From Amanda:Control in the Playroom

Hello Wonderful Son Rise Family,

This week at the Autism Treatment Center of America we have a beautiful little boy who has been working on his challenges with control and allowing our presence in the playroom. On Monday, he would easily allow his parents into the playroom but would often have the Child Facilitators sit in the bathroom while he was in the playroom. On Tuesday however, things began to change.

How does one work with a child who has a challenge with control and will not allow your presence in the room? There are many different answers I am sure, but I am going to share the approach that was most effective for me when I had my session.

For me, it was important that I set a clear intention before going into the playroom. I decided to be completely comfortable if he wanted me in the bathroom. I decided this after I adopted the belief that he was taking care of himself in some way so if being in the bathroom was helping him do this then I was going to love the experience. Next, even though I was going to go into the bathroom if that is where he wanted me, I could still WANT to be in the playroom and work on lovingly building the connection to facilitate this happening.

After setting my intention, I went to the apartment and knocked on the playroom door where Dad was already playing. The little boy opened the door and said “no” and pushed me into the bathroom and shut the door. I celebrated him for telling me exactly what he wanted and I would respect his wishes. In the meantime Dad went out the other door. I stayed in the bathroom for about 2 minutes and decided to open the door to see if he had changed his mind. Still, this little angel came over to me again and shut the door. I again celebrated him for communicating his wants and told him I would try again in a couple of minutes. I still felt completely comfortable.

The little boy checked on me several times to be sure I was still in the bathroom and then he sat at the table to be exclusive. I again waited about 2 minutes and then I opened the door to see if he would invite me into the playroom. He simply looked at me and did not tell me to leave so I explained to him that I was going to come into the playroom and just be with him. I walked slowly to the opposite side of the room and joined him in his exclusive activity. I lowered my energy and made myself small to help him know that this was still his room and I was respecting his space.

After 5 minutes of joining, this little boy began to look at me so I raised my energy and celebrated him with excitement and enthusiasm. We were building a connection! As he looked at me I began to get bigger and built on his activity by doing a silly dance. Before you know it we were in a silly song and dance game and I was no longer in the bathroom.

I believe that giving this little boy complete control and allowing him to put us in the bathroom was extremely helpful in building a trusting relationship. I also believe being comfortable with this helped facilitate in building this trust. Wanting and believing that he would allow us in the room helped keep my intention alive. I never assumed his “no” meant no forever so I kept coming back to the initial want….WANTING TO BE IN THE PLAYROOM!

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