Mark, Caregiver for son with autism
MyGuide has helped us by establishing lists of activities and routines that he will carry out on his own if his MyGuide takes him through it. In the past, he would resist or not understand what we were asking of him. He understands that the instructions, pictures, and videos on MyGuide are modeling the behaviors that we want him to adopt, and he can complete them independently and with less stress than us trying to get him to do them. We allow him to also use MyGuide for fun things, which encourages him to use it. So, it has definitely made our life easier at home. We don’t have to bug him about things that MyGuide can help him do himself and we found that we can get him to adopt new behaviors that are better for the entire family’s well-being.
Bettie, Caregiver for three special needs children
Family caregivers–yeah we try to be awesome, but we get tired, and we get sick, and we get overwhelmed, and so there’s a big difference between saying to a kid with medical needs, “have you taken your medicine?” versus, “go through your guide and check ‘yes’ or ‘no’ if you’ve taken your medicine.” It’s helped because I’ve been able to make sure that the steps that are needed to keep them regulated are at their own fingertips. I’ve been able to release a little bit of that responsibility of making sure their needs are met so someone else can do it if I’m not around and they have some control over their own care. MyGuide depersonalizes some of that intense support that I have to give, so I can focus on what’s important, the “Mom stuff,” like sitting on the couch with them and watching TV or having the freedom to go out with my friends or to pick their sister up at college, because I know that their support needs will be met, and it doesn’t always have to be by me. They know I’m also connected to it, like a safety net, in a way that doesn’t interfere with their transition into adulthood.
Lanneth, Caregiver for son with autism
MyGuide libraries are such a great resource because it gives you an idea on what you can do, and then you can just modify it to how you think your child will be able to utilize it. You’re not reinventing the wheel. He’s finally able to get some privacy and control over taking his own shower without me being in the bathroom with him. I can go downstairs and read a book while I’m monitoring his progress. I scan these libraries and I’m like, “oh, I never thought of doing that!” Like shaving. We haven’t implemented that, but I’m like, “oh, shaving is something that I’d want him to do for himself in the future.” That idea didn’t come from me, but it’s through scanning those libraries that I got the idea. It gives us both something to work towards.
Additional Tips from MPower Me
Connect with others. Being a caregiver can be isolating, so it’s important to know you’re not alone. Talking to other caregivers is a powerful way to share good ideas, commiserate on the challenges, and connect with others in similar circumstances. Connect with others through MPower Me’s Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn accounts!
Take care of yourself. Your health, both physical and mental, is important! Be sure you’re taking time to take care of yourself. Spend time doing things that bring you joy, stay active, eat well, and do what you need to do to stay healthy.
Check out MyGuide’s Public Library for self-care guides, such as Breathing Exercises, Mindfulness Activities or Exercise Routines… or make your own!