APS has helped me to lean in to and listen to my son more
closely and trust my own intuition and confidence as a parent. Through the
years I read dozens of articles and books and none could even come close to
what I learned with Andrea’s help. I know no matter what the next parenting milestone
is with my son I am better equipped to handle it,
I read a story about a preschool that banned the use of the term “best friend.” What they were trying to accomplish was to avoid having other children feel excluded. While the goal was commendable, the approach was questionable. At least one parent objected publicly to the new rule, stating that she wanted her daughter to be able to express her strong feelings for a friend. That’s a good point.
While this story appears to have nothing to do with autism, children with autism and their families certainly know a thing or two about feeling excluded. What struck me as questionable was the school’s focus on WORDS to avoid having children feel excluded. What would have been a better approach, in my humble opinion, would have been to focus on inclusive BEHAVIOR. Sadly, I have witnessed too many examples of organizations undertaking substantial efforts to ensure that the language they use is inclusive while failing to ensure that their conduct is equally welcoming. Sometimes, I feel that controlling and altering the “words” is worse than doing nothing at all. Why? Because it allows these organizations to “check off the box” and feel that they have fully addressed the issue. Let’s make sure to send the message that inclusive words are worthless without accompanying inclusive behavior.
The program offered not only helpful strategies but also new perspectives that help me understand and relate better to my son. The frequency and severity of his aggressive outbursts have decreased significantly. He and I have a better understanding of each other and a better relationship overallThe program leader meets you where you are and offers very practical ways to troubleshoot challenges. APS helped me be relieved of my dreaded parental guilt and has made me feel successful!! And most importantly, my son is happier as a result of our mutual growth.