Making The New Year Count
As we say goodbye to 2016 and move into another new year it is a great practice to step back and reflect how last year went. What was successful, what was not? Why did certain things not work out and what can be done to improve in the New Year.
It is easy to overlook the basic things that we should be grateful for, a roof over our head, food on the table, our general health. Gratitude is important and the acknowledgement of what we or our children have accomplished. Reflecting on your actions is perhaps the most vital part of any learning process. Remember to not measure one’s progress against anyone else. We are all at a different stages with different abilities. Focus instead on establishing the best practices for future growth and improve upon our current ones.
Being Mindful of Your New Goals
We can’t get to where we want to go without a map. “Map” out your goals for the New Year. Not just broad strokes but a plan on how you are going to get to that next step. Experts agree that writing down each significant step in the new process and checking it off as time passes will help to stay on track.
Wishing you the Best in the New Year
We at Focus Formulations wish to make 2017 the best year for your family. We are committed to helping your family with products that support focus, concentration and healthy sleep patterns.
So as you consider your goals for the New Year, take time to reflect about what you would like to accomplish and how do you plan to get there. Track your progress along the way and make adjustments as needed. There will surely be detours along the way but do not forget to enjoy the journey; the changes in the road may surprise you.
The holidays can be stressful for anyone but can be especially challenging for families of children with autism. Early preparation for the holidays can help relieve some of the stress for you as well as your child.
Shopping • The crush of holiday shopping is difficult on anyone. The noise and crowds can easily overwhelm a child that is sensitive to environmental stimuli. Take advantage of online shopping if possible or try and shop at off hours if your schedule and your child’s routine allows for it.
Decorating • Nothing says the Holidays more than decorating the house. Try to decorate in stages, rather than making a major change in one day. Allow your child to help to the best of his/her ability and talk about the memories associated with particular decorations that you have collected over the years. If your child is particularly sensitive to lights or sounds, avoid decorations with flashing lights or music.
Gifts • Have a discussion about who the gifts are for and when they will be opened. If possible, wait until just before the holiday to put gifts out. If you are having a large gathering try opening gifts in order, this will alleviate some of the chaos if everyone is opening things at once.
Sharing • Prepare your child that others may want to play with their new gifts. If there is something that your child is particularly attached to you may want to put it away during this time or provide him/her a quiet place to play with their own gifts.
Enjoy • This is a special time where memories and traditions are made with family and friends. Continue to enforce positive behavior and above all enjoy!
As the days grow shorter and the temperature drops are you looking forward to the change in seasons or are you dreading having to get out the itchy sweaters, hats and jackets?
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder can have difficulty with the change in seasons. The favorite t-shirt and shorts may no longer be appropriate as the temperature drops and the texture of a nubby sweater or a wool hat may be too much of a sensory overload for these children.
Getting dressed can be a battle for children with autism. Below are some practical ideas to reduce the stress while getting ready for the day.
- Try and decrease the stress in the household by allowing adequate time to dress and change clothes if necessary.
- Look for soft, breathable fabrics, tagless clothes, covered elastic bands, no metal parts, no heavy embroidery or appliqué and clothing that is easy to take on and off. Kozieclothes.com offers apparel with no tags and inverted seams for comfort and easy dressing.
- Provide choices appropriate to the child’s age. Have at least two options for clothing so your child may pick one of the available choices.
- De-sensitize the skin. Sensory brushing which provides deep pressure sensory input and integrates tactile change is useful before and after putting on long sleeves and pants.
- Explain the natural consequences of inappropriate dress such as getting cold or wet. Have back up clothing available when the reality of the outside temperature hits if your child is reluctant to put on cold weather gear.
- Choose vitamin and mineral supplements to reduce sensitivity. Autistic children often have very limited diets and there is evidence demonstrating the vitamin and mineral deficiencies can contribute to sensitivities. Products such as Calm Focus provide key ingredients and anti-oxidants to provide a natural daytime calming effect to help your family through seasonal changes.
Although there are numerous theories on the cause of autism, a number of studies have recently reported atypical changes at the level of the peripheral nervous system that point to a dysregulation of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) . The autonomic nervous system consists of the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). When there is an imbalance this may lead to an inability to sit still and focus and/or a disruption in sleep patterns often seen in autism. Focus Formulations products provide a proprietary blend of neurotransmitter precursors that cross the blood brain barrier to provide therapeutic treatment where it is needed….in the brain. Other supplements are unable to cross the blood brain barrier and are essentially eliminated by the body.
ANS function is closely linked to behavior, cognition, and emotion processing  and an imbalance in its function have been associated with differences in areas of the brain affected in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)  such as social behavior , emotion regulation , attention , response inhibition , and adaptive functioning . Anxiety disorders are also commonly seen in children on the spectrum  and may exacerbate the core symptoms associated with ASD .
ASD and anxiety are often found to occur together and present with similar symptoms such as repetitive and restrictive interests, lack of social and emotional reciprocity, avoidance behaviors, and speech difficulties [18, 19, 20]. Symptoms of ASD along with anxiety are often associated with over firing of the sympathetic nervous system and inhibition of the parasympathetic branches of the ANS.
Cognition Focus and Calm Focus provide the nutrients that support healthy functioning of the ANS. By providing ingredients that produce powerful neurotransmitters the body can more effectively regulate circadian rhythm, support cognitive processes and calm the response to stress. Cognition Focus and Calm Focus provide the optimum balance of ingredients to promote neurotransmitter production to help balance and regulate the firing of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and may significantly reduce symptoms associated with ASD.