Taking it One Step at a Time

“Will my child ever reach their goals?

“How many months, years, etc., will my child need therapy?

“How will I ever accomplish it all… get through the day, week, month, or year?

“These are just some of the questions we hear that come up for parents and caregivers in our work with families affected by Autism. Whether you have one of these exact questions or a similar question, the common theme here is parents becoming doubtful that they can remain passionate, patient, and persistent, when it comes to helping their children on the autism spectrum.

“If you are having these doubts, please know you are not alone! The first step to feeling better is to first, acknowledge that you are feeling this way. If you are reading this and can relate… congratulations on your acknowledgment… please know there is a way out!

“In today’s fast-paced world, filled with expectations, we have a lot to accomplish daily. You may be a parent who works full time, has multiple kids (one or more who have special needs,) or perhaps, you are a single parent, trying to make ends meet, or even a therapist/teacher who has many children to support and there are never enough hours in the day. There is societal pressure for our children to succeed in school, complete their IEPs, go through multiple therapies and protocols… and all this, combined with balancing family life, relationships, social engagements, laundry, cooking, cleaning… things can get hectic and it can seem there is always a never-ending to-do list, right?

“In The Son-Rise Program®, we teach the power of TAKING IT ONE STEP AT A TIME. All progress depends on multiple small steps, whether we are building a career, a family, a house, a business, or raising a child… it all begins with one small step. Oftentimes, when we look at all the things we have to do, we overwhelm ourselves and then we can’t even take one step to move toward our goals. It becomes easier to avoid our challenges (or we pressure ourselves so much that we give up or make ourselves sick).

“Start with one small step at a time that you can do. It doesn’t matter WHAT you do, it just matters THAT you do something.

“Here are some examples of ‘small steps’ you can take that will feel digestible and make a difference for you and your child as you walk this path.

1) Will my child ever reach their goals?

“Start with one goal – break the goal down into small steps, and then one by one, try each step. For example, if my goal is for my child to brush their teeth, I break it down into three steps. Step 1: I make my tooth brushing exciting and fun. Step 2: I ask my child to brush MY TEETH. Step 3: I celebrate all of my child’s involvement with the toothbrush.

2) How many months, years, etc. will my child need therapy?

“It’s understandable to feel concerned about your child’s future, but since we don’t always get to know answers about the future, begin with focusing on TODAY – with this present moment. Decide which one of the therapies you most align with and if you would like your child to continue it. Once you have decided, write a short list of reasons why you’d like to continue. See if you can embrace this therapy as helpful to your child, it doesn’t have to be a life sentence, our children have a great capacity to grow and change. You can repeat this process with each therapy, step-by-step. You can always eliminate therapies you don’t connect to over time.

3) How will I ever accomplish it all… get through the day, month or year?

“Make a list of the three most important things you want to do. Prioritize the list in order of importance, starting with the most important one. Do the first thing. If that feels doable, move to the 2nd and 3rd. Repeat this each day.”

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
– Martin Luther King Junior-

Becky Damgaard, Senior Son-Rise Program Teacher

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