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Why I’m Thankful – from a mom of autism

As we are fast approaching Thanksgiving, it seems an apt time to step back and think about what we’re thankful for. Like we did for our Father’s Day series,  we reached out to some of our AHSS team members and asked them to share what they’re most thankful for in being moms of autism. Our first entry comes from CTM Stacie Green

11-21-16-updated-sg-why-im-thankfulBeing the parent of a child with special needs brings about so many new and unique challenges, so it’s important to keep focusing on the great things in life, the positive things. Not only can it really help to decrease your stress level, but it can make you feel truly good about yourself and your beautiful family as well. And we all deserve that!

So, what am I thankful for? I am thankful for my family. My wonderful husband is so supportive and is behind me in whatever I do. I am so thankful for my children and am so very proud of each of them. I am thankful for my client, his family and my team at AHSS. They are wonderful to work with. I am extremely thankful for Northern Illinois Academy (the residential facility where my son Erik is) and all the staff there — especially the ones who work so closely with Erik and me. In such a difficult situation, the support I receive has been invaluable! I also truly believe through all the challenges of being the mother of special needs children, I have been taught so much [by them]. I would likely not be doing what I am doing today had it not been for my children. I am in this field, working with people with Autism and special needs, as I feel this is what I was meant to do and I truly enjoy it.

Erik and Lauren

Erik and Lauren

Some things that have worked for me and my family on Thanksgiving? First and foremost, try to make it as fun and lighthearted as possible without too much stimulation. Maybe pack a “special” bag with sensory toys and/or fidgets in it. Also, one thing that I have found to work wonders with Erik is a sensory pillow. This really helps him stay seated. In my sensory bag, I have a body sock, a sensory pillow, fidgets, a couple small toys he may like, and a couple snacks. We have also started using PECS with Erik again. So, if you had a schedule with pictures and your child knew what to expect and when to expect it, that may really help him or her (and you!).

Have a very nice Thanksgiving!

by Stacie Green, AHSS Care Team Member and mom of 2 special needs children

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