Parent Support: Educational and Therapeutic Planning for Autism

We often hear the term whole child or the whole person. But what does that really mean?

I once heard it said that treating the whole child means connecting all the dots in a person’s life. It reflects big-picture thinking about the trajectory of development within a holistic life picture. Thinking about the whole child goes beyond academics or even employment if an adult.

The whole person idea is represented by considering all of life including one’s community, mental health, movement, nutrition, relationships, and sense of purpose or contribution. Some include spirituality or grounding in a higher power as critical to personhood

 

A family smilng while sitting together. This could represent the support parent coaching in Florida can offer via parent support for autism. Search for special needs help for parents or autism boarding schools today.

Very often when a child, teen, or adult has a diagnosis of some sort, the focus is narrow. Parents and professionals focus on the right school or an IEP which may eventually lead to a focus on independent living or supported living. Concerning behaviors are part of the picture for many.

When parents contact us, we often hear of all sorts of interventions occurring; though often plans lack integration or a comprehensive approach. Plans seem to have services that are hit or miss with each service operating from their own lane and little awareness of other professionals involved. Rarely is there planning that includes areas beyond school or treatment of undesirable behaviors.

Let’s consider Three Keys to Planning for Atypical Persons.

  1. Make sure your plan uses a developmental lens
  2. Make sure your plan includes all domains
  3. Make a plan to evaluate the plan

First, utilize a developmental lens. For any intervention to be successful, it needs to be developmentally appropriate. I’m not referring to chronological age, though planning must be respectful of such.

Many with neurodiversity or atypicality benefit from interventions that correlate more with their developmental age, which is often lagging behind the chronological age. Meeting someone where they are requires both a respect of age in years and also age or stage of function.

A graphic showing a rainbow brain and tree growing out of it. Search for parent support for autism and autism parenting in Florida to learn more about parent support for autism today.

Next, plan to include all domains. It’s easy to let the focus be all about the right school, getting a job, or fixing problematic behaviors. When the difficult behaviors include aggression toward others or property or when self-harm comes into play, of course, those take center stage. But always keep in mind that behaviors occur in the context of a whole person in need of attention across all life domains. Here is an often identified standard within the domain of emotional maturity.

Dr. William Menninger believed the following to be the criteria of emotional maturity:

 

  • The ability to deal constructively with reality
  • The capacity to adapt to change
  • A relative freedom from symptoms that are produced by tensions and anxieties
  • The capacity to find more satisfaction in giving than receiving
  • The capacity to relate to other people consistently with mutual satisfaction and helpfulness
  • The capacity to sublimate, to direct one’s instinctive hostile energy into creative and constructive outlets
  • The capacity to love

Last, make a plan for how you will evaluate your plan. You want to know what works and what doesn’t. If services or strategies aren’t working you want to tweak, pivot, do something different. You don’t want to keep doing the same thing over and over expecting different results just because the school or therapist or whomever is sure they are doing the right thing. 

When we plan with families, we join the team as a brainstorming partner. Our developmental lens and role as a strategic planner ensure integration across services and that interventions with services and supports are giving hoped-for results and desired outcomes.

Don’t get me wrong. Typically, there is no magic fix. Neurodiversity strongly impacts human development.

Care requires a well-thought-out, long-term game plan to keep a person tracking with same-age peers if their cognitive profile makes that possible. Tracking with one’s own profile or capacity also requires careful planning.

What are your concerns? The right school? Independence or care for an adult and not being a burden on siblings or society someday? Challenging behaviors? Disrupted family life? Your own well-being with all the stress? We can guide you to a well-thought-out plan. We also offer support and coaching for your own health.


Feel like you are running yourself ragged with planning and this intervention or that? The Educational Planners at Morgan Guidance Services are experts in atypical educational and therapeutic planning. We take into account best practices, your family’s needs, and the person’s strengths, all in a big-picture way so your loved one can reach potential in school and in life.

Receive Parent Support for Autism in Florida, Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina

In closing, most of us as parents put our own needs and well-being on the back burner at times. With a special needs child or when parenting an adult who is still dependent, parents often go for years without taking care of themselves. We know from personal experience that being on the back burner is not sustainable. Contact us to learn more about how we support parents and their children, teens, or adults needing careful planning for success in life.

A close up of friends walking together through a park path. Learn how parent support for autism can offer support in planning. Search for autism parenting in Florida and the special needs help for parents it offers.

Other Educational & Therapeutic Services

In addition to Parent Coaching, Morgan Guidance Services offers Patient Advocacy, long term educational planning for individuals with Asperger and Autism, including Therapeutic Boarding School, Traditional Small Boarding School, and Transition or GAP year planning for those needing extra time to mature after K-12.

About The Author

Certified Educational Planner and Duke Integrative Medicine trained Health and Well-being coach.  Elaine Morgan supports and guides parents in FL, NC, Bermuda, and anywhere in the United States who are motivated to lead their families during difficult days. It takes a well-thought-out game plan and a dedication to health and personal lifestyle.  Call and discover the difference 12 weeks can make for your loved one and for you as a parent.

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