“Probably one of the most powerful acts of Kindness we can perform is gratitude: for others, experiences, events, and ourselves. Gratitude is appreciating something or someone for its gifts and benefits to us. When we practice gratitude and take a moment to appreciate something, no matter how small, we are filled with that energy of appreciation, love, and comfortable feelings.
“As parents and caregivers of a child on the Autism Spectrum, the world often gives us a message of how our children are not enough in different ways… messages of how they have deficits compared to their neurotypical peers. Although you may not have many people around you supporting you with the perspective of gratitude and appreciation for your child, you can still hold this perspective yourself.
“Here’s one easy way to do that: because our brains have this amazing function of seeking answers to any questions we ask of it, take a pause in this moment and ask yourself the question: What am I grateful for about my child?
“Give yourself a little time to reflect on this question and the answers that arise. Even just a few minutes will allow you to have a list of things you are grateful for about your child. And, this works even if you feel ‘down’ or unhappy. The Co-Founder of The Son-Rise Program®, “Bears” Barry Neil Kaufman, lists 6 shortcuts to happiness, in his book – “Happiness is a Choice”. BEING GRATEFUL is one of them!
“Today, I would like to dedicate the Kindness Korner action to being grateful for your child on the Autism Spectrum. Go ahead, and give it a go. Pause for this moment and ask: What is something right now that I appreciate about my child?
“… Pause, breathe and let the answer come to you. Notice how you feel. Notice if you find that more than one thing you appreciate about your child arises for you. Enjoy your thoughts. Enjoy your feelings of gratitude.
“Lastly, to give your shot of gratitude even more power: decide to take action to demonstrate your gratitude to your child.
– Maybe your child is sleeping and you quietly whisper your appreciation to her while sleeping.
– Maybe you write a special hidden note and tell your son you have a surprise hidden for him in the living room to find.
– Maybe you create a sweet card sharing your gratitude.
– Maybe you share your appreciation in a short song of gratitude!
“You decide: how would you like to share your feelings and thoughts of gratitude with your child?
“Enjoy your sweet moment deciding… enjoy your sweet moment of sharing. Allow gratitude to bring your love and joy for your brilliant child on the Autism Spectrum to the forefront of this next moment.
“Wishing you a kind-filled day… and please, let us know what acts of gratitude you shared with your loved one!”
Suzanne Pruss, Son-Rise Program Teacher