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Mothers need to help themselves first before they can help others

Being a mom is hard work, and being a mom to a child with autism poses its own unique challenges. The stress of extra doctor’s appointments and a perceived lack of support can leave mothers feeling isolated and overwhelmed. Luckily, researchers have found a helpful solution for mothers that do not have time for support groups- the simple act of journal writing. For years, psychologists have been quick to point out the perks of journal writing for stress relief, not only due to a journal’s ability to serve as an outlook for stressful thoughts- journals also provide an avenue for reflection.

The reflection process is very important for stressed mothers, because "instead of saying, 'My stress is due to being a mother,' it shifts to, 'I have a stressful life,’” researchers say. This simple act can go a long way in decreasing motherhood fatigue and improving relationships between mothers and their children. While motherhood can be exhausting, journal writing can help revitalize stressed moms, and help them to find the joy in parenting throughout stressful periods of time. The study only looked at this practice with mothers of autistic children, though this technique could certainly be applied to the parenting of any child.

PlayAbility Toys also offers games and toys that can help mothers and children play together, which also relieves stress and improves parent-child relationships. Some examples include the See-It-Sign-It game for those interested in sign language, and the Rib-It-Ball for those who are more interested in playing a game of catch with a ball that is soft and sure to capture a child’s attention.

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