REGISTER HERE. FREE COURSE -Unburdened; Finding Balance Living Alongside Autism

171. Jumpstart Participation; Motivating the Unmotivated

podcast Feb 15, 2024

In this episode, host Shannon Urquiola goes deep into the often misunderstood challenges of self-initiation and sustained attention in autistic children.

Acknowledging the frustration parents may feel when their child appears unmotivated, Shannon emphasizes the importance of understanding these difficulties as linked to executive functioning skills rather than attributing them to laziness.

She provides insights into the workings of the pre-frontal cortex, the brain's command center responsible for managing tasks, making decisions, and regulating emotions.

Shannon explores the hurdles autistic children face in initiating tasks and sustaining attention, highlighting the tendency for misconceptions due to these challenges.

She encourages parents to support their children by breaking down tasks into manageable steps, offering visual checklists, and providing gentle prompts. The paradox of sustained attention is discussed, emphasizing the need to comprehend why children can focus on preferred activities but struggle with seemingly mundane tasks.

Practical strategies for parents are outlined, including building structured schedules, implementing visual morning routines, preparing for transitions, and avoiding assumptions of incompetence.

She shares insights on homework strategies, mealtime challenges, and bedtime routines, offering practical tips to support initiation and sustained attention.

The episode concludes with a call to maintain high expectations for autistic children, advocating for active participation and independence while acknowledging ongoing support needs.

Shannon urges parents to help their children get started but allow them to finish, emphasizing the importance of providing necessary support to navigate their unique brain differences.

Additional Resources:

If there is a specific topic that you would like us to talk about on the podcast, email us directly at [email protected]