Learn to recognize and respond to stress signals

Explore effective strategies for supporting neurodivergent children through stress and dysregulation. Recognize stress signals, reframe misbehavior with empathy, and create emotional safety for Autistic and ADHD kids.

In the intricate landscape of childhood development, understanding and addressing stress and dysregulation are paramount, especially for families navigating neurodiversity.

I've witnessed firsthand the profound impact that stress can have on children's well-being and behavior. More specifically, the way constant stressors derail executive functioning for ND kids.

Let me give you a brief guide from my latest Masterclass: Learn to recognize and respond to stress signals.

Understanding the stress response.

Have you ever noticed how your child's mood can shift in the blink of an eye? It's all part of how stress impacts us, especially when your developing nervous system is figuring out how to manage the world.

Sometimes, stress is a catalyst for growth as children explore novelties and handle uncertainty in a supportive setting.

Unfortunately, environments can also be chaotic and overwhelming without a sense of repair and stability.

For a neurodivergent child, the pressures lead to frustration and frequent outbursts. By tuning into your child’s cues, you’re guiding them through discomfort and responding to stress signals from a different perspective.

Learning to reframe misbehavior.

Traditional approaches to misbehavior often focus on blame and punishment; meanwhile, a trauma-informed lens encourages empathy and compassion. Reframing common phrases like "he needs to learn to control himself" or "she keeps giving me a hard time" shifts the narrative away from judgment and allows you to let go of preconceived notions.

Providing emotional safety.

Creating an environment in which Autistic and ADHD kids can show up as their authentic selves is essential for establishing social-emotional well-being. A regulated adult is needed the most as challenges arise.

That’s one of the main reasons neurodivergent children crave a safe space where they can fall apart, let out their worries, and know that expectations are off the table.

A relationship-based approach is how trust is built as ND kids learn to gain trust in their environment, trust in the people who are part of that environment, and trust in themselves. 

As you start to understand a stress response, reframe misbehavior, and promote relational safety, you will gain confidence in your own knowledge. Your felt empowerment adds value to your relationship so you can gracefully raise your neurodivergent kids.

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