FROM JACK: Hullo friends! Often times, when families go to the Autism Treatment Center of America with their children who have autism, or have an in-home outreach with one of our professional Child Facilitators, they often comment on the level of energy, excitement and enthusiasm that we have, and ask how we are able to sustain that through an entire day.
Well, here’s my secret…. RED BULL!!! No, I’m joking… For me, I believe it’s all about our attitude. In my training as a Son-Rise Program Child Facilitator, I learned it was important not only to examine my beliefs about the children I work with (that it is possible for them to recover from autism, that they are always doing the best they can etc.) but equally important to examine the beliefs I held about myself. What we believe is what we become, so it is hugely useful to equip ourselves with a set of beliefs to make us the most dynamic therapists in the playroom that we can be!
Here are my top beliefs for playroom effectiveness:
- I am irresistable. I know I am so fun and loving that eventually no child can resist playing with me!
- I can really help this child. I am powerful enough to inspire any child to emerge from their autism.
- There is nothing this child can do that I cannot love. Crying, biting, scratching, poo-smearing… it’s all good!
- I can be fully present with this child as the ultimate way of loving them. This moment, if it were never to change, is utterly perfect.
- I am doing the best I can. If a child is choosing not to interact with me, it means nothing about me.
- Love requires nothing to be different, yet changes everything. It is the single most powerful thing I can ever do.
I so encourage you to think about these beliefs and find ways to adopt them for yourselves. Not only will you give yourselves the most wonderful experience in the playroom by doing so, but I have seen time and again how children respond when we change ourselves first!
Go forth and giggle, my friends!