AUTISM TREATMENT CENTER OF AMERICA®

What buttons?

What buttons?

As I am reflecting on my week in the playroom with a child who likes to button push I am reminded of another child we once had in the Son Rise progam intensive. This little girl also would try to button push, but it’s hard when I don’t have any buttons to push! I remember I was the first in the room at the beginning of the week and I walked in on a completely naked little girl (apparently she rarely kept her clothes on) who immediately started to throw a tantrum. She started to cry, scream and throw her whole body intensely at the floor. The volunteer I transitioned quickly left the room and I was all alone with this little blessing.

We’re excited when children cry here at the intensive because it gives us a chance to show these children how much we love them, and how ineffective crying, or being unhappy, truly is in getting things accomplished in life. Anyway with this particular girl I remained calm, I explained I didn’t know why she was crying, and I slowly started to offer her things. I began by saying “perhaps you would like your underwear” and I gently offered her some clothes. The parents watching from the next room were astounded when this nearly always naked girl began to put her clothes on while not missing a beat with her tantrum. Later as she learned crying wasn’t going to change anything she too calmed down and we played together.

When we can remain comfortable we can move mountains! Children learn what we teach them, if they think crying works in order to get something or change something they will cry. I have seen over and over again that by not reacting to children’s tears they will instead use language and excitement to motivate me to move quicker! I hope you too can enjoy these moments where we can teach our children the power of happiness!

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