Michelle Lach | Why you should stop trying to do all the Autism therapies

EmpowerHer Journey, ProsperHer Path

It’s okay to call it quits. (And why you should stop trying to do all the Autism therapies).

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We don’t give ourselves permission to quit things that are no longer serving us, our families, and our situations. 

I was talking to another Autism mama, who was overwhelmed, trying to juggle caring for her one year old while driving her six-year-old with Autism to speech and OT after school…on top of trying to run a home-based therapy program.

Not only was she not getting any sleep, but she was operating at a frantic speed. 

It was not too long ago that I was in her shoes. And if I’m not careful, I can easily be swayed to return to that way of living. 

We all desire what’s best for our children, and we’d go to the ends of the earth to get them the help they need. 

But what if what they really need from us is more quiet and less chaos?

A mama who is less tired and overwhelmed from constantly being stuck in traffic, trying to keep the baby from crying while simultaneously trying to prevent her child from hitting the baby, all in the name of doing what’s best for her child?

Chances are if it’s hard on you and causing you tremendous amount of stress, it’s hard on them, and it may be doing more harm then good. 

Now, I’m not saying discontinue therapy if it’s working— but if you’ve been at it for a while, with very little progress, and it’s causing both you and your child to end up in tears when it’s all said and done…on a regular basis…it’s okay to quit. 

It is absolutely OKAY to quit. 

You’re not a bad mom.

You are a wise mom for taking the time to stop and pause in the middle of the chaos, and evaluate if what you’re doing right now is serving your family— and ultimately, your child. 

Even if you decide to continue with this particular therapy or schedule, taking the time to pause allows you to come up with creative solutions. 

Perhaps, instead of doing an after school session, consider having therapy before school starts? Or maybe pick up your child earlier so traffic isn’t as heavy and your child is less prone to frustration because the car is at least moving? Or perhaps there’s an SLP or OT in your area who’s willing to travel to your home?

Just taking the time to stop, pause, and reflect on the situation will give you the mental space to tap into your creative problem solving skills. 

Oftentimes, when we’re the ones in our situation we feel “stuck.”

Like life is happening to us, and it’s out of our control, and there’s nothing we can do about it. 

It’s up to us to decide for ourselves what may be the best decision for our family. Some of the most challenging decisions we have to make is between what’s good and what’s best. It’s easy for us to say no to things are clearly “bad,” but it’s difficult for us to make the distinction between what’s “good” and what’s even “better.” 

When you feel overwhelmed it’s easy to blame external factors— your spouse, your kids, co-workers, employer, even God— but when we begin to understand just how much control God actually gives us to do as we choose, we realize that it’s ultimately up to us. And we get to decide how we’d like to fill our schedules— particularly in relationship to our child’s therapy schedule. 

It’s up to us to change the course of our day. Yes, our children greatly impact our day to day life, and yes, your spouses too, but we’re the mom. 

We’re the heart of the home, and if it’s one thing we always have control over— it’s ourselves. How we choose to respond to our children and husband, what we choose to say yes and no to, those are our choices to make. 

Along the same line, don’t begin things out of guilt or obligation. 

Seriously, don’t raise your hands simply because they need a volunteer for your child’s classroom or someone to help chair the PTSA. 

Don’t allow others to make you feel guilty because you didn’t step up to be homeroom mom, or you didn’t sign up to volunteer for the next school or church function.

It’s okay to say no. 

It is absolutely okay to take things slower than you think. 

You don’t have to subscribe to the hustle hard way of doing things. 

I love to hustle. I like to know that at the end of the day I accomplished whatever task was on hand. Those check-boxes gives me a small dose of dopamine. I get it.

But the hustle hard way of doing life isn’t the way to abundant life. 

It simply isn’t. 

God paved the way by setting aside a day of rest— so take one day out of your crazy busy week to rest. 

And I mean rest. 

Even if it’s for a few hours. 

Take a break from social media. 

Take a break from your phone.

Turn it completely off if you’re finding it hard to unplug, and rest. 

Read a book. Read a book to your child.

Head to the neighborhood park. 

Go for a walk by yourself (if the hubs are home with the kids), or take a walk together as a family. 

The Danes are known for taking walks regardless of the weather and a research study concluded that they’re notably “happier” than those of us in the states

One of my favorite activities to do as a family is to take a walk or a bike ride around our neighborhood. And maybe that’s not something you enjoy doing, and that’ okay. But find something that helps you to “get off the grid” and feel filled up. 

Our calendars are oftentimes so filled to the brim that we forget just how much we need time to unplug and simply rest. 

Feeling stuck on a decision? Can’t decide if you should quit that thing or start a new therapy/job/project/passion project? 

Grab this free guide to Making Better Decisions as a Special Needs Mom. 

Related: Why Special Needs Moms Needs a Don’t Do’s List

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