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I Have It Easy
Posted: June 9th, 2014 | Category: News | 0 comment

I worked with a boy last week who threw a tantrum. I've worked with tantrums at it isn't usually a problem. Watch this video on how I worked with a little girl a few months ago to see what I mean.  But this boy last week was different. I thought he was going to die. I thought I was never going to be able to make any progress. I was sure his mother would storm off in a fit. It started gradually, with him moving around my office more. Then he began to moan and shake his hands. Pretty soon he was letting out high pitched screeches. For some reason, just because I have some tools to apply with autistic kids, I think I should be the expert and know how to handle all ...


Happiness Resulting From Change
Posted: June 1st, 2014 | Category: News | 0 comment

What follows is the continuation of a story of my work with a little boy with autism and his family. To learn more read the first post and please leave comments below! -----

Last Lesson

My last lesson with Jay was the calmest, an almost parting farewell. Where in our work together this week we have done a lot of physically dynamic and also subtle movement, this lesson consisted of several movements that in a very real way tied everything together. Very similar to how after reminding someone that he has a spine by touching and increasing awareness of that area I might push down the length of the spine from the shoulders or up from the feet, in this lesson I was tying together a number of the different lessons and works we have done togeth...


The Child Knows Best
Posted: May 26th, 2014 | Category: News | 0 comment

What follows is the continuation of a story of my work with a little boy with autism and his family. To learn more read the first post and please leave comments below! ------ This morning, walking in, Jay was vibrant with enthusiasm and energy. It wasn’t exactly the expression he was making; something about how he moved around the room suggested a very positive mood. Double checking with Mary, she confirmed that he seemed quite happy and content. That said, his energy was high with a lot of very active motion. This is fun to participate in but made working hands-on with Jay a bit difficult. With moments of putting my hands on him, I believe I started with a hand resting lightly on his shoulder, he slowed down. Over and over again I notice thi...


Clear Communication
Posted: May 19th, 2014 | Category: News | 0 comment

What follows is the continuation of a story of my work with a little boy with autism and his family. To learn more read the first post and please leave comments below! ----- My second lesson of the day with Jay was quieter than the first. It was also quicker and a useful reminder that the child I’m working with frequently knows best. It began with me opening the door to Jay’s playroom and Jay promptly leaving. He ran downstairs and outside to his swing, then very quickly retraced his steps back to the room. It almost like he was exerting his control and reminding us who is in charge of what he does and does’t do. Then for the first few minutes in the playroom Jay keep emphasizing “Open. Open!” in reference to his playroom door. Thus far,...


Meltdown
Posted: May 5th, 2014 | Category: News | 0 comment

What follows is the continuation of a story of my work with a little boy with autism and his family. To learn more read the first post and please leave comments below! ----- When I left off with Jay it was because he had gotten up and expressed a clear desire to leave the room. He has learned to say “bathroom” even if he doesn’t really need to use the restroom as a way to get his volunteers or parents to open the door outside. He did this and then ran downstairs. When I made my way downstairs I found him crying on the kitchen floor, in tears and wailing about pizza. The exact stimulus doesn’t matter but apparently something of his had been removed by mistake, and Jay, upon noticing, went into hysterics. First, that Jay had another meltdow...


Pressure
Posted: April 22nd, 2014 | Category: News | 0 comment

What follows is the continuation of a story of my work with a little boy with autism and his family. To learn more read the first post and participate in the conversation in the comments below! ----- This morning I came into Jay’s playroom and he immediately went out. He had been playing on the floor with a volunteer Kristin, but given the open door he ran out. He ended up outside playing on the swing - and who can blame him? On a beautiful sunny day I would have wanted to be outside at 10 years old, too. Jay’s mother coaxed him back inside, upstairs after I had set up the room and begun checking in with Kristin about out the morning had gone (smoothly, quietly). Mary continued the conversation and explained that Jay had a melt-down earlier...


Joining versus Inviting
Posted: April 21st, 2014 | Category: News | 0 comment

What follows is the continuation of a story of my work with a little boy with autism and his family. To learn more read the first post and participate in the conversation in the comments below! ----- I’ve written elsewhere on the value of joining a child. But this afternoon with Jay I explored further the line between joining and inviting him from his own world into mine. It began with hands-on gentle, guided movement - as so much of my work does. When I entered his playroom Jay was pretty isolated. He acknowledged my presence and seems quite comfortable for me to approach him but did not look directly at me and continued with his self-regulation. At the time he was spinnin...


Passive versus Active Observation
Posted: April 20th, 2014 | Category: News | 0 comment

What follows is the continuation of a story of my work with a little boy with autism and his family. To learn more read the first post and participate in the conversation in the comments below! ----- I frequently have guests observe my sessions with children. Today the observers were Jay’s volunteer Robert and his mother Mary. Both are passionate in their enthusiasm for Jay, well known to him, and very loving. And even so I am coming to recognizing the usefulness of training observers to add to my work with a child and not to detract from it. Jay, for example, would frequently turn to Robert and make faces or ask partially formed questions. Robert, in his capacity as a Son-Rise Program volunteer, has learned to respond enthusiastically and lou...


Learning to Recognize Discomfort
Posted: April 19th, 2014 | Category: News | 0 comment

What follows is the continuation of a story of my work with a little boy with autism and his family. To learn more read the first post and please leave comments below! ------ Simultaneous Exhibition  Later in the lesson, after I had worked with Jay for a quiet, solid 30 minutes or more, Jay got up and began to walk around. I took the opportunity to have Robert lie down on the table to begin a session with him. My intention had been to have Mary practice applying slow and variation with Robert under my supervision, but as soon as Robert was on the table Jay sat down next to him. Pretty soon Jay was curled up next to Robert, beside him and then lying on top of him. Taking the situation as it presented itself, I began to work wit...


Chaos and Personal Preference
Posted: April 18th, 2014 | Category: News | 0 comment

What follows is the continuation of a story of my work with a little boy with autism and his family. To learn more read the first post and please leave comments below! ----- When I walked into Jay’s playroom this morning he was bouncing of the walls with high, uncontrolled energy. Glancing around it was clear to me that Jay’s mother Mary and the volunteer Robert had picked up on and maybe even fueled Jay’s energy. It would have been very easy to engage at that high level, or counteract it aggressively by asking Jay to “please quiet down.”  Instead I did not engage with Jay and began by focusing on Mary. When I had walked into the room there was paper all over the floor and I know the impact too much clutter can sometimes have o...