Q&A session 3 with the Director of The
Son-Rise Program®, Bryn N. Hogan.
Topic: Interrations and Eye Contact
Q: Dear Bryn,
We hope you and your family are well.
We are writing to ask if you could give us some advice
in relation to our son Liam aged 4 asd. We have attended
the Start Up Programe and also the Maximum Impact and
have been in our playroom for just over 2 months. Liam
loves the playroom and we have a variety of 8 volunteers
joining and bonding with him. Although our playroom
is relatively new we have been using our knowledge and
calm attitude within the house for the previous year.
We have seen some fantastic changes in Liam and are
very excited to be at this stage. We are just starting
to request Liam to interact with us and very slowly
we can see him joining us. This is wonderful but we
wondered if you had any ideas on Liam chewing his toys.
We have joined in with the chewing and I do think he
was amazed when he saw 8 volunteers doing the same as
him. Although we are doing well we want to go for the
gold and we thought now we are requesting him to interact
should we still chew with him or should we begin to
phase our chewing out. Liam is giving lots of eye contact
but less when he is chewing.
We thank you in anticipation.
Jenny and Paul Burnett
Name: Jenny and Paul B.
Child: Liam, 4 years old
A: Dear Jenny and
Thank you for the salutations. My family is doing wonderfully,
and our Son-Rise Program®
with Jade is going so very well.
I am really excited that you are feeling so good about
the progress that Liam is making. This is a tribute
not just to him - but to both of you and your love and
commitment to your son.
With regards to his chewing, if we imagine that this
chewing is a repetitive, exclusive behavior or an "ism",
then we would want to "go with" and "join" his ism,
as long as he feels a need to do it. This can be very,
very varied in children. Some parents ism with their
children (chewing, rocking, playing with a particular
toy) all day for many days, and then these behaviors
begin to diminish. Sometimes, they diminish rapidly
and completely. Sometimes they disappear, and then only
return occasionally. Sometimes, a child may do their
ism ongoingly but for different periods of time. Every
child and program is different. In our program with
Jade, for example, she had an "ism" of lining up blocks.
We joined her for months, and this began to decrease
and finally disappeared. This did not happen overnight.
Rather, she began to take longer and longer breaks between
isming. She began to only do it for 15 minutes and then
not at all for the rest of the day. So, I would strongly
suggest that you do this "ism" with him whenever he
does it. If he does it for an hour, you do it for an
hour. If he does it only for 10 minutes, you only do
it for 10 minutes. Especially now that you are finding
he is interacting more, it is that much more important
that he knows that you will still "be there" with him
when he feels he must "ism".
You can also begin now to prepare activities or games
that you know you would want to play with him. When
he stops "isming" and is looking for something else
to do, or when he takes a break in his "ism", you could
introduce your game (with enthusiasm of course!). We
have found that if you can optimize the "windows of
opportunity" that he gives you (when he stops and talks
to you, or looks at you, or stops his ism) by offering
him an interactive activity to play with you, that this
really helps a child to build their attention span and
ability to interact. Have fun with it!
I hope this is helpful, please do contact us again when
you are wanting more support.
With warmest regards,
I hope that as the weeks
progress, I will have ample opportunity to answer all
the questions from everyone who is wanting support.
For me, this is another rare and unique opportunity
to offer our support and guidance to those who want
help. Thank you all for making this exciting exchange
possible through your participation. Please know you
can contact us by telephone to speak to a staff member
if you have more questions. Call us at: (413) 229-2100
Intro to Q&A Session
and Eye Contact
Development Delay and Physical Therapy