FROM SIMONE – I had an incredible experience this weekend! I was attending a workshop about PLAY, what is to play, the many different stages we go through in play and how us adults really play for as long as we live or we would die really. This aspect in particular was very interesting to me as the more I see a sense in what my child does the more I will be able to respect it and join my child in his activity.
We don’t think about it but we, in our every day lives, engage in various types of play even sensory play such as for example when massaging an aching shoulder or having a warm bath and staying longer as it is so cold out there or stroking the cat.
My amazing experience came from an exercise in which in pairs we needed to “be” our child for 10 minutes doing their favourite type of play, in my son’s case exploring all the textures around by tapping on them, tapping on myself, bouncing on the gym ball, making white noise. The other person then would join me just as we do in Son-Rise. Now, I have joined my child for about 5 years but when I had to “become” my child for another person getting the exact idea of what he was like, I felt so amazing, I knew exactly what I needed to do, I came to each object and I did what he would do, I reacted to noises as he would do, to smells as he would do and I found myself really enjoying the experience. When the 10 minutes were over I wanted to be my son for some more.
What occurred to me, in analogy, was that when I joined my son I was being an actress that read a script and played a part, but when I “became” my son I was feeling like he does and I was able to really experience what he does, such as the famous “Method actors” such as Robert de Niro who notably really “live” his characters staying in character even when they have breaks from filming. Now I have heard other actors such as Anthony Hopkins saying such style of acting is crazy but although I consider both great actors there is no doubt that Robert de Niro has made an impact with this style of very realistic acting and it left me wondering how my son would react if I brought my “method joining” I achieved in this course to the playroom, perhaps that is what I was meant to be doing all along and although I understood that I had never achieved it in practice, I had never “felt” the activities the way I did this weekend.
Although I had done exactly the same exercise before at a Son-Rise workshop, I at the time was new to my son’s autism and now perhaps after knowing him so well I was able to really absorb the experience. It also brought home to me the importance of really observing your child before joining them such as it is suggested in the joining tutorial of the DVD Autism Solution from the Autism Treatment Centre of America
My son is poorly this week but as soon as he is up and running I will keep you posted on his reaction to my super joining it will be interesting to see and if any Anthony Hopkins of autism calls me crazy I don’t mind I have been called crazy many times and I am, crazy for joining!