We all need help! And asking for help is a tough thing to do. As caregivers, we take on a lot and try to do everything ourselves – and one of the key things that I work on with parents is to ask for help. But even more critical than caregivers asking for help is to teach our loved one with a developmental disability to learn how to ask for help. If our loved one doesn’t know how to ask for help, it has some pretty significant implications on their independence and safety.
In this short video, I talk about the importance of teaching your loved one to ask for help. Click the video below to learn more.
Leave a comment below! What connected with you in this video?
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How do I get my son with autism to be willing to try new things? When I ask if he wants to go grocery shopping with me and do some shopping for himself, he says, “No” and then later asks me to pick up such-and-such for him at the store while I’m there.
Hi Denise, Thank you for sharing. With the limited context in this example, it sounds like your son has learned that he doesn’t have to do grocery shopping because he knows that it will be done for him. When there aren’t consequences to our decisions we aren’t able to learn from our decisions to potentially make a different decision.
My son was the same way. Then I just decided to make him go with me. At first, I explicitly showed him how to look at the signs in the grocery store to find certain items. Then I would assign him an item to find. He figured out on his own to just ask a store employee, which I told him was kind of cheating ( but really it was resourceful) and we laughed. He has his usual grocery items he wants every week(chicken tenders, bananas, grapes, cheese etc.). We make a list throughout the week. Now he asks me when we can go grocery shopping(Monday is our usual day now), and he can find his usual items all on his own as well as other items on the list. Lately, we have been working on self-check out
( scanning items, bagging items, weighing produce, paying etc.) Eventually, he will have his own debit card to pay with. Then we will work on transportation options for getting to and from the store like taxi, Uber, transit bus, or walking. Remember, I had to make him go with me in the beginning, but we have made a lot of progress since then.
iI enjoyed your video. I want my son to become independent. I don’t want to overwhelm him either .Its confusing where to start.
Anuja, when thinking of where to start – find a win-win situation. What I mean is find an opportunity for your son to grow where he is interested and has some willingness to try. This will be an area where there is lower resistance, and hopefully, you can get a quick win. Then you can give appreciation for what your son has accomplished and use this quick win as momentum to go onto the next opportunity to grow…
It is much easier to do it myself- but now I realize it is not helping myself, our daughter and the rest of the family who will be left after we are gone – so the more independent our daughter can become the easier it will be for everyone later- she often becomes “stuck” and if she can let us know she needs help it will make life much better for all of us
Yes, Lois! You’ve got this!