Wednesday, May 6, 2020

What Do I Do Now That My Child Is Diagnosed With Autism?

Just breathe, let yourself process it expectantly if you did not expect this diagnoses. But in my experience, Mama knows Mama may not know what exactly what it is, but she knows something is not right. You may or may not be ready to accept it, but deep down you have questioned. Whether or not this is the case, to hear diagnosis is still very hard. It does not matter how old or young your child is or even what part of the spectrum they might be on. That is your child. I have never known how to put this into words and I still don't. But I can tell you what helped me through.

* Pray

God will lead you through this. Just ask Him and you will see.
This seems so simple and just what people say, but when I learned this (the hard way) I relied on prayer. I learned to run to Him for answers. He did show me where to go, what to read, and who to talk to. Was it quick? No. I thought at the time God was sure moving slow, but looking back he was moving me at a pace and doing things I could handle at the time. As I grew He would show me more.

1 John 5:14-15 ESV 

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

* Find a Support System
Definition of support system. : a network of people who provide an individual with practical or emotional support. 
There are people out there that know what you’re  going through. Find them, talk to them, they understand. At times you will tell yourself, or you will have thoughts pop into your head.  I'm the only one.  Even my husband does not understand. This is thinking things that are not true. 

Philippians 4:8 

Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]..

Twenty-five years ago I thought that I was the only one who was walking this path and it was lonely. Mainly because I did not want to share my thoughts. I put myself there and blamed the world for not helping. I learned different and I'm still learning.

* Educate Yourself

Don't rely on others. There is difference between good advice (take good advice) and relying on what they say. Research it for yourself.  You know what is best for your family. Let the Lord lead you to do what is best for your child.  As you read you know what is best for your family. You might be thinking no I don't.  Oh but deep down you do. Because God is showing you, you just need to listen..

* Make a Plan
Even if you need to change the plan as you go start out with one. Even if it has to be changed later is better than no plan. Map it out, write it down, and stay the course.

* Know There Is Hope!
Will this be a different road for you and your child than you had dreamed?  YES, it was for me. When I came to terms with it I was ready to get to work. I think you will feel the same.

*Never Give Up
Will you want to give up at times?  YES you will.... Will it be easier to give up?  YES it would... Will you get tired?  YES you will... Will their be people in your life to imply you should just stop fighting?  YES there will....
So how do I keep myself from giving up? You just don't make it an option...

* Find A Break
Don't feel weak, or like a terrible Mama for needing a break from your child. You just need your batteries recharged. My advice to you is recharge them before they run out, even before the red light comes on. If you wait too late that's a good recipe to fall apart. Oh yeah and you will have those days also no matter what you do. It will hit you hard every now and then. My life is different than my dreams or others around me (this will happen even if your batteries are charged and you have come to term with the diagnosis) Why?  You are human.  The good news  is that these emotions will be get farther and farther apart.

* See The Bright Side
There is a bright side that is so hard to put into words. As time goes by you will see if for yourself and it will be your own bright side. You will get comfortable and thankful for you and your child and the experience in his/her life. That might be hard to understand for some right now, but its coming.  When it does it’s also ok to enjoy it.

God bless you,
Bobbie Boroughs

Monday, April 20, 2020

Crisis Schooling. How Do I Do This From Home?

I wish I had thought to post this earlier. I will try to break some ideas down and use practical ways to thrive, not just survive until we get back to school.

     1. Find a place in your house that is set aside just to do school work
        - It can be just a deck or corner in the room, as long as you use the same place every time.

     2. Post a mini schedule.
        - You're at home. It's just not the same setting as at school. You cannot expect the same as school.

       * What is a mini schedule?
       - It's a visual schedule that is scheduled for a short time of the day.
         There are many different levels. Decide which one is appropriate for your child.
       - picture schedule
       - writing word schedule
       - see link
       *How is it used?
        - Post it in a place that your child is doing his/her work.
        - Picture Schedule - use Velcro/tape/magnets: anything they can take off and you put back on.
        - Writing Word Schedule - mark through when work completed.
        - When work is complete, the child, not you,(if needed do hand over hand), takes down or marks through the word.

          When the work time is done, you will come back and put pictures/word back on the schedule.  This needs to be done before next time you guys come back to area.

      * How often to do work using this schedule a day?
        - That will depend on the time you have and what your child can do in a day.
     3. How do I get my child to come to his work place?

        -Set a timer.  This needs to be a visual timer for younger kids or kids that have trouble           transitioning. There are lots of options for timers and  many with free downloads. If appropriate for your child, you can also use a kitchen timer.  This will only work for those who are very high functioning. I would not suggest using a clock.  It needs to be a timer because they can see time go away, even if they know how to tell time.

free timer download

     4. He/she is at the work space, but how do I get them to actually do the work and not be so detracted?
      - Always use reinforces. I can not tell you enough, always use reinforces.

      - Always give them a beginning and a end. Something that tells them how much they need do before the reinforcer comes or when they will be done with work. The technique you use depends on your child.
      -Sometimes they need visuals to let them know how much they need to do and to keep them focused.  This can be done in many ways. For example, draw a circle on paper and fill with smiley for each question/trial/problem they do. When all circles are filled,  the reward comes or just a break. ( If it's just a break and you plan to bring them back to work, don't forget your timer.)
Using "Smiley''s" are just one example.  There are many ways to do this.
You can also use this to keep the focused or add to when they get a question wrong. (only do this if you have been using this technique for a while and they understand it)
REMEMBER: If you address a negative behaviors ALWAYS address MORE postive behaviors!

Use First and Then board

      - Have some reinforces that he/she really enjoys and only use them for work time. For older kids and ones that like technology, this  can be off limits to them until work is done. Use that as your reinforcer.

If your child goes to school at Sheltering Tree Ranch,  your teacher is not sending home the same amount of work as they would have at school. We know they can't be expected to do the same amount of work from home.  Your teacher is sending review work,  not something you are asked to teach. This is in hopes to keep them on target when we do come back to school.

If you need help making any of these materials please let us know.  At Sheltering Tree Ranch we would be happy to help you and your child even if the do not attend our school or has not been involved in any part of our ministries. It will be free of cost.
You can email us what you need or any questions you may have.  We will email you back with materials and answer questions best we can.

God bless you,
Bobbie Boroughs

Friday, April 17, 2020

Article on Revival

Considering what is going on in the world today, I found this article very interesting and wanted to share.

God bless you,
Bobbie Boroughs

Thursday, March 26, 2020

God Is Always In Control!

I started this blog about 2 years ago and my how time flies! I can't spell, I don't write well, so I'm not sure if I could use it to really help others. I do know that we are living in a time where I can't see my kids/students that I work with, and talk to their families face to face. I want to be with your kids!

My desire is to help you the best I can during this time.  So if you would like to join this group that would be great.  This is just one way we can all help each other through this unusual time. 

God is always in control!

Bobbie Boroughs

PS: I left the few posts up that I had made a long time ago. You are welcome to start there.