Wednesday, November 10, 2010

500,000 Autistic Children Will Reach Adulthood in the Next 15 Years, Will Your Child Be Prepared?

Helping one's child to live their best life possible is every parent's dream. Learn what to do to make your dream become a reality.

There are hundreds of programs to choose from to help your children with autism and special needs. However, there are very few programs exclusively for parents who have children with special needs where they only focus on the parents.

While seeking the best treatments for your children make sure to take care of yourself along the way.

Many years went by before I realized how extremely important it was to take care of myself first. I often questioned how would I ever find the time?

It is true when moms are doing well so is the rest of the family.

I had been intensely focusing on helping Brandon that I had completely lost myself. I spent every waking moment taking care of Brandon and my family. When I began to take care of myself first my entire life and my family's life changed for the better. Over time my mental outlook greatly improved. I found assistance, help, and support. I attended lectures, conferences, workshops, read books, found a therapist who understood my situation of raising a child with special needs. She was a tremendous support. I discovered holistic natural treatments, such as homeopathy, and yoga. When I discovered how to live in the moment and how to move into fear and watch it dissipate from Eckhart Tolle's book, The Power of Now, I become a kinder, more evolved human being in the process.

As far as my son's diagnosis, it was not until Brandon turned thirty-two when I discovered he also had Asperger's, in addition to having untreatable epilepsy, and severe learning disorders. You might say for all those years I was trying to find my way in the dark.

Because of the love for our children we will never give up and we do whatever it takes to help them. That is something all parents have in common.

1. When you feel more balanced, centered and filled with hope you have a much better chance of helping your children to reach their full potential, and at the same time you are helping yourself.

2. Another important aspect of taking care of yourself is that when things do not go well you are more able to handle negative situations and disappointments in a much more positive manner.

3. You will become more resilient. It will take more to get you down and you will be able to bounce back much quicker.

4. You will find yourself learning, changing and growing in all areas of your life.

5. Acceptance seems to come along as part of the package, while your fears are minimized and your courage is strengthened.

Therefore the next time you hear someone say, to take care of yourself first, I hope you will take it seriously and take the first step to make that happen. Begin with baby steps and start by carving out just a few minutes for yourself and build as time goes by. I began by walking at a park for a few minutes a couple days a week, which grew into hours over time.

If you want to see change, change yourself.

As I changed, I watched my son change as well. I treated him the way I wanted to be treated. I became a nicer person and so did he. He knew he could trust me to be fair and could rely on me to be there for him. He knew I would treat him kindly and with respect. When I lost my cool I would quickly apologize. All of this helped to keep Brandon's dignity intact. Dignity is something many people with disabilities lose early on and never get back. It is an essential ingredient for one's self esteem.

Dignity, respect and acceptance is the key to helping our kids and adults develop and grow to their highest level.

If you want your children to succeed, you must set the tone and show them how by doing your best and in turn they will do their best too. I have seen it happen, and I know firsthand that it is never too early or too late to get started. Remember, you and your children are on the same team. Together you can turn a negative situation around.


Amalia Starr is a Mother, Autism Motivational Speaker, Family Consultant and Author. Starr's youngest son, Brandon, is thirty-six years old. He has a form of autism called Asperger's, plus untreatable epilepsy, and severe learning disorders. The professionals who worked with Brandon said he would never be able to live alone. They were wrong. Brandon has been living on his own for more than twelve years, enjoying his independence. There is HOPE! Learn how Amalia helped her son accomplish his dream of independence in her book, Raising Brandon. For more information on how to help your child with special needs reach his or her full potential please visit:, and accept Starr's offer of a free phone consultation and pick up a copy of Raising Brandon. To book Amalia as a speaker, call 800-939-1046.

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