| Suddenly unable to face |
”I can’t stand it anymore!” Ms. Shinoda, who worked in a company in Tokyo, recalled the scene at that time, and tears suddenly flowed down.
The eldest son, Xiao Wei, suffers from autism and usually attends kindergarten. Two weeks after Japan issued the “Declaration of Emergency” last year, his son’s kindergarten was closed, and Shinoda could only work from home. Although her husband raised the children with her, he had to go to work during the day, and only Shinoda was at home with his eldest son and three-year-old daughter. Whenever she turned on the computer to work, the children would make a mess, running over to talk and touch the computer. Even though Shinoda reminded her many times, they didn’t listen. Instead, they were more naughty. They didn’t give up until she became angry, reprimanded or even beat her up. Every time she regrets it afterwards, she even hates herself.
Shinoda, who was unable to work during the day, had to work in the early morning and could only sleep three or four hours a day. One day after dinner, she thought she could finally clean up the kitchen by herself, but the child came to make trouble again. She had a sudden emotional outburst and burst into tears. In hindsight, it was impossible to go on like this, so she and the company took a whole month’s leave, wanting to stop working during this period and only take care of the children. Only then did her emotions gradually calm down, and she was finally able to get along with the child as usual. “Looking back now, the mood swings were so great at the time that both my child and I were in trouble,” Shinoda said.
Autism is a developmental disorder of the brain. Children with this disorder are particularly fond of doing the same thing over and over again and do not adapt to changes in the environment. The new crown epidemic has pressed the pause button on the previous way of life. Therefore, such children are very prone to anxiety and depression.
| Vicious circle |
From July to August last year, the Japan Intellectual Development Disability Information and Assistance Center launched a survey for patients and their families to understand the impact of the new crown epidemic on them, and a total of 352 responses were received. Among them, the number of people who believed that “sleep problems increased” accounted for the largest number, accounting for 43%; “easy to get angry” and “mood swings” accounted for 42%. On the whole, for most families with children with intellectual developmental disabilities, the life of the new crown epidemic has changed a lot, and parents feel physically and mentally exhausted.
The county secretary, who has been assisting children with intellectual developmental disabilities for more than 20 years, pointed out: “Especially those children with autism, attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder tend to be more introverted. Things that could be done suddenly can’t be done or are not allowed to be done, they will Feeling uneasy, emotionally unstable, easy to get angry, and some self-mutilation behaviors such as slapping their faces, biting their hands, and even getting their own excrement everywhere. And the parents of these children, because they need to spend more They spend more time with them, so they will feel more burdened and have no time to adjust themselves. They know they can’t beat and scold their children, but they can’t control themselves, so they yell at or even abuse their children, which is a vicious circle.”
Another 38-year-old working mother, Matsushima, had the same experience. Her daughter, who is in the second grade of elementary school, suffers from autism. Affected by the new crown epidemic, the school announced the suspension of classes at the beginning of the spring last year. She felt that her daughter was depressed every day and became more and more restless. She recalled: “When my daughter was playing at home, she would suddenly throw things and yell, and couldn’t express herself well in words, so I didn’t know what she wanted or didn’t want to do at all, but she must be because she couldn’t be as usual. Going to school and venting my dissatisfaction. For nearly two months from early April to June last year, I didn’t know what to do every day. It took me three hours to put her to sleep, but no matter how sleepy I was, I couldn’t sleep. After a long time, my daughter became more and more irritable and began to scratch her hands frequently. I couldn’t control my temper. If there is trouble, I will hit her. Since June last year, the school has resumed classes, and my daughter can finally go to school happily. But I always worry that someday the epidemic will come again, and what if the school will be closed again? ”
| Communication is the key |
Today, when the epidemic is not over, how should parents treat their children with autism? The county secretary suggested: “We should spend more time with children. During the epidemic, these children will become more introverted, sleep too much or not enough, talk to themselves more often, and even cry. Children will be more irritable, just in different ways. Therefore, it is best to think about countermeasures in advance and try to avoid the above situations for children. For example, remind them of their daily schedule in a way that children can understand, and tell them in advance when changing activities. , which reduces their anxiety. Most importantly, parents cannot punish their children by being angry or ignoring them.”
The new crown epidemic has pressed the pause button on the previous way of life, so those children with autism are very prone to anxiety and depression.
1. From July to August last year, a survey by the Japan Intellectual Development Disability Information and Assistance Center showed that for most families with children with intellectual development disabilities, life after the new crown epidemic has changed a lot, and parents feel physically and mentally exhausted. . 2. As a parent, you should praise your child with autism more, and send a message to your child: I have been paying attention to you, I care about you very much. 3. Ms. Shinoda said that fortunately, her husband helped her, so they could face the child together. 4. Songdo’s husband takes his daughter (middle), who is in the second grade of elementary school, to school. Matsushima is fortunate to have her husband support her when she is stressed.
When the child is irritable, parents get angry, or threaten with words such as “I won’t give you something to eat until I finish this thing”, which will increase the child’s problem behavior. We should praise our children more, for example, even if the child is just using chopsticks well, we should also praise “it’s amazing”. Send a message to your child: I’ve been following you, and I care about you.
| Be good at companionship |
On the other hand, parents also need to set aside more time for breaks, such as taking a walk or challenging themselves to cook a new dish, and in short, to entertain the mind and body through things other than children, the county secretary said. As long as the body is moving, the brain will relax, and the conflict with the child will naturally be reduced.
In addition, Shinoda found that after she made friends with other mothers of autistic children and communicated their experiences at any time, her stress would be relieved a little. Especially when she couldn’t bear it mentally and couldn’t do anything about her child, she would send a message to her friend: “It’s so uncomfortable, I really can’t stand it!” The friend would reply: “Our family too, I really can’t stand it. But , you are not alone, we work together!” The encouragement among friends supported each other.
For children with autism, the most important thing is not treatment, but high-quality companionship. Children will grow up. Sometimes it seems that they take three steps and take two steps back, but that is not a step backward, it is the only way to grow. If the parent is always worried that the child will not do this or that, or behave unhappy in raising the child, then the child must be miserable because the parent’s anxiety is projected onto the child. Don’t sigh and get angry because of a little failure of your child. You should see the changes in your child every day, and share the joy of growth with your child.