"My approach to intervention is rooted in respect for child development and focuses on making the mundane meaningful, looking at daily interactions as opportunities for learning and growth while respecting the uniqueness of the individual and family. It’s about setting high expectations for long term quality of life and relationships for individuals on the spectrum and implementing a specific and doable plan to get there one step at a time.”
– Lauren Wilson, LCSW, RDI® Program Certified Consultant

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tool Box Tuesday: They'll repeat it- Part 1

Kids will repeat what they hear.  Many parents can share with blushing cheeks the first time their innocent sweet little toddler shouted *$&# in ear shot of the most unsuspecting stranger.

So if we know this, we might consider telling them things that are useful.  You are what you eat- you also believe and can turn out to be what you hear.

Consider the phrase "good job".  Oy, if I had a dollar for every time I've uttered it... and for the times students in turn told me, or themselves "Good job".  It's one of those useless phrases that really doesn't help a child identify what is going on that is allowing them to be successful and "earning" them that "good job".  It also doesn't really help them think about what is going on... or what to do next time.

Now consider these phrases...
"Wow- you're trying so hard to get that lace through."
              "You chose so many different colors."
                         "Yeah, you really like choosing the red one."
                                    "That must be your favorite."
                                             "It's so much easier when you do it like that."
                                                       "Well that worked much better!"
                                                                  "You never gave up."
                                                                           "You stuck to it."

If we know children repeat and internalize what we say, aren't be getting much more bang for our buck if what we are saying is something we'd like them to internalize, would like them to repeat to themselves and own?

Next week we'll do Part 2! Thinking more about how we can give kids opportunities to "borrow our brain" and decision making.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sunday Quotables: Marilyn Monroe on Failure

"Just because you fail at once, doesn't mean you're going to fail at everything."
-Marilyn Monroe

As soon as I read this I thought of many individuals on the spectrum that I have had the privilege of knowing for whom this was not true.  Who saw one failure as a sign that they could not succeed and also took it as a deep personal failure- which led them to be resistant to trying anything new- because what if... what if they failed?  

I think frequently of what it must be to live in a state of perpetual fear of failure.  It would be debilitating.  I once tried to count how many times our toddler fell down and failed in one day- I lost count.  Failure is a normal part of daily life.  Without healthy amounts of failure we never learn and experience triumph and resilience- critical for life, balance and wellbeing.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Tim and Keith Harris | StoryCorps

“I wanted to own a restaurant ever since I was a kid.”
Tim’s Place, a restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is named after a young man with Down Syndrome, Tim Harris.
Tim calls it “the world’s friendliest restaurant.” He works there six days a week and greets each customer at the door.
For StoryCorps, Tim sat down with his father, Keith, who helped him start the business in 2010.

Tim and Keith Harris | StoryCorps

Wow, another moving story from Story Corps.  I especially appreciate their discussion of how each perceived their role as father and son.  If I am every in Albuquerque, NM I know exactly where I will be eating.  Who doesn't love a great meal with a side of excellent hugs!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday Quotables: On Bullying

In light of the recent equal parts heart breaking and warming story on bullying and doing the right thing- I thought this quote appropriate.

"Knowing what's right doesn't mean much unless you do what's right." - Theodore Roosevelt