Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Autism or not...Are You Speaking Out the Positive?

Words are SO powerful. We all see the negative impacts that negative criticism can cause or teasing and bullying can cause, but have you noticed what positive words can do? I wrote in my last post about our son acting very mature and respectful when he had forgotten his bible in the van at church a few Sundays ago. We told him how respectful that he is and we knew that he's always been respectful and how we love seeing that character trait that is already in him shine out. As we already know, children with high functioning autism can struggle with social issues and one of those is respect and why this is so important. We have really been practicing and calling out all the times he or his sisters are being respectful and telling them how respectful they are. More recently we have learned that even when they are NOT being respectful, to call that out in them by saying the action was not respectful, but we know that they are respectful. This is not lying to them. We are all made in the image of God and we are calling those things out in which are already a part of them. In the few days that we have put the latter into practice we have noticed a huge difference!

When we use phrases like, "You are so disrespectful." or "you have no self control." We are speaking those things over them. They begin to believe these things and then start becoming exactly the thing that we are trying to teach them not to be. Instead we use phrase like, "What you did was disrespectful, but you are not disrespectful, you are very respectful." or "You were not using self control when you did that, but you know how to use self control and are not easily angered.". The way we word things can make a huge difference in our children's confidence and can bring out all of the things that God has already instilled inside of them.

We have told our son that he cannot use Autism as an excuse when different situations come up because he is NOT Autism, he may have Autism, but it is not who he is. He is a child of God, a brilliant, creative, loving, respectful child of God! I believe with all my heart that he will indeed one day be that engineer he wants to be and we tell him that. I encourage you to do the same and see what happens. Kids already hear enough negative stuff outside of the home. Let's be their cheerleader in life and bring out the best in our kids!

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