With each new year, this is a time to take stock of your accomplishments, or ponder those projects that will make it to the “to-do” list in 2013.
And no New Year is complete without resolutions. Resolutions can take many forms; from the above mentioned project list to personal improvements in ourselves. At MyAutismTeam, we wanted to hear from the parents about their own resolutions. We surveyed over 35,000 parents on MyAutismTeam about their resolutions and what they are envisioning for 2013.
One of the resounding resolutions for parents this year will be to take a moment for themselves. From making an effort for laughter to making time for spouses and exercise, parents recognize that they give their best to their children when they are at their best. While simple in theory, such small acts go a long way, as a study from the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders has shown that parents (mothers in particular) are prone to feeling a sense of chronic stress that is similar to that of soldiers in combat.* This stress can often translate into health issues leading to additional stress, etc.
However, parents are taking note. In an effort to avoid and reduce stress, parents are choosing to focus on the positive. Concentrating on their children’s strengths and new therapies, parents are choosing to make 2013 a time to learn. In a year when autism was front and center, parents are also taking action and vowing to be stronger advocates for their children and more engaged in their progress. The top ten resolutions from the survey are listed below.
Top 10 Resolutions for 2013 by Parents with Children on the Autism Spectrum
- I will develop my child’s areas of strength.
- I will take things one day at a time.
- I will be a stronger advocate for my child at his/her school or with healthcare providers.
- I will explore new therapies for my child.
- I will be part of a strong social network for emotional, social, and informational support.
- I will make more time for my spouse and myself.
- I will exercise more.
- I will start looking at things from my child’s perspective.
- I will manage my own anxieties about social situations with my child.
- I will be vigilant in monitoring and managing my child’s progress.