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Creating a "Yes" world for your neurodivergent child

Right, let's talk tantrums, triumphs, and turning "no way, mate!" into "hell yeah, let's do this!"


We've all been there. The meltdown's brewing, the social situation's a sensory overload waiting to happen, and the mere mention of trying something new gets a response that'd make a jackhammer wince. It's easy to fall into the trap of shutting it down, avoiding the potential disaster. I may not experience it to the full extent as parents do because I only see children for short periods of time in their week. But I definitely experience it!


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So what if we chose to flip the script, turn those "no way's into "hell yeahs, and help raise a generation of confident, resilient problem-solvers?


Introducing the idea of the "Yes, and..." approach for children with Autism. It's not about ignoring anxieties or tiptoeing around meltdowns. It's about acknowledging them, then saying, "Yep buddy, I hear you, and here's how we can smash this together."


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Imagine your kiddo wants to build a time machine, but the thought of all those blinking lights has them about ready to lose their marbles. Instead of a flat out "nope, not happening," try a "Yes, and... how about we dim the lights a bit? Maybe we build it in a quiet corner, and if things get overwhelming, we can take a break to chill out for a bit and come back to it later?"


Suddenly, the impossible becomes an adventure. You're not dismissing their concerns; you're validating them and showing them you're on their team. You're problem-solving together, building a support system, and most importantly, saying "yes" to trying something new, even if it comes with a few modifications.


This "Yes, and..." awesomeness isn't just about reducing tantrums. It's about building confidence, brick by brick. Every time they get through a challenge with your support, they're not just surviving; they're thriving. They're learning to adapt, to advocate for their needs, and to believe in their own ability to handle whatever life throws their way.


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Sometimes you need to take things back to ground zero.


For example.. when I get the Autistic kids I work with to try a new game they usually flat out refuse. Often this is not because they don't want to try it or that they don't like it, but more so they're affraid they'll be awful and fail at it.


Take jumping over pool noodles as the perfect game example... if I hold a pool noodle out up above the ground and say "jump it" they won't try. So instead of setting a high expectation and having it rejected, I'll instead put the noodle on the ground and ask if they can step over it, to which I know and they know they can.


After that I make it a little higher, and higher again until they're jumping a height they never thought they could and are so proud of themselves.


So, the next time your neurodivergent legend throws a curveball, remember: it's not a dead end; it's a detour. Grab their hand, take a deep breath, and say, "Yes, and... let's see where this wild ride takes us!"


So, the next time your neurodivergent legend throws a curveball, remember: it's not a dead end; it's a detour. Grab their hand, take a deep breath, and say, "Yes, and... let's see where this wild ride takes us!"


You might be surprised at the amazing things they're capable of achieving, and the confident, resilient young adults they're slowly (but still too fast!) becoming.


See you on the other side of "no way!"


Cheers,

Clint

Confidence Coach


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