Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday, Special Needs Children: An elusive obvious: Don't try to get the child to do what the child can't do

A tragedy of much change work, whether therapist with special needs children,
or people with their mate,
is that of trying to "get the person to do what they can't do."

"Just be happy," to an unhappy mate,
is the same as,
"Come on, let's get you crawling," to a child who can barely roll over.

As Anat says so well in her book and in her lectures:
If they could, they would.

It's as if someone came up to you and said:
Start telling me about your day in Chinese (assuming you don't know the language.)

And if you said you couldn't, they just demanded you "try harder."

If you could you would.

So what's the alternative.

It's so obvious: do little things,
that the child can do.

Small movements, done slowly and gently, that link up one area of movement to another.
But little.
And important.
Just the connection between an elbow and a wrist. Or an elbow and the back, can make
all the difference in the world.

This can lead to being part of crawling.
This can feel good to a child as they learn it.
This can fill in for them their picture of who they really are.
This can soothe their nervous system.
This can create learning and wiring in the brain.
This can get them in the habit of knowing what they are doing.
This can get them in the mode of succeeding in small things, that can lead to bigger and bigger

So, ti seems pretty useful, doesn't it?

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