From Becky: Repetitious Games

Hi Everyone!

At the weekend I went to a wonderful family’s home to work with them and their indredible twin boys using The Son-Rise Program. While I was there, a question about repetitious games came up. One of their boys liked to take their hand and have them draw on flash cards over and over again. They were unsure of how to help him in this activity. Seeing as many of our children have repetitious activities similar to this, I’d love to share my response with you.

1) Is might be a stim: This depends on how rigid, or how open your child is. If they have little or no eye contact, a blank facial expression, are not responding to you when you try and vary the activity and are physically manipulating you in an intense way then they are being exclusive. Even though they are involving you, they are not including you in a connected way but using you more as a tool to get the repetition they crave. In this case, your role is to join them by being excited to be that tool and doing the activity in the exact way they want it, thus showing you are trustworthy and attractive to be with and building a relationship with them.

2) Control: Our children crave predictability in their lives, that’s why they have repetitious and exclusive behaviors. Our world is often unpredictable and over-stimulating for them so these predictable activities are of comfort to our children. The fact that they are involving us in an activity like this is great! They could be stimming in the corner on their own so feel grateful that you can be there for them in this way.

3) Wait until they are open: The more that you join your child and easily do this activity, the more open they will be to your ideas. When your child is more open (e.g. relaxing their intensity, leaving some space for you to add something, looking at you more, with a more connected facial expression or talking to you), this is the time to inspire growth.

4) How do I inspire growth?: Add something new! A way that we can help our children be more flexible and open to other’s ideas is to vary the game. Try drawing something totally different or making up a song about what you are drawing. Ask for eye contact! If your child is more open but not looking at you, playfully request that they look so that you can draw more for them. Work on language: Ask them to choose what to draw next by giving them chioces (e.g “Shall I draw a dinasoar of Daddy?”).

5) Celebrate! Help your child to feel successful, express your gratitude for choosing you to draw for them, if they say “No” when you try to challenge them, honor that and drop your challenge, every no, is going in the bank for a yes later.

Have fun!

2 Responses

  1. selim says:

    Hi Becky
    My 5 years old son, Adem has the similar activity. He is into letters (ABC) obsessively. He will write them on a board, on paper, type on the computer, reads, play with the plastic alphabet set, he will sing the ABC song over and over again. He even wakes up in the morning and starts singing abc song. He will watch every kind of abc songs or videos on you tube. He can not have enough of it. But it has to be in the absolute order though. ABCD…..Z. If I put, draw, type or sing ABCE then he goes mad. He's very rigid about the order of the alphabet. Of course it's good that he knows his abc's including phonics. Everytime I play with him I start with abc as I know that this is a succesful motivation drive. I sometime insist putting them in a different order or try to encourage him to write words with them. When I insist so much then he will do it although he's not very enthuasistic about it. We've got no eye contact issues with him, he looks at us right in the eye as long as possible. He will easily engage with us, esspecially if we are creative about the letters. Such as hiding the letters around the room and finding them back and put them on the carpet. He absolutely loves it and enjoys it. My concern is that how can we break this rigidness about the order of abc's? What would you suggest?
    Thank you

  2. Anonymous says:

    I started working with a young boy who is twelve recently. Ivan uses one word at a time to communicate .He has to be prompted to produce the words. Iam using songs to help he talk using two to three word sentences. We originally started with primary colours, shapes where we would create nonsence songs , identify the shapes and colors and just have fun. At the beginning the eye contact was not as intense as yesteday when i shifted my theme to his head, face and all the parts on the head. He was looking at me at least 90% of the time as i made him sing along with me , he was very interactive , pointing to body parts and singing.He would then complete the words by saying them aloud i,e this is my mouth, i eat with my mouth, talk with my mouth, laugh with my mouth etc.
    This was an unplanned theme and i found myself enjoying it, it increased the level of flexibility by both of us. when we moved from the swing to the troumbline , Ivan continued with the same theme while jumping.
    Would love ideas from any of you who have had such an experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *