FROM BECKY: The heart and soul of the Son-Rise Program is joining our children in their world so that we can create a relationship and a loving, accepting rapport with our child which is the main challenge of a child with Autism.
I have spent hours upon hours upon hours joining children in their repetitious and exclusive activities in The Son-Rise Program playroom. Some of my favourite moments with our special children has been while joining them in their isms.
Here are some thoughts to have and actions to take when joining your child which will help the experience become more meaningful to you and your child.
1) This is the best way to show my child how much I love them and want to connect with them when they are not taking the steps to connect with me on their part.
2) Experiment with giving your child distance as you join them. We have experienced that the further you are away from some children, the more they relax and are able to take you in.
3) What can I find to love about this ism? Notice the visual experience you have as you join, all the little details of what your child is doing and find something that is enjoyable about the experience for yourself.
4) The more I join now, the more time my child will be able to rest and get ready for a more connected interaction later.
5) Create your own space in the room. If your child is circuiting around a table or lining up objects, instead of following your child around the same table or using their objects, get another piece of furniture that can act as your own table to walk around and grab some of your own objects from the shelf to line up that won’t be infringing on your child’s space and items.
6) My child is doing something useful for them self as they ism. They are taking care of them self by regulating their sensory processing system, or creating a sense of control and predictability for them self.
7) Have fun! Interaction is not the only time to demonstrate the 3 E’s. Add a little animation to what you are doing, allow yourself to smile or giggle and have a sparkle in your eye as you do what your child does.
8) The more I join, the more I learn! The longer I join and the deeper I allow myself to sink into this experience, the more I will find out about why my child does this and what their motivations and interests are. This will help me become closer to my child and gain more knowledge about how to help them.
9) Relax and enjoy, be easy and controllable. If my child takes the things I’m joining with, celebrate him and get some different items. If they tell me “Be quiet”, be quick to respond and go to a whisper. Don’t stare at your child, waiting for them to connect with you, relax into the activity and be aware of any green lights they give you within your peripheral vision.
10) Keep your eye on the prize. If your main intention in being with your child is to create a relationship with them, then whether they are exclusive or interactive, you will always be doing this. You are reaching out to them and inspiring them to reach out to you. You are also working as a team when you join. You may join for an hour and then the next person in the playroom with your child has an hour of interaction. It’s ALL good. This is a team effort!
Please feel free to add any other thoughts or actions that support you as you join your own child.