“When you have a child who is on the Autism Spectrum, a child who is different and requires more focus than the typical child might, a wonderful way to get support is to ask for help. Have you noticed how we are discouraged from asking for help? We are taught throughout our lives that we need to be self-sufficient, independent, and that we can even be a burden, or bothersome to others if we ask for help. Although the people that taught us this were well-intended, the belief that we shouldn’t reach out and ask for help, actually limits us from getting the help we need. Sometimes, if we don’t ask….well, we don’t get it! When we put these limiting beliefs aside (that we shouldn’t ask for help) and ask anyway, amazing things can happen in your Son-Rise Program and in your life.
“A couple of years ago I was given a life-threatening cancer diagnosis. I had no idea what the future held for me at that time. What treatment to try, where to turn, what advice to follow, what would be the wisest choice for me to gain the best possible outcome, get to see my daughter grow up, and hopefully live a long and happy life? There were people around me, in my community, my family, and my circle of friends who loved me and I knew could be amazingly resourceful. I was empowered to reach out and ask for help. I asked for help on every possible level that I could think of…emotionally, spiritually, medically, financially, etc. I am moved to tears as I reflect on the outpouring of love and support I received. Asking for help was humbling, but it changed my life…and thankfully, I am still here to tell the tale!
“I have been a Son-Rise Program Child Facilitator and Teacher at The Autism Treatment Center of America® for many years now, so I knew about The Son-Rise Program® principle of being a “Force of Nature.” (Moving toward what you want with clarity, conviction, and daring action), you might think it was easy to ask, and I will tell you it was not. I had to be vulnerable, I had to believe in myself and I had to allow myself to be a receiver.
“When you are running a therapy program for your child, there are many things to take care of. People to spend time with your child, babysitting for your other children, food prep, cooking, shopping, school runs, reading, research, even making time for yourself to exercise, rest, meditate, and eat. How are you going to do it all you ask? YOU ARE GOING TO ASK FOR HELP.
“Sometimes it’s just about allowing yourself to ask. To reach out, to use the people around you. People want to help, but don’t always know how to do it. Before you ask for help, check-in with yourself and see how you are feeling about asking for help. Do you feel worthy of the help? Do you feel in a place to let go of some control and allow others to help you? If you feel uncomfortable about this, or undeserving of help, ask yourself some gentle, loving questions to explore your beliefs around this and why you feel the way you do. This will help you understand yourself and find perspectives inside of you that will serve you in your asking for help.
“Here are some supportive perspectives that you could try on for size.
- Others want to help, but they don’t know how.
- I am giving someone an opportunity to feel useful and resourceful.
- The more the merrier (if others help me, I can feel more supported and offer more help to my child.)
“The next step is to write a list of specific roles that would feel useful and helpful to you. Let whoever you are asking for help know how to help by being clear on the different roles you need filling. Once you have your list, you can directly ask for help with each one of these roles. For example:
- I need someone to prep food for meals.
- I need someone to cook the following meals for me to freeze.
- I need someone to go grocery shopping for me.
- I need someone to drop my kids at school twice a week.
- I need someone to take my kids to their sports games once per week.
- I need someone to put up some shelves in my playroom.
- I need someone to babysit my other kids while I go into the playroom with my child on the Autism Spectrum.
- I need someone to help me with fundraising ideas so I can do trainings to help my child.
- I need someone to research bio-medical treatments for me.
- I need someone to read this book and give me a review.
- I need someone to volunteer their time to play with my child on the Autism Spectrum.
- I need someone to help me create games I can play with my child.
“Once you have your supportive perspectives in place, and you have concrete roles that you know you would like, you are ready to ask! Keep your child in your mind as motivation and focus as you ask. Know that the more you ask, the more you will be helping your child. An added bonus to this is that asking for help will also help you in the playroom with your child. It will help you practice asking for the goals you want and therefore be a stronger facilitator.”
Written by Becky Damgaard, Senior Son-Rise Program Teacher