In the coming weeks, CTN’s Neuropsychology Team will be sharing a series of posts to support the mental wellness of the children, youth and families that we serve. We hope that these posts and additional resources will provide comfort and encouragement as we adjust to our new ways of working, interacting and going about our daily lives.
The first post in this series is from Dr. Jennifer Saltzman-Benaiah, Psychologist & Specialty Team Facilitator, Children's Treatment Network and Mackenzie Health. Dr. Jenn has been supporting children, youth and families with disabilities and developmental needs at CTN for over a decade.
The other day a friend asked me how I was doing. “Okay I guess,” I responded.
The question seemed harder to answer than usual. Most days now I don’t get dressed, I am not doing my usual job and my kids are not following their usual routines. In my head, I’m thinking, how am I doing? Good. I hope?
Before physical distancing, the activities in my life helped me to know how I was doing. The answer to “How am I doing?” was a combination of three things: what I did during the day, how I managed it and how it made me feel. Yeah, I’m good. I had a crazy day at work and was late to pick up the kids at school, but they were able to walk home, and now we’re eating a quick dinner before we head out to hockey practice. Same old, same old (with a grin). How are you?
With social distancing, our activities have drastically changed. Work, shopping, kids’ activities and home life are different now. Setting achievable goals can be helpful in that they give us a sense of structure and accomplishment in uncertain times. But the expectations aren’t going to be the same as before, and they aren’t going to be the same for every family.
Here’s an example of four basic achievable goals and our expectations for them:
Kinark - Ask a Service Navigator - Online
Are you a parent or caregiver of a child (2 – 18 years old) who is registered in the Ontario Autism Program (OAP)? Are you looking for services and information to support your child’s needs? Our Service Navigation team is here to help! Kinark’s Ask a Service Navigator sessions support families by answering the questions you may have when navigating the different autism services available.
York Hills - The F Words - Online
This workshop will provide parents and other caregivers and the professionals who support them with a framework for helping children with ASD achieve their potential.
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