Parenting a child with autism has many challenges. Lack of sleep, pressure from school and their staff, tantrums, anger outbursts, and a myriad of health issues create a life of pressure and uncertainty for them. Parents find themselves in need of support and tools to work with the ever-changing behavior of their child. What can a parent do to build their own resilience in this challenge?

Resilience is the ability to react gracefully and decisively to a situation that is unexpected, deeply complex or brings uncertainty. In this radio show interview with Madelyn Blair, PhD, an expert in resilience training, we will offer some daily practices for both parents and for children with autism to assist in a more peaceful way of life. Please listen.

In this interview we discuss the five principles to build resilience:
  1. Take 5 minutes of silence for yourself every day.
  2. Write a personal story every day-like a mirror of who you are.
  3. Social-find social support in your life like a loving family, a good friend, a community of like-minded parents.
  4. Seeking-nurturing your curiosity. Every day ask a question.
  5. Selection-Every day decide the most important thing to do as a person.

Dr. Blair has practiced these principles successfully with parents of children with autism and with people with autism themselves. They focused on positive stories because the child knew she was different, but it helped her realize she was special, and brilliant.

Decide to be happy, no matter what. It’s your decision. Points to help remember to do this are:

  1. Know who you are.
  2. Have in-depth knowledge in something.
  3. Be insatiably curious.
  4. Always have respect for others and acknowledge their strengths.

When you feel overwhelmed and in the moment, remember to:

  1. Breathe.
  2. Pause and think of a time when you were successful. Create a visual image in your mind that you can pull up whenever you need it.

Madelyn Blair, PhD 

Madelyn Blair, has a PhD in Sociology, with a concentration in Organizational Psychology–a discipline that applies psychological theory and principles to workplaces, business decisions and the well-being of employees. She has run her own business for the last 30 years, teaches at Columbia University and blogs on Psychology Today.

Dr. Blair has written 5 books. The most recent one, Unlocked: Discover How To Embrace the Unexpected, offers tips on how to have more confidence in tough circumstances and be more innovative. She colorfully relates the real-life stories of people who found power in resilience, overcame challenges, reinvented their lives and discovered their greatest success. Perhaps more than anything else, Dr. Blair is recognized for her focus on resilience.

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