Parenting is a difficult job and every family will come across different challenges. As a Special Needs Family, we have come across some more unique parenting challenges that we were less prepared to tackle without some assistance. I will be the first to admit that I never would have thought that Alexa would make my Special Needs parenting easier or make me feel like a complete rockstar mommy… but she did!
Both of my children suffer from anxiety and my youngest son has Autism. My boys struggle with extremely poor executive functioning skills. Since having success with our Echo Plus, we have also purchased an Echo Dot kids edition that is in my boys’ room. Alexa’s capabilities are like having a third parent in the home to keep the kids on track!
In order to utilize Alexa through any Echo device you must download the Amazon Alexa app. You will establish connections to your Amazon devices and have access to an assortment of skills, alarms and other helpful capabilities. I will share a few of my favorites!
WHAT ALEXA APPLICATIONS DO I USE?
The first thing I did was utilize the Reminders for Alexa. We have a very basic routine that has become easier for our family the more consistent we are using it. I placed Reminders to serve as verbal prompts for my boys throughout their day. I can set what I want the Reminder to say and program what day and time the kids hear the Reminders. My favorite thing is that I can choose the which Amazon device the Reminder is shared!
ROUTINES AND BLUEPRINTS
Routines are awesome because you can program a set of events to occur at certain moments. For example, when our children’s alarm goes off for school at 6:30AM. This alarm is also programmed through Alexa. Our kids turn off the alarm by saying, “Alexa, turn off the alarm.” That is when the Routine magic happens! The bedroom light will turn on and Alexa will greet them with a Good Morning phrase. After that Alexa will read off what is listed on the family calendar for the day and share the weather!
If the Reminders and Routines haven’t made you excited, I know the Blueprints will!
Enabling Blueprints on an Alexa device allows you to create personalized lists of chores and to do lists. Each list can be categorized based on who is responsible for completing them. The Blueprint will repeat the chore list and then allow each person to “check off” their chores as they complete them and give verbal praise and encouragement!
ITS TIME TO TRY ALEXA FOR YOUR FAMILY!
Honestly, I could go on and on about the different things we have incorporated Alexa into our special needs parenting. Alexa has made life so much easier because it alleviates the stress of trying to stay in routine. Alexa gives the verbal prompts. There are visual aids throughout our home too. We use the fun features of listening to music and reading books as positive reinforcement for motivation and encouragement!
If you are interested in allowing Alexa to become a secret weapon in your Special Needs Parenting journey, check out the links below to create the best situation to meet your families unique needs!
Do you have more questions or want some help? Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime! I am not tech savvy at all so please don’t let the technology scare you from attempting to incorporate Alexa into your household.