I made the decision that when Cody was discharged from the residential facility I would fill him full of positive messages and love. When he was younger and regained his speech, he had echolalia which means he would just repeat word for word everything he heard. This often occurred when I would lie next to him at bed time. He would sound like a tape recorder repeating everything everyone had said during the day not pausing when he switched from one person in a conversation to the next. This was how I first found out that the babysitter was not as nice as she appeared and promptly removed him from her care. Cody still has some of this echolalia especially when he is in a rage state. He will mindlessly repeat some horrible things that I assume he’s heard from other children while in psychiatric care. My theory was that if I filled his mind with an abundance of positive messages every day he would start yelling out positive things when he was in a rage state and he actually did it the other day during one of his meltdowns. He yelled out “You are very kind” and then continued on to tell me I was a stupid ass and that he didn’t love me. So…my plan is working!
If there is one thing an Asperger’s child needs, it is a daily schedule. Each morning we listen to Louise Hay’s Morning Meditation while eating breakfast. I sit at the table with a bin of markers and write out our daily schedule in a rainbow of colors. I don’t include the time things are to be done because time is very problematic for Cody. For example, he came into my room at 6:30 this morning and gave me hugs and kisses; however, when he saw the clock said 6:31 he began to panic and was agitated saying we had to hurry up because we were late for breakfast. So… I try to avoid actual times if at all possible when writing out his daily schedule. When I have finished writing out our schedule, I add positive affirmations to it. I always put “I am safe,” and “All is well in my world,” but we also choose a Power Thought card from Louise Hay that is our affirmation for the day. We use the Power Thought iPhone App, but these are also available as a collection of cards you can buy. Cody’s affirmation for today is “My heart is open! I allow my love to flow freely! I love myself! I love others and others love me!”
The word “nap” is a trigger word for Cody. He has refused to take a nap as far back as I can remember. The few times he has fallen asleep during the day he has woken up completely disoriented believing it was the next day and wanting to start his morning routine. He would be agitated, angry, and it was very hard to convince him that it was the same day. After he came home from residential care I could see that he was getting very tired and believed this was leading to some of his aggressive meltdowns. I incorporated nap time into his schedule and then remembered that “nap” means something negative to him when he would refuse to take nap time. So, I changed the name to “relax” time and that worked! He spends an hour each morning listening to Louise Hay affirmations or a certain song that he loves – Mine by Taylor Swift is one of his favorites. He will sit in his bed and read books or he will create some amazing art like the train picture above. Today when he came downstairs after relax time he gave me a plastic bag with squares of paper in it. Each square has a positive affirmation written on it. He had made his own affirmation cards!
Here is what they say:
- I love myself and others love me and I love others too
- Rude comments aren’t very nice
- People love other people
- Have an outrageous day
- The world is outrageous
- Don’t you love any people – put answer here ______
- Have a good day
- Golden Rules: Treat others the way you want to be treated
- Have a great day
- I love my life
- I love books and so do you
- If I be nice to others they’ll be nice to me
- Life is great
- Be sorry for your mistakes
- Talk to your friends
- I am in control of my life
- I only take my life (not sure what to think about this one)
I am amazed at the impact listening to and speaking positive affirmations throughout the day is having on Cody, but I am more amazed about the impact it is having on my life. I have been calmer and more able to handle the stress of caring for Cody on a daily basis. I have seen amazing things manifest in my life that I had not thought possible such as the equine therapy he started on Friday. The daily pain that I am usually in from fibromyalgia and the arthritis caused by a parathyroid tumor has almost completely disappeared and my blood pressure has dropped from 169/104 to 114/85 in just a month’s time. I developed a routine for myself combining positive affirmations/meditations with binaural brain waves and reading positive life affirming books for an hour before Cody gets up (5:30 am). Trust me, that is an amazing feat for a night person like me who had to quickly transform into an early morning person.
I had always heard that positive thinking can change your life. I have spent years trying to put this into practice, but with little success on my part. I realized, though, that I always came back to affirmations and positive thinking when things came crashing down and quickly things would improve. However, once things improved, I would drop the positive thinking and the daily affirmations and again my life would take the all-too-familiar plunge. This time I decided to stick with it and to experiment with its effectiveness with myself and with Cody. So far it has made an undeniably positive difference in our lives. Though things are not easy, I am able to handle the daily challenges better and Cody walks around saying things like “I approve of myself” every day and that can never be a bad thing!
Positive Thinking/Affirmation Resources that I use with Cody:
Self-Esteem Affirmations (Louise Hay)
Meditations for Personal Healing (Louise Hay)
Love Your Body Affirmations (Louise Hay)
Morning and Evening Meditations (Louise Hay)
The Adventures of Lulu (Louise Hay)
I Think, I Am (Louise Hay)
Incredible You (Wayne Dyer)
No Excuses! (Wayne Dyer)
In addition to those above, I also use these positive thinking/affirmation resources:
You Can Heal Your Life (Louise Hay)
The Power of Intention (Wayne Dyer)
The Answer is Simple (Sonia Choquette)
Everyday Wisdom for Success (Wayne Dyer)
Everyday Positive Thinking (Louise Hay)
You Can Create an Exceptional Life (Cheryl Richardson & Louise Hay)
Inner Wisdom (Louise Hay)
101 Ways to Transform Your Life (Wayne Dyer)
Everyday Wisdom (Wayne Dyer)
NOTE: Many of these resources are available in multiple formats (iPhone apps, Android apps, e-books, audio books, traditional print format).
*If you would like to help us on our journey you can learn more here:http://www.giveforward.com/keepcodyathome. I would be so grateful if you would share this link with others. Thank you!