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KNOWING

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overview of the  B E  M Y  R A I L S - Goals 

Here you will find the nine B E  M Y  R A I L S - Goals with a short description of each. You can read about the different areas of you child's life that you will want tools for, listed under the targeted needs. Read each of the nine goals and see if any of them sticks out as one you would like to work with. Thereafter it is time to look at the Top 5 Tools for your goal of choice - decide on a starting tool or tip. You can go ahead with more tools for the same goal, do several together, or decide to move on to another goal in between. Keep notes and review the outcome! 

Image by Flickr/basheertome

 

Balanced Energy

Your goal is to achieve an environment and a body that provides the necessary energy and balance. Make sure to have plenty of activities that give eneregy between those that drain. Also target sleep and nutrition. This goes for both your child and you!

You need tools that target: 
Sleep, food, mood, medication, supplements, comorbid diseases/conditions, demand levels, anxiety, stress, sensory overload, hypo/hyperactive states, restlessness, exhaustion, breaks & solitude, life balance & time for siblings.
Also see Removed triggers and Your Patience & Acceptance.

 


Expectations in Advance

Your goal is to interpret the world so that your child will feel secure in it and know what is expected from him. The key questions to answer are Why & How? Use Social Stories or simple rules.

You need tools that target:
Social situations, expectations on behavior in daily routines & special events, changes, clear consequences.


My Way Out

Your goal is to provide exits for your child when out of balance or having meltdowns, and to have problem solving methods (when calm) to fall back on. Choose an exit method suitable for your child and his age. This can be a safe place to go to, coping strategies like clenching the fists, code sign or phrase for having enough “Leave me!”, or simply being provided with distractions. Use visualization (like comic strip conversations) for solving problems. All other B E M Y R A I L S - goals will help your child to minimize the need of My Way out, and it might be wise to start there by asking which will benefit your child the most.

You need tools that target:
Coping with feelings & stress, safe places, boundaries, Dos and Don’ts when angry, possible distractions, problem solving, communicating upset feelings.


Your Patience & Acceptance

Your goal is what the Buddhism call Equanimity, try to always approach your child with calmness and without judging the behavior or your child. This might involve different things, depending on yourself, your own traits and your situation, but definitely the low arousal approach to handle meltdowns by taking a step back.

You need tools that target:
Knowledge & acceptance of the diagnosis, patience & calmness & not taking it personally, anger management, stress coping and relaxation, work & life balance, “your way out” & a crisis plan, a support net.


Removed Triggers

Your goal is to create an environment that will not overload your child with external input or trigger your child into impulse behaviors. Start by clearing the surroundings that put the highest demands on your child (requiring focus or going through difficult routines).

You need to target:
Sensory overload: pad sounds, dim lights, handle smell (perfumes, outdoor), patterns & colors, comfortable clothing & footwear (or none), head phones or ear plugs (with music), cap or sun-glasses.
Impulse triggers: remove distracting toys, gadgets or anything that will create an impulse behavior.
Limit of options and choices.
Hyperactivity & attention: Add rocking chair, beanbag, inflatable cushion or raised table. Stress ball to squeeze or chewing gum (also prevents from putting things in mouth).


Added Structure & Daily Sameness

Your goal is to create recognizable routines and to use aids that structure the world of your child.

You need tools that target:
Planning and organizing, routines, schedules, clear instructions, choices, details of information in levels, categorization by colors & containers, visualization of steps and goal.
For time related aids, see Some More Time.


Interacting on My Own Terms

Your goal is to let your autistic child be who he or she is, communicating, developing and socializing in their own way. This involves finding communication aids, enabling motor skills, allowing for special interests and a comfortable level of interaction with friends and others. For hyperactive kids you can mix socializing with physical activities.

You need tools that target:
Communication, interpreting feelings, cognitive skills & difficulties, motor co-ordination, social events, hobbies & special interest, play & friendship.


Laughing through it & Motivation

Your goal is to put the fun into it all – work, play, good moments and even into the bad. Always ask how you can do it in a more fun and pleasurable way – tickling away the meltdown instead of getting angry too, brushing teeth up-side down or using the Xbox or Wii to train motor skills. Add rewards for keeping on track, if that works for your child, and always allow room for mistakes.

You need fun ways to target:
Meltdowns and disappointments, education, home work, chores, motor skills, communication skills, hygiene routines, motivational incentives, play, interactions. Use praise, bribes or rewards.


Some More Time

Your goal is to let your autistic child go on “Asperger time”, give enough time to get prepared and to finish what he is doing without feeling stressed. Often a little more time will lead further than you talking about it will. Both the autistic and ADHD-child can benefit from time related tools, and help getting started and transit between activities.

You need tools that target:
Time related stress, time management,getting started, sense of completion, transits, time-is-soon-up warning, visualizing time, knowing what is next.

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