I was recently talking to a parent, she stated how she felt she was “failing as a parent” and “did something wrong” to cause her child to have Autism.
What continued was a very emotional talk where this parent let out a lot of emotions. She went on to further tell me that she was feeling stressed in her marriage as she and her husband were constantly fighting on how to best raise their child with Autism. In addition, she had not had time to go on a date with her husband or just spend time alone with him since their child received an Autism diagnosis a couple of months prior.
As I continued to talk with this parent, I let her know that she was not failing as a parent and did not do anything wrong. Her child was unique and special - as all children are. A diagnosis does not change that.
We came up with some affirmations that she was going to repeat to herself every morning. These affirmations were:
I encourage this parent to say these affirmations to herself every morning and if needed throughout her day to provide her with strength, encouragement, grounding, and to help her feel empowered.
If you are feeling any of these feelings, let me be the first to tell you that you are NOT Failing Your Child and you did NOT do anything wrong. Your child simply wants you to love them, believe in them, and take care of them.
If you are feeling any of these feelings, I want you to say these affirmations to yourself everyone morning:
I want you to look in the mirror, smile at yourself, and repeat these affirmations until you believe them.
Your child needs you. They don’t need you to be perfect, they just need you to love and support them.
See you soon!
-Michael Jankowski, MS, OTR/L
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