with any shape and different kinds of cheese for a great snack anytime!
Getting Through the Valley
By: Michelle VanderHeide, BSW
I’ve just returned to work after having several weeks off for maternity leave. (I have the most fabulous little boy added to my family!) Upon my return, I found that a handful of my families have entered into crisis mode. It’s a hard place to be, and my heart hurts for them. It’s a place in which we all have found ourselves; and when the journey is complete, we always find ourselves in a better place. It’s the “you have to go through the valley to get to the mountains” outlook. In my years of consulting, I’ve seen many families travel through valleys. Development (autism or not) does that! As children grow, they have to find themselves, test the boundaries, and find out where the boundaries lie. It’s hard, very hard to get them through these times; but wow is it cool to see the view on the other side!
There are several things that bring families to these valleys and once we get through the initial hurdles (stress about money, school, children’s behavioral issues, etc.) we are able to move forward and make some beautiful progress! We begin to climb the mountain, and the beauty is already evident. Life is getting better! We’ve already forgotten about how hard life used to be and BAM the child is acting out again, is doing things “we haven’t seen in months!”, and suddenly a family begins the slippery slope back into crisis. So what can you do if you find yourself heading toward or already in crisis?
- Take some time to sit back and reflect on what’s going on. Is it really worth being in crisis over? Have we been here before? If so, how did we get out of it? Many times we’ve been through similar circumstances and we were resilient to make it through. So guess what? You can and will make it through this valley as well!
- Talk to a trusted friend or guide. Have them help you to think rationally. It’s very common to enter this time and just start spinning, actually making things worse! Someone who is not a part of your crisis can help you to think rationally and make good decisions, rather than rash, snap judgments.
Discover a Source of Information
and Support for Parents Just Like You!
Imagine for a moment what your life would be like if you knew how to
identify and address the biggest obstacles facing your child. I’m
talking about the core issues that create difficulties for your child,
for you, for your family, and for anyone else involved in your child’s
life. What would it be like if you could help your child learn to:
- Attend to the right things at the right time
- Thoughtfully communicate—not just talk in memorized or mechanical ways
- Be genuinely interested in the emotions, ideas, and actions of others
- Take responsibility for actions
- Flexibly adapt to change
- Understand the intentions of others
- Come up with creative ideas and solutions
- Have meaningful conversations
- Develop curiosity about other people, events, and things in the environment
- Be self-aware—know who s/he is as a person and how s/he is being perceived by others
The information available at Raising Minds® will help you understand exactly what deficit areas require treatment and how to accomplish that, while lowering your stress in the process.
Now, just imagine the peace you will bring to yourself and your
family, not to mention the results you’ll create for your child, when
you have 24/7 access to the information, resources, and motivation you
need to understand your child’s needs and powerfully impact his/her
For more information, click here
You Have Questions.
We Have Answers.
Join us for learning experiences designed to provide you with the information, tools, and motivation you need to make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
Evaluating for Autism: The Nuts and Bolts of Quality School-Based Autism Spectrum Disorder Evaluations
Autism in the Classroom: Simple & Effective Strategies to Learn Today and Use Tomorrow
Day of Change: A Groundbreaking Workshop for Parents of Children with Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Extreme Makeover: Autism Education Edition
For more information, click here
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