I was recently doing a Son-Rise Program Consultation with a wonderful Mom during our Son-Rise Program Start-Up. The subject of table manners came up and she wanted to help her 7 year-old son to stop licking his hands and his plate as he ate at the family dinner table.
Here are some thoughts:
1) Children on the Autism spectrum have a challenge connecting and relating to people! This is why in The Son-Rise Program, we first teach our children the 4 fundamentals of:
- Eye Contact and Non-verbal Communication
- Verbal Communication
- Interactive Attention Span
Once our children have core strength in those 4 areas, we can teach them absolutely anything. When we learn childhood etiquette and politeness, it’s because we are first able to relate to our parents and the people around us, so are able to absorb their actions and explanations. We have a desire to learn from them and be like them. So there are bigger priorities that will help our children in their specific areas of challenge than having them understand how to be polite.
2) Eating in the playroom!
When we take our children’s meals and snacks to our playroom sessions, we are eliminating all the stimulus of the possibility of others judging us, the distractions of trying to eat in the proper way, in the appropriate time slot, etc. We are also at our most loving, non-judgmental and present with our children so that we are able to enjoy them more. Being in the playroom will help us inspire out children to connect with us more often and feel that we love them no matter how they choose to eat their food or how they behave.
3) Give control!
Our children have a challenge being flexible and trusting people. When we give them control, we help them relax into gaining the predictability that they crave. When we let go of the need for them to behave in a certain way, we are more attractive and fun for our children to be with. Practice letting go of the need for your child to learn this right now and trust that when they are ready, they will learn what is perfect for them!
Hugs and smiles,