Children are staying home due to school closures and it can be overwhelming for parents having to take on the multiple roles of a teacher, AAC specialist, and occupational therapist in addition to their domestic duties. For those working from home, it can be a tough balancing act to take care of their professional commitments as well. While so many things may seem to demand your immediate attention at once, It’s important to prioritize self-care.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
You don’t have to be perfect at handling the additional responsibilities that’ve been piled on you due to the lockdown. It’s okay to feel clueless about what to do to keep your child’s AAC progress going. Remember that there are others in the same boat as you and there is no reason to feel guilt for not doing enough.
Reach Out to the Community
You’d be surprised how much you can learn from the experiences of other AAC families. Not to forget the wealth of resources so generously shared on social media by the best AAC experts. Connect to them via facebook and Whatsapp groups, or other social media platforms. A small tip, a visual schedule they use, or a fun activity they do can give you ideas of how to engage your kids.
Include ‘Me Time’ in Your Schedule
Yes. You need to plan and carve out a time out of your busy schedule for self-care. This may be in the early morning when the rest of the family is asleep, where you sip a cup of steaming coffee all by yourself. Or some time during the day where you chat with your old time friends cracking silly jokes. Don’t underestimate what a few minutes of ‘me time’ can do for your emotional and mental health.
AAC is Communication
Aided Language Stimulation, Prompting, Core word, Fringe word – Don’t let these terminologies bog you down. Yes, there are best practices for modelling and strategies that’ll better serve the AAC learning of your child. But, the key is to keep communicating. From breakfast time to homework time, make it a point to include the AAC system while communicating to your child. Just by communicating using AAC any chance you get, you are aiding your child’s AAC progress in a big way.
Get the Family Involved
Do yourself a favour and delegate a few household responsibilities to other family members. Children get responsibilities too. Household chores can be a great way to teach them discipline and work ethic. The toddler putting away their toys in their toy box is one less job for you to do. Assign simple tasks to children and appreciate them once they complete them. Nothing like a sense of accomplishment to motivate young children to do a task.
Music and Games
All work and no play makes everyone dull 😩 Make your daily routines exciting by playing some music in the background. Doing the dishes may seem a little less exhausting with your favourite musician serenading you. Family time can be spent playing fun board games, dancing together to funky tunes, or singing karaoke. If you are looking for exciting games to play with AAC, you can find them here.
Remember that that it’s not what you do, it’s You that means most to your family. So, makes sense to invest your time and energy in some self-love 💖