One thing that has been a huge help to our family is counseling. Now family counseling would probably be a good idea but because of how our life is it just isn't working that way right now. Many times it is me going to counseling with my son and I come back home and teach my husband what I have learned very similar to how we deal with our hard of hearing daughter and learning sign language.
The benefits to having a counselor are many because we have one that fits our situation. I know another family that uses the same counselor but the results are not as effective. She has helped both my son and I but in different ways and I wanted to explain that in this post.
For my son counseling helps him learn new coping techniques. It helps him have a place he can vent if he needs to. It gives him a chance to practice new skills he learns in a safe environment where it is controlled and he can be helped step by step to walk through a process until he gets it before we impliment it at home. It gives him someone who can relate to him to some degree as well as spend time with him alone and reflect upon things.
However, me taking him to counseling helps me out as well in many ways. The first thing is having a person who can understand what I am facing. It's not easy being a parent of a special needs child. They are able to give be a balanced view when it comes to my child and how things affect him or he's dealing with things. It gives someone to come along side with me and work towards a common goal who can break things down in steps especially when I might want something to change NOW. I am also informed of various opportunities that I wouldn't know of otherwise. I also have a safe place to vent about just life although it's not all that often that we go in that direction but sometimes it's needed.
One of the new things we will be doing this week is actually doing a social skills program called SuperFlex. My son was introduced to the characters in the SuperFlex program when he was in speech therapy and so we'll try to find out if this gives him the ability to be able to be flexible enough to handle more situations effectively. I'll let you know how it goes.