The Best Days

When you are raising a child on the autism spectrum, it is easy to get caught up in the details of IEPs, appointments, teaching social skills, and promoting friendships.  Finding the beauty in ASD is also important.  When we are too busy, or distracted by life, it is easy to fail to recognize the unique thought process, the puns, the language quirks, the unusual viewpoints, the empathy, and the compassion. Two lists today: first, finding the time, then using the time effectively!

Finding time for reflection

How long does reflection take?  30 seconds, a minute, 5 minutes?  Certainly you have that in your day, you just may not see it!  (Seriously, one of my health providers said I needed to breathe deeply for 5 minutes twice a day.  I almost said – out loud!- that I actually didn’t have time.  Luckily, I kept my mouth shut while I considered my priorities and decided that health is actually pretty important, and somewhere I had 5 minutes a day, or perhaps, the requested 10 minutes.  If I can find the 10 minutes, you can find 30 seconds.)

  • We have a train in town that generally makes people late for appointments. When you are sitting in traffic, waiting in line at the bank, or waiting for the proverbial train, grant yourself 30 seconds to ponder life.
  • Set a timer (two minutes?) and sit still on the couch, on the side of your child’s bed, on the side of the tub, or while doing dishes.
  • Waiting? Maybe waiting for soccer to end, or school to get out?  That is a special moment for you to ponder.
  • Driving around town with your child/children? Ask some questions.
  • Actually put “ponder time” in your schedule.

Using your ponder time effectively

  • Ask yourself, “What amazing thing did my child teach me today?”
  • Ask your child, “What was the highlight of your day?”
    • Get your child to ask you about the highlight of your day!
  • Reflect on a specific fantastic time you shared with your child
  • Look at old photographs together
    • Ask your child to identify his or her favorite memory from that event
    • Ask your child to tell a story based on a photo, an ad, two people waiting in line
    • Ask your child what is happening “just outside of the picture”
  • Scroll through your phone and remember some fun times.
    • Go take pictures of more fun times!
  • Ask your child to dream up an ideal day or vacation – what would it entail?
  • If your child had the power to run the school for a week, what changes would he make?
  • If your child had 3 wishes, what might she request?
  • If your child could make up 3 rules, what would he propose?
  • If your child could make up a new job for you, what would it be?
  • What song or movie best depicts your life, or the life you wish you had?
  • Connect with other parents
    • What lessons have their children taught them?
    • What lessons can only be taught by a child with ASD? Or by the parent of an Aspie?
    • Through what amazing lens does their child see the world?


For most of us, life is busy.  Really, really busy.  Certainly we are not trying to teach our children to overschedule themselves, right?  (Well, except by some awful modeling that occurs from time to time.)  Pause, breathe, and reflect on the best days.  And then go create some more!

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