You have “Red Light” moments too … it’s not just your child on the Autism spectrum

“Have you noticed that sometimes you might be impatient and even rude to the very people who are the closest to you, who help you the most, and who are your biggest supporters?

“Guess what! You are not alone… And wait, do you also then feel guilty for having shouted at the wonderful person who is just trying to help you? Does this sound familiar?

“This could mean – you are having a Red-Light moment!!! Just like your child, you too might experience moments when you seek an exaggerated sense of control, feel over-stimulated, want to go into your world where you are 100% in charge; and don’t want to engage with people! 😉 The most important question in those moments is: can you acknowledge that you are having a Red-Light moment without guilt and other self-judgments?

“Ahhhhhh – if you can own your Red-Light moments… and have compassion and acceptance for yourselves in those moments… This would avoid so many misunderstandings and possible unhappiness for everyone involved.

“One wonderful Son-Rise Program Mom told me once in a consultation, that since her parents had come to visit and help them with their child on the autism spectrum, it had been amazing to get so much help, but at the same time, she said ‘it feels too much, having to be social and nice to them all the time.’ She then said, ‘They are here to help me, and I’m not very nice to them. I yell at them a lot now…’ When I asked her why she was ‘not nice’ to them, and yells at them; this mom said, ‘otherwise they keep talking and engaging with me, and I want to be quiet and in my world, while I drink my coffee in the morning. This is the only time I have for myself during the day…’

“Taaa- daaaa! This mom was experiencing a Red-Light moment when she was ‘not being nice to her parents’/ yelling at them. It was so life-transforming for her to realize this! She came to understand that instead of yelling at her parents, she could communicate to them what was happening to her, and give herself a moment for self-regulation and decompression.

“This wonderful mom came up with a plan, where she would calmly tell her husband and parents when she was in a Red-Light and needed some time to be by herself. Her parents were so grateful to have had this conversation with her. Funnily enough, they opened up to her about how they had made up that they thought she was angry at them because they were not doing enough and were not keeping her company. They too were relieved to know that they no longer had to be engaging with their daughter the whole time they were staying at her house – it was OK for all of them to have some ‘alone’ time / Red-Lights.

“Being Authentic is one of the principles of The Son-Rise Program. You first will want to be authentic with yourselves and acknowledge what you are feeling and thinking. Second, you will want to lovingly, express openly to those around you what you are thinking and feeling, as this will only bring you closer to your loved ones. Authenticity about your Red Lights will help the people in your life better understand you, and know how to support you!”

Camila Titone, Senior Son-Rise Program Teacher

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