This is the story of a little boy named Jay, with whom I have had the pleasure of working. More coming each day… Enjoy!
Today I began working with a little boy named Jay. When I first entered his home he greeted me at the door with a smile and was seemingly delighted. It is hard to tell whether it was for me, or a volunteer who was also near the door at the time named Robert. Jay’s words are often unclear. Regardless, we went upstairs to Jay’s Son-Rise Program Playroom and I set up my table. He immediately climbed onto my firm, knee-hight table and lay down on his belly. His response was so immediate that I wondered if his mother Mary had drilled into him that he was to lie on my table when I arrived. It turned out not, though I only learned that later.
Our first lessons progressed quite smoothly, with Jay’s attention divided between time on my table, with me working with him gently, and time patrolling his playroom, looking for interaction from his mother and Robert, and self-regulating on his bed. Over the course of an hour – slightly longer that I would have worked with Jay had he been present throughout – I ended up working with Jay 3 or 4 times, as well as giving introductory 5-10 minute lessons to both Robert and Mary.
The purpose of giving lessons to Jay’s volunteers is simple. Over the course of Jay’s life, they spend much more time with him than I do or am likely to. Even though my skills of movement training are far subtler (I have been developing these tools for more than a decade) their application of even rudimentary motor-learning tools can make a profound difference in Jay’s life. For example, one of Jay’s habits upon entering his Playroom is to open and then slam his Playroom doors. They make a very loud slam and also shake in a way that I hypothesize Jay finds satisfying. I also don’t think Jay know the distinction between the loud slam and an exquisitely gentle closure. Simple through thinking through the possible variations association with closing doors (for example: brain storming on paper 15 ways to close a door) I think Jay’s team could come up with a wide variety of useful things that Jay would enjoy learning. Also, as a bonus, he’d probably no longer be interested in slamming his door!
Jay’s lesson was actually far smoother than I would have expected with a new client, who is an autistic boy of his age. Children and adults alike seem to like the movement manipulations that I do with them. Over time, even the most reticent or scared child will come to want to lie down and receive a lesson from me. But at first, I am used to gentle following a child around, giving a lesson on the floor, and being a very persistent invitation. Jay took to lying on the table immediately. At least during the morning’s lesson…
The afternoon lesson coming out tomorrow.