Monday, June 26, 2017

Caught Up In You

Pervasive Parenting
By Kodey Toney
Caught Up In You
This weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Tulsa with Jen and Terry Yarbery to listen to some of the best advocates in the business. While I've seen both that I will talk about here before, I always learn something new each time I see Dr. Temple Grandin and Dr. Jed Baker speak. Most would probably know who Grandin is (if you don't look her up, she is very inspirational), but Dr. Baker might be a little lesser known.
This may be a two or three-parter as I try to share most of what I found interesting.
I want to share a little information from them that I feel is important. Some of it maybe something I've said before, but sometimes just having a refresher course is nice.
Dr. Grandin expressed several times, "Don't get hung up on a diagnosis." This is great advice that I try to tell parents all the time. Autism is different than many other disorders in that it presents itself differently in each person.
"Treat the symptoms," said Grandin, "don't treat the label."
This too is great advice. I always talk about building up a tolerance of the symptoms. If you have a child that has sensory processing disorder then you are going to work on ways to help them cope with flickering lights, loud noises, and strange touches. Of course even that is different in each child.
Temple said, "You have to stretch them. Don't throw them in the deep end."
This means, ease into things. Don't just push them into a large noisy crowd and say good luck. You are just asking for a meltdown.
My example is always what we have done with Konner in the cafeteria. We started by letting him stay until we can see him begin to stem or get irritated. Then the next day we pushed him to stay a little longer. Just keep adding time and building the tolerance.
She explained that you should always give instructions instead of saying no. This works for all kids by the way. If you are going to say no or stop then they may not understand why you said that, or what they are supposed to do. An example would be, instead of telling a child to stop when they are kicking the desk in front of them, tell them to keep their feet on the ground. This may sound too simple, but it helps them understand what to do. Sometimes just saying “stop” makes things more complicated. They will have to stop and think about what he is doing and which part he needs to stop.
I'll stop here for this column, but be back with more in the next about Dr. Baker, and some other interesting programs.

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