by Adriana Santiago | Apr 26, 2019 | Uncategorized
Today I wanted to talk about motivating yourself through unexpected challenges. Ooooh it’s gonna be JUICY. But first before we even get there let me tell you a little about me.
I am a mom of a beautiful (at this moment) 12 year old son named Zachary, and he is diagnosed on the autism spectrum. I absolutely enjoy just sharing my journey through being a mompreneur, a speaker, a professional, an audiologist, and a speech pathologist. I’m just a person who loves to share what I have learned through the wonderful experiences of my 42 years of living.
I’m excited to share with you today how I motivate myself through those unexpected challenges because I know many of you out there today are going through something that you totally did not plan. It was not on your agenda of what you were going to be dealing with this year, or this month, or this week, or maybe even this day. I’m sharing so you can learn what works for you, so we can work on getting into the headspace that unexpected things WILL happen. Preventing them isn’t what’s important – it’s how we RESPOND to those moments when unexpected things happen.
The first thing I’m going to share about is the diagnosis that I had with Zachary. Many of you have heard this story before, but for those of you who haven’t I’ll give a little background. I was working as a therapist with early intervention; working in schools, homes, various places; and working with families with different special needs for pretty much close to 10 years before having Zachary. I knew that I was good at what I did. I really chose a field that I enjoy. I enjoy helping people to communicate when they can not. I enjoy helping others to communicate with them when dealing with someone who communicates differently. I just enjoy helping parents connect with their child when they thought they couldn’t. Things are much different when dealing with a special needs child – whether it’s speech delays, auditory delays, or delays in their physical mobilities.
So here I am helping others, and then having this beautiful bouncing baby boy. Now here he is showing me all the things I’d like to say are textbook signs of a child on the spectrum. He was running around flickering the lights on and off. He was lining things up all his trains, anything you give him he would line it up. He had a deep fascination with Thomas the Tank Engine, and even today he loves him some Thomas the Tank Engine. He had difficulties connecting with me and giving me eye contact for extended amount of times. He was just in his own world. Even though he was a boy – and these are some of the things you’re going to say “oh he’s a boy, oh he’s not ready, oh he’s a only child” – he was still showing me that he wasn’t even interested in engaging with others. At times I would call his name and he wouldn’t respond. Now I think THAT for some parents is one of the hardest moments. So as I was seeing these things happening and knowing what it was, but not quite wanting it for my child … Like it can happen for everyone else, but not for MY child. That’s how I felt, I’m just being honest.
When I finally got the diagnosis with him it was shocking. Even though I knew it, I didn’t want to know it. So opening up the letter and seeing the words in front of my face… it took me to a place of despair. It took me to a place where I felt that every dream that I wanted for him had just disappeared in a blink of a second, and I felt completely hopeless. I didn’t know what to do. Well, here’s the good thing – as a therapist I DID know what to do. I knew he needed help, so let’s get him his speech therapy, let’s get him occupational therapy, and whatever other therapies he needed because he needed help. It was clear. He was delayed in so many areas, and yet advanced in other areas. He had the ability to tell you any letter, any sound he could read very early. All these things he did have, but then he was lacking in communication and socialization skills. So I decided to deal with the immediate, which are the present behaviors or the present needs, but I completely forgot how to deal with ME.
Now bringing this to YOU. Now my diagnosis that I had to deal with as a parent was the diagnosis of having a child on the spectrum. Yours may be different. It might be something short term, or it might just be for that exact moment – where you hear that you took a test and your blood sugar is low, or something that you completely did not expect – you are meeting a short term challenge. Some of you might have long term challenges where it is going to be for an extended amount of time. It’s not something that you can just blink and it will go away. There isn’t an immediate answer to it, but its clearly a long term challenge. Then some are pretty much till the end of time. There’s certain diagnosies or certain situations where you know that “I’m pretty much going to have to live with this for the rest of my life.”
So how do we handle those unexpected challenges, or how did I handle it? I can’t speak about you, but I can just share what I’ve done and what I’ve helped others with as I coach or speak or train. I’ve helped them with the diagnosis through educational and experiential learning, these are the things that I’ve learn that have worked for me.
First of all you, have to give yourself permission that it’s happening. A lot of us try to avoid it or run away from it, and I’m holding my hands up! A lot of us try to pretend it is not happening. So we have to give ourselves permission to identify, to accept, to sit in it where we are really taking it in. Like, “oh my goodness this might mean a change in my lifestyle moving forward.” I like to tell you what I did for myself, and here’s what I did: I blamed myself. Something that I did that I want to help you through is to not blame yourself. I blamed myself. I said, “oh my goodness, what if I did this different? What if I stayed at home instead of going back to work earlier? What if I ate differently? What if i didn’t vaccinate him?” All these things I had in my head, the “what ifs.” I had to allow myself to understand that it was not my fault, and it took me a while to get there. So why I’m talking to you about dealing with and motivating yourself through unexpected challenges is because you’re going to hit challenges. You’re going to have moments of hearing a diagnosis, and you’ve got to understand it’s NOT your fault. The minute you begin to shift your mindset towards it not being your fault, then you begin to have a certain connection to it where you can start making moves or working on yourself. Yes, YOURSELF. Not the other person, not the one with the diagnosis, but start working on yourself. Working on how you are going to approach relating, engaging, and helping supporting that person. A lot of it comes back to self work, what do I need to do within myself?
Another unexpected challenge that I had to deal with is that I was married twice. Yes, TWICE. One being Zachary’s dad, and the second one was just marriage. I got married and it did not work out. We were not for each other. You have three different ways of dealing with relationship challenges. They can be the unexpected – like BANG, shot you in your face and you don’t know how to handle it. They can be unplanned – like this was not in our plans, you were supposed to have our white house and our picket fence, and all these plans that we had in our head. Then there is the fact that it’s NECESSARY. The necessary types of relationship challenges that you may need to either grow or grow. Either grow in it or go from it. You’re going to face these challenges.
I know at this moment you’re reading this and I know you’re identifying your specific challenge that you’re dealing with. Identify the same aspect that its not your fault. It’s not your fault whether the relationship is working or not working, and its not their fault. Take the whole fault game out of it. We are so quick to point fingers towards who – you, me, all of us. Take the finger instead of from you or to me, and point it up. Point up towards what it is that you can work on. Do you need to pray and mediate? Up! What are the forward steps you need to do to get through this? Start taking the action steps towards it.
I’m always going to say get help when needed. We got counseling when needed for each situation because we realized we couldn’t do it alone. With the diagnosis many are getting coaching, and many are joining my programs in which they can learn how to work on their self, and then how to work with their child. Understand that you don’t have to do this alone. You can actually get help from people who understand – whether it’s a tribe or a group, or a professional, or coaching, or understanding that “I still have to work on me.” Self help, self work, and self improvement are what’s going to help us to deal through and motivate ourselves when going through unexpected challenges.
The last challenge that I had to deal with, (and I don’t speak about it often, but its real right y’all its real) was depression. We all go through depression. There’s some that are more severe, and those need a diagnosis or more intense support with a psychologist or a psychiatrist. But we all have these periods of depression. I think for some reason someone told us we’re not going to have that. What that may look like are those weekends where you just want to throw the comforter over your head, or you just don’t want to be around people for an extended amount of time. These are challenges that come through our lives when we just don’t even want to WANT, we don’t want to go, we don’t want to do anything. Identifying and accepting it and seeing how long it lasts for … that’s key. If it lasts longer than weeks and it’s going into months, then we know we need to go out there and get the support to help us through this. We need to know once again – I’m going to come back to this because here is the mindset shift that you needed, that I needed, and that the people who you share this or lend this out to need to hear – that it is NOT YOUR FAULT. I wish someone would’ve told me that earlier because i blamed myself for every single thing that I went through. I blamed myself for the diagnosis, I blamed myself for the divorces. Then I blamed myself for the times I didn’t want to do, I didn’t want to empower, I didn’t want to motivate, I didn’t want to help anyone else, I just wanted to BE. I didn’t want to be around people for extended amount of times. Then I would come back and I’m like, “what’s wrong with me?” I would ask myself what’s wrong with you, but I had to realize it’s not a fault thing. I had to start learning the tools and techniques to help me through these moments.
So what I’m leaving you with today as you’re moving forward and as you’re starting to think about these unexpected challenges that are going to face you in your life (because sorry, knock on wood, it’s called LIFE), is learning how to shift, learning how to navigate, learning how to get support as needed, and learning that you don’t have to do this alone. Get a tribe, get a group of other people that can help to pull you up when you’re slipping. Most importantly, I’m going to leave you with this today: raise your hands up and say these three magical words – I NEED HELP. Those are the words that, for some reason, we don’t use. Those are the words that we feel like are curse words, that we’re not supposed to say them. I became a better mom when I began to say, “wait a minute I can’t do this alone. I need your help.” I became a better professional when I realized I can’t do new things alone. I need help, and I get out there and I invest in my help. I get out there and get my coaches in different areas, but it isn’t because I woke up like it. It’s because I fell down so many times that I got tired of falling down. I realized there’s got to be a better way to this, and if there’s a better way to this then why am I not choosing it? I’ve got to be more empowered to make a better choice.
As I leave you and as you’re reflecting over some of the things that you read about today, think about what are you going to do and what you’re going to choose to help you to navigate unexpected challenges. If you can, choose it ahead of time. If you can, choose it knowing that there’s a possibility things may not go the way you planned. I’m not saying be negative, I’m just saying be prepared for the unexpected by giving yourself nourishment. For example, I was getting ready to record my podcast and I made sure I had my water next to me because I know if I talk too much my throat is going to star to hurt and it’s going to start to sound more raspy. So I get prepared by making sure the water is close by. Do the things that you can start activating now so that when the things that have happened in the past show back up, you now know how to handle and how to deal with it and navigate it slightly different. Now I’m not telling you that you’re going to get perfection at the end. But I am going to tell you that if we navigate these tools, if we apply them and use them, then we’re going to see differences in our results. I’m pleased to share with you if you go to my website www.draligriffith.com you’ll see access where I share different tools tips and strategies. I’m sharing some of the things I’ve went through so that you can activate these tips and you can get better results. Don’t we all want better results?
Hang in there make sure you stay tuned for our next post that’s following up. It’s going to be more on mindset, motivation, and meditation, and most importantly for you – activation. It’ll be the bomb.com. Thank you again for reading.
If you’re someone who prefers auditory over visuals, you can listen to my episodes of my podcast, The Dr. Ali Griffith show where I discuss topics exactly like what you’ve read today! Links are below. Make sure you’re subscribed, share it out, and definitely leave a review to let us know how you’re loving it. You can always inbox me to send me information or to let me know what other topics are you interested in us discussing or sharing. Have a fantastic and au-mazing one!
by Adriana Santiago | Apr 26, 2019 | Uncategorized
Hey, it’s your girl, Dr. Alisha Griffith, affectionately known as “Dr. Ali.” I’m your autism parenting strategist and ignite coach. I help autism moms, mompreneurs, and aspiring mompreneurs, to shift through the feelings of overwhelm, frustration, and stress, and move towards making bold, brave power moves so you can ignite the results you want and live that ultimate dream life you desire.
Today I’m going to be talking all about that Morning Mindset. Yes, that mindset that you start your morning with is how you can project the rest of your day – the events, your perceptions, and your results, in making that day the BEST day that you can create. I’m going to share with you some things that I use in the morning to help me to realign, to reshift, and to get myself ready for a fun filled packed day ahead.
As moms we wake up ready to go, especially moms that are entrepreneurs. We wake up and we’re ready to tackle the world, to tackle our to do list. We’re ready to check all those things we have to get done. Before we even get there, we have to make sure we are ready to take on what is ahead of us. We need to do some self care, some self work, and some self love before we go out there and give any love to anyone else, before giving any care to anyone else, before giving our attention to all of the other things that are going to take our attention away from ourselves. So I’m sharing with you three steps to creating those critical morning mindset moves.
1. So I’ll start you off with the first thing that I do as I get up in the morning. Most mornings I start with some meditation. I like to use different type of meditative sources. You can choose one that works for you, you might even get to choose one of mine that I’m going to be creating and putting out there so you can use it to start your day off on a positive note.
Meditation is important to me in the morning because it allows me to be still, it allows me to get in touch with what is that I need for me, but most importantly it stops everything. It stops the constant thoughts, the constant planning, the constant moving around, the swirl of madness that happens in our heads. I started to incorporate more meditative processes, and I started mostly with Deepak and Oprah. They actually taught me how to use meditation to really create the positive aspects that I want to happen in my life. Using their tools, techniques, and starts prepared me for the fact that it takes practice. You ever lay down to do meditation and then your mind is swirling into everything else? You’re supposed to stop moving, but somehow you’re still thinking. At first I thought that was so wrong, and I was like, “I can’t meditate, it’s not for me. Every time I do it I’m always thinking about everything else.” Then I had to learn that like everything else it requires what? PRACTICE.
So I couldn’t give up on myself, On the days when I did stray away I gave myself permission to come back in when I noticed it was happening. They have a technique where they give you a certain word, or a few words, that you’re saying in your head where once you feel yourself coming out of alignment or thinking of other things, you use that to kind of zone you in and center back in. I do a lot of similar things in terms of meditation that I do when I’m not using it. I choose that one word or phrase that I need to help me to focus that day, even if sometimes the word is just “focus.”
Whatever you need to use to help you to come back in, then use that! Some people will use a specific visual, some people will use a specific word or phrase, but the key is to give yourself permission to stop moving, to allow yourself to focus on something else besides your to do list, and then to really get your mind ready for what is ahead of you. Sometimes you just have to create a blank slate for the day. I think about it as an artist – before they get ready to paint on their canvas they start with a blank slate. So each morning start your day on a blank slate. That’s what I do, and I’ve noticed it’s accelerated my results. Instead of getting up and being ready to go, I get up first, I wait, slow down, be still, and THEN go.
2. Then I like to visualize exactly what it is that I want for the day, what I want to create. That’s step number 2: visualize the results of what we want. Sometimes I visualize a happy smile at the end, or a hug from Zachary, or success at something that I want to create, or the feeling of what I’m going to have at the end of the day. It’s really a way of setting yourself up for success by starting your morning with a specific routine that allows you to tap back into self before you pour back into others.
I hope some of you are writing this down or at least really responding with your soul, your spirit, and your heart space to create your own way. I love to share my way, but like I said, I started with the Deepak and Oprah, THEN I started to create my own. That’s what I want you to do. I want you start with something that is tried and true, and then incorporate your own, incorporate your own uniqueness, incorporate what works for you.
Visualize the results, visualize the end matter, visualize the end feeling so that you have something of a positive aspect towards whatever decision or steps that you make for the day.
3. That leads us into step number 3, those two magical words: THANK YOU. It’s pretty much how I start my day. As I take one foot out of the bed and I place it on the floor I say “thank.” As I place the other one on the ground I say “you.” We have to learn to start beginning our day, our process, our journey for whatever is ahead with GRATITUDE. We have to be grateful for whatever the moment is at this time. It could be thankful for being awake, thankful for being alive, thankful that I actually have two feet to place on the ground and that they’re working. For those who do not, then whatever way you use to come out of the bed, as you come out still use the words “thank you.” You may not have the ability of feet, but you have the ability of hands, you have the ability of thoughts, you have the ability of feelings. Whatever it is that your specific circumstances are, you have to remember to give thanks.
I do a lot of this with Zachary, my son the autism spectrum. He’s now moving into 13 which you know is this teenage age. So he is at the stage now where he is immediately thinking of what’s not right, or his mind is constantly thinking of what he has to do. I said, “Wait a minute, wait a minute. We have to stop and we have to be thankful for what we can do. We have to be thankful for the things we have accomplished, and we have to be thankful for the now, for the present.”
I believe as parents, I believe as individuals, as humans – if we really start to incorporate being grateful, verbalizing it out loud, showing what thankfulness is – then we can begin showing others around us how gratitude and saying thank you, actions and meditation, and setting your mind in the right space so you can move forward in your day is so important.
We’re busy living in our day, and we’re busy with the nuances of what we have to get done, what we have to get accomplished to do things. And that’s fine because that’s LIFE. I’m not saying that that’s not going to occur, but what I am saying is that we can approach it in a DIFFERENT WAY. We can approach it in a way that we set ourselves up for success. Then when challenges come up we have the tools, strategies, and techniques to help us do kick through them or move past them. But before we even start with the challenges, before we even start with the wins, before we even start with the movement of the day, let’s start creating a morning mindset routine.
So that’s what I leave you here with. As you’re moving forward from today create your morning mindset routine. Look within yourself and see what is it that I can do that can set me forth for success for today. Make sure it doesn’t always include someone. We’re always thinking we have to do things FOR others, we have to do things WITH others. We have to learn to make sure we’re doing that self care for OURSELVES. We have to make sure that we’re pouring into ourselves and creating our own strategies.
The key of it all is to make sure you are creating that time and space for yourself and you’re putting some visualizations into actions. If you don’t see where you want to go, if you don’t see your aspect of success, if you don’t see the feeling and actually internalize within itself, then it just feels like its empty out there and it’s just waving around in the sky and the universe just as energy. So it’s our way of connecting with ourselves and connecting with the energy of where we want to go.
I’m so excited that you chose to spend the last few minutes reading this. What I want to leave you with is definitely make sure you get the 15 Secret Tips to Au-mazing Success available on my website on this time. Just visit the homepage and fill out the pop-up form to get it for free today! I share this information with you because I needed it. I share this with you because I know if you utilize these in different aspects of your life, you ARE going to see the change and the results.
Also make sure you follow my new podcast, The Dr. Ali Griffith Show! I discuss all things mindset, meditation, motivation, life as an autism mom, the challenges of life on the autism spectrum, divorce, depression, the good AND the bad. I keep it real and juicy y’all. I discuss topics like I have in this blog post today but in so much more detail. Check it out and make sure to subscribe, share it with your friends and family, and send me feedback!
by Adriana Santiago | Apr 14, 2019 | Uncategorized
What I’m excited about letting you guys know today is all about me. Who IS this Dr. Ali?
Officially to most I’m Alisha Griffith, and somehow affectionately (it was actually birthed from my coach Lisa Nichols) I became Dr Ali.
I am that down Brooklyn girl that is birthed from Caribbean parents. Both of my parents are from Guyana, which is a beautiful country in South America. I also have been highly impacted by my step dad, or my other dad, and he is from Trinidad. So I have this distinct accent. Even though I have these Caribbean roots, I was actually born in a small town called Still Water, Oklahoma. That’s where my parents went for grad school. They actually received a scholarship from Guyana, and they came up to do their Masters in the U.S.
Then they had this beautiful, bouncing, lively baby girl on September 6th, 1976. Yes, I’m ok saying what year and date I was born because I was actually born on Labor Day y’all. This is the time of the year that you will ALWAYS see me celebrating my birthday. In Brooklyn Labor Day is a big Caribbean experience. There’s lots of parties, lots of introduction to our different Caribbean islands, and it’s just a fun time. That speaks a lot about me – I love to have fun, i love Soca, I love dancing, I just love celebrating life.
It wasn’t always like this. I had a childhood where my parents separated at a very young age. It was very difficult for my mom, and I saw her going through life almost in that state of always having to fight to survive. As a child I remember trying to do everything I could do so I wouldn’t bring her any additional pain. I know for a major part of my life that there was pain, you could feel it. You didn’t have to say it, but you could feel her pain.
So that started my journey to perfectionism, the first big thing I want you to know about me. Yes, I was going to be this perfect child, this perfect girl who was going to go to school and listen to her mom. I did it mostly because I wanted to be a source of joy for her.
So I sit down and I think about “how does that apply to my mindset?” From a young age, I shifted my mindset from being someone else towards being this perfect person, and really trying my best to be that light for my mom. That really began this mindset work. As I sit down and I reflect, I now realize that began the work to where I started creating strategies in my head of what I needed to do to be that perfect child.
Fast forward ahead, I pretty much had that same concept for my son. Here I am, I’m pregnant, I pretty much did things the way I’m supposed to do. I went to school, I took my prenatals. Now here I am doing the things that I think are supposed to be “perfect,” having a child and expecting him to be perfect. Now the roles are reversed. There I was, trying to be perfect for my mom, and now thinking I’m going to have the perfect child.
Well, I was rudely awakened with the fact that he was diagnosed to be on the autism spectrum. I’ll get into a lot of the stories and details and how I dealt with that situation in the future, but the key I wanted you guys to know about me is that there was this place of perfection that was ingrained in me. I don’t know if any of you guys feel that out there, where you’re looking for this place of perfection and you pretty much want everyone else around you to be perfect and live up to the standards of what YOU think they should be doing.
Fast forward to knowing that my son was not perfect. He LOOKED what I thought was perfect – he had two eyes working, nose was working, mouth was working, ten fingers, tend toes. But now he’s dealing with a different a ability, a different way that he was going to have to traverse life. That began the reality of there was NO SUCH THING AS PERFECTION.
Boom. That hit me.
If anything else could have hit me in my life, that was one of the things that made me realize I didn’t have to be perfect, neither did I need him to be perfect. I stopped expecting everyone else around me to be perfect.
In future blog posts I’ll talk a little more about strategies I’ve used overcoming the obstacles in my life. Through me sharing what I’ve gone through and sharing the strategies I’ve learned along the way, just realizing thats just the way my brain was set up – I always see strategy results, I see graphs in my head, I see the reason behind certain things.
Then applying how it is to go through divorces, how it is to go through feeling completely abandoned, and now how it is to parent a child that does things so uniquely different that no textbook, no amount of education or training is ever going to prepare you for. I’m sure you can use that same comparison to what’s going on in your life, whether its special needs, or a health challenge, or a mental or a spiritual challenge. Some of the strategies I’m going to share with you I know will help you because it helped me, and it helps many others when I get the opportunity to go speak.
Another thing I learned about me is I was a leader from the get go. I was always the leader in the pack. I was always the one who was striking out on my own and doing something that was uniquely different. Then somehow people were always going, “hey that looks pretty cool, I’m going to come follow that too.” I never understood what it was that made me a leader. I don’t think I was just necessarily born ingrained a leader, I just think my mindset was that of “why not, like lets give it a try.” I was curious about ideas and actually implementing them, so I would have the idea and I would do it. Yes I failed a lot of times, and yes I made a lot of errors along the way, but I also got a lot of wins through this. What I began to realize is that when I turned around I would see others doing the same.
I remember specifically when I was in a step class when I was in my upper 20’s. I was stepping away, and I would stop and take a sip of water, and my instructor came up to me one day after class and he was like, “Ali every time you stop people stop around you.” I’m like “what are you talking about? I’m just here to step, I’m not here to lead. I’m not here to do anything like that. I’m just here to have a good time.” He said, “No, I want you to take look at that. Take a look at what’s happening around you.”
I’m telling you this because I want you to understand where that mindset shift towards being a leader really kicked in. When he told me to look around and notice that when I stop others stop to get water, and that when I powered through others were powering through with me – at that moment it was the beginning.
Now being an example for positive also works for negative. So if I’m going to stop, if I’m going to give up on myself, look around to see who’s watching because others are going to do the same. Boom.
I know someone out there just really internalized that part of knowing that you are a leader because you were placed here to lead in your unique gifts. The minute you stop, the minute you give up on yourself the minute you tell yourself i can’t, is the moment others around you are impacted with your decision.
The last thing I wanted to share with you about Dr. Ali is that I have the ability to connect with people. What showed me this is the fact that when I speak you listen, and when I listen you speak. As simple as that sounds, it’s what made me realize why I connected so well with others. I started to realize through my experiences, challenges, growth, wins and loses, that my voice matters. And so does yours. As I began to listen more (did i mention that I’m a speech pathologist and audiologist?) it really made me understand not only the science of peeking and listening, but the art and the humanitarian aspect. It made me understand why we need to improve our listening, and why we have to think twice before we speak – because others are listening, they are tuning in.
I connect through speaking, I connect through listening, and most importantly I connect through the heart. My heart space is one of my big gifts that I have, I have a gigantic heart. My Zachary was given this same heart. So imagine him being his unique quirky self, and now having this big gigantic heart.
In the future you’re going to get to learn some more about that, and you’re going to get to hear from Zachary himself.
So what I ask of you today is to do me a favor. I just poured into you, can you do me a favor and pour back into me? Take this and share it with five other friends or family members that you know need to hear this. Leave comments below and tell me how you feel.
One more favor I have to ask is for you to check out my brand new podcast, The Dr. Ali Griffith Show. I’ll be sharing more stories like the one you’ve read today in more depth about me, my son Zachary, and all things mindset, motivation, and meditation. I’m figuring it out along the way and I don’t have all the answers. This is not going to be perfect, because guess what? I took that perfection thing I was trying to do and threw that out the window and just say “take me as I am.” And I’m hoping you do the same.
If you’re ready to unsubscribe from the negativity in your life, listen to the Dr. Ali Griffith Show:
by Adriana Santiago | Apr 4, 2019 | Uncategorized
Hi, it’s your girl Dr. Alisha Griffith, affectionately known as “Dr. Ali.” I am your autism parenting strategist and ignite coach. I help autism moms, mompreneurs, and aspiring mompreneurs, to shift through the feelings of overwhelm, frustration, and stress, and move towards making bold, brave power moves so you can ignite the results you want and live that ultimate dream life you desire.
My first tip to dealing with behavioral issues that you should START immediately. You want to develop key systems and structure within your home as soon as possible. In order to create calm within your home, you must come out of pause and press play. To accomplish this, acknowledge this is what you are working on right now, get all interested or physically started by creating a guideline with a simple straightforward follow through.
If you start this when your child is younger or newly diagnosed, then you’ll be able to implement different strategies easier as they get older.
My second tip is to use an authoritative voice within your constraints. A major part of speaking to them with authority is them knowing and respecting the roles in the relationship. You as the adult, them as a child. So, when it comes to responding to authoritative voices, the rules of engagement are now established. It is clear and evident that you are the mom and there is no option or choice with this matter.
Third tip involves creating simple choice making. You also need to know when the times are right to provide choices. However, the major key is “how do they respond.” How do they respond when things aren’t going their way? If their response is to bite, scream or hit, then that’s not the response you should want. This is when you need to remind them you are the authority figure. Reclaim your power by providing simple options to choose from as solutions.
Fourth tip is to create structure, and most importantly, follow through once you can create and reinforce it best. Try to avoid stretching, bending and changing things because you feel bad. This will result in them looking at you and saying, “She’s not serious.” The biggest mistake that you want to avoid is to give in to their needs or constantly change the structure. If you continue to change or give in, chances are you will have more behavioral challenges.
Why? Because you let them have what they wanted, which is often outside of structure and follow through responses. This then breaks down the structure you spent time building. In their minds they may be saying “But you let me do it last time” or they are saying they’re angry and you have not yet claimed authority in that conversation.
The fifth and most critical tip is to learn how to communicate throughout the process. This includes rewards and consequences. You have to let them know that: this is what happened, and as a result of it, this will be this consequence. The consequence could be something great: They listen to what you had to say, now they get a reward. Or the consequence could be nope they are not doing what needs to be done, so hold off the reward and have a conversation with them about their outcomes.
It’s time to take back that reign and give it tough love. Stop feeling the guilt and letting them do what they want. Why? Because if you do continue that way it will lead to bigger problems and challenges in the future. I hope this information helps you find your way and guide you through the process of creating structure so that you can have less behavior breakdowns within your home. For more information feel free to check out my video!
My autism mom membership group, the Au-mazing Ignite Nation, is having a class on Monday April 8th at 7pm EST. We’ll be bringing in a guest expert to discuss even more keys to unlocking behavior breakdowns and “must do” tips to create better relationships. If this is an area your struggling with on your autism journey, please join us!
If there are other areas you’re struggling with in your autism parenting, or if you just want to educate yourself more about autism acceptance and inclusion during Autism Awareness Month, check out some of my other blogs!
How to Identify Your Unique
Parenting With Autism: Reality Check
3 Strategies to Shift Out of Your Funk When Parenting Autism