When you have a child whose growth and development progresses on its own timeline, it can be very hard to recognize growth or if things are “getting better”. And “better” can be pretty subjective because as some things become resolved, it reveals another issue that requires as much if not more attention so it feels like you are always working, never resting, relaxing or even seeing any fruits of your labor.
Parenting children with challenges is paradoxically an in-the-moment experience and what I call a long game. You will hear often – this is a marathon, not a sprint and that’s true. Actually, it’s more like an around the world EcoQuest where you don’t have any supplies and your feet hurt.
So how do you keep yourself upright? How do you stay motivated to keep moving forward? One survival strategy I use is the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) to help me at least create an objective and consistent measure of my child’s behaviors and progress. This tool is NOT perfect and as my child ages, I find it less and less relevant however, it is something that is FREE and I can take it as many times and as often as I need or want to. Did I mention that it’s free?
Many parents use the ATEC to evaluate whether a particular treatment or therapy is working. Because I’ve been at this for a while, I have a tendency to take them a couple of times a year just to check progress because I have a good sense of when something in particular is working or not for my kid.
When you take this assessment, you can opt to have the results emailed to you. *Tip: Set up a folder in your email system and label it ATEC and simply file all of your assessments in there. You will have easy access to all of your child’s scores which in the long-game, is a good thing to have on hand. ~ Amy Y.
You can find the ATEC here: https://www.autism.com/ind_atec