Contributor: Sarah Joyce Bryant, www.giveforward.com/keepcodyathome.
My son, Cody, has Asperger’s syndrome. When he was eighteen months old he suffered a full regression, losing his ability to walk and talk. When he regained his speech, he had echolalia, which means that he would repeat word for word everything he had heard that day. When he is in a rage state, he still has a little echolalia and will mindlessly repeat the not-so-nice things that he’s heard from other children.
Last month, Cody was discharged from an eight-month stay in a residential care facility. When he came home, I decided that I would fill him full of positive messages and love. My theory was that if I filled his mind with an abundance of positive messages every day he would start yelling out positive things when he was in a rage state.
Well, I’m pleased to say that my plan is working! During one of Cody’s recent meltdowns, he yelled out “You are very kind,” and then told me I was a stupid ass and that he didn’t love me. For him, that’s progress!
If there is one thing most Asperger’s children have in common, it is the need to stick to a rigid schedule every day. I use this need to incorporate more positive messages into Cody’s day. Each morning we listen to Louise Hay’s Morning Meditation while eating breakfast. I sit at the table with a bin of markers and write out his daily schedule in a rainbow of colors. When I have finished writing his schedule, I add positive affirmations. I always include “I am safe,” and “All is well in my world,” but we also choose a Power Thought card from Louise Hay that is our affirmation for the day. I, too, have developed a routine for myself combining positive affirmations/meditations with binaural brain waves and reading positive life affirming books for an hour before Cody gets up.
I have found other unique ways to incorporate positive affirmations into Cody’s daily regimen. I created “relax time” for Cody which includes an hour of listening to Louise Hay affirmations or listening to music he loves. He usually will read books during this time or create amazing art pieces. He also listens to positive affirmations when he goes to bed that repeat throughout the night. Recently, after his relax time, Cody gave me a plastic bag with squares of paper in it. He had made his own affirmation cards!
Here’s a sample of what he wrote:
- I love myself and others love me and I love others too
- Rude comments aren’t very nice
- People love other people
- Have a good day
- Golden Rules: Treat others the way you want to be treated
- Have a great day
- I love my life
- If I be nice to others they’ll be nice to me
- Life is great
- Be sorry for your mistakes
- Talk to your friends
- I am in control of my life
It is clear that focusing on positive affirmations is having an impact on Cody’s thought processes … and they are having quite an impact on mine, too. I am calmer and more able to handle the stress of caring for Cody every day. Amazing things manifest in my life that I had not thought possible, such as a new equine therapy facility in our area that had an available spot for Cody. And my health is improving, too! The pain I used to feel from fibromyalgia and arthritis has significantly lessened and my blood pressure has returned to normal as well.
Though things are still not easy, I am able to handle the daily challenges better. Cody walks around saying things like “I approve of myself.” He even created his own daily affirmation: “I open my heart to love.” He begs to listen to Louise Hay affirmations even when it’s not “relax time” or bedtime–and that can’t be a bad thing!
So far, affirmations have made an undeniably positive difference in our lives.
Sarah Joyce Bryant
Happy holidays, readers! To celebrate, I’m taking the month off and reposting fun stories from 2012 (since 2013 stories seemed a little too recent!). You can enjoy the original version of this story (with comments) here.
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All stories are edited by Mollie Player.