From Kate Wilde:
Our children on the autism spectrum give us signs that they are ready to interact with us – here at The Autism Treatment Center of America we call them “Green lights of Interaction.” They are when your child looks into your eyes, or speaks to you or has physical contact with you, such as learning on your shoulder or sitting on your lap, these signs show us that they are now interested in us verse their own exclusive play.
What to do once you see these green lights?
First and foremost, celebrate your child for the interaction that they are already giving you. Let them know sincerely how much you love it when they look in your eyes, or touch you or talk to you. If they are still looking at you, or talking to you, or touching you when you finish celebrating them then do an action.
Oftentimes when our children connect parents will ask questions as a way to keep the interaction going. Here in The Son-Rise Program we find that a question may shut the interaction down, we suggest that instead YOU do some fun and compelling action that may be entertaining or interesting for your child. This way your child has something to go towards that does not require them to work.
What actions could you take?
- You could do a silly dance.
- You could play an instrument, like the harmonica.
- You could start to draw a funny picture
- You could throw a ball in the air and try to catch it on your foot.
- You could start to jump on the trampoline.
- You could start to sing a song.
- Blow a bubble.
- Tell a story.
It does not matter what it is, it matters that you start to do something that makes you interesting to your child. Something that may invite them to stay a little longer with you, to keep on looking at you, talking to you. The idea is not to ask them to do anything right at the beginning, but to show them that you have something fun to offer.
With love Kate
Dear Kate (or child facilitator that answers),
what exactly does it mean "This way your child has something to go towards"? I understand that "having to answer" is seen as "work", but I am having a hard time translating "to go towards" – towards what?
Thank you very very much once more,
Got it!!!!! for example, when they talk (our goal) because they want me to do more of a silly thing I am doing, they are doing "what I want" while going towards what they want – that I act silly again!