Handling certain behaviors

Handling certain behaviors

Postby Kimbapatty » Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:07 am

I don't know whether this is really a challenging behavior but I didn't know where else to put it!!!
I have 2 things that are happening in the playroom and am not sure what is the most effective way to handle them.
The first is the air conditioner! Not so much with me but with a couple of my volunteers my son David (age 6) tells them he wants to be picked up to change the a/c. It's on most of the time in the playroom b/c it's hot and we're obviously not opening the windows and if I put the ceiling fan on we'll be watching that the whole time :). However he doesn't just change it once. He'll play around with the buttons for a while.
I thought maybe we shouldn't encourage him to get involved with this and it doesn't seem to be a very interacitve activity but I also know we try not to say 'no' too much in the p/r. However one of my volunteers told me she got alot of eye contact and even some physical affection while doing this with him. Eye contact is one of our goals so I'm not sure if we should just leave it as is?
Also the second behavior is a little more of a concern. We have a radiator in the room and it has a radiator cover which is big and metal. It has a top that opens and David will open this cover and let it slam close. Since it's big and metal it makes a huge deafening sound. I think he is isming to it.

Now mind you we use this radiator cover alot in play b/c it open and closes and David likes to put things in other things. He likes helping me do laundry and empty the dishwasher at home so we play games like that using the radiator which he really enjoys. But when he does the slamming thing I don't know if joining is really the most effective thing. First off you could hurt yourself if it slams on you (and so could one of my volunteers). I am going to have my husband put something rubber like on it so it won't hurt but the actual behavior I don't know about joining. Also the sound is SO LOUD that I personally find it hard to take. I have some sensory issues with loud noises and it really upsets me to hear this loud noise. What I have been doing is not joining and just going and playing on my own as far away as possible (to get away from the noise). I'm not really sure how to handle this and I'd like to be able to give my volunteers some good advice too.
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Re: Handling certain behaviors

Postby SusanHumphries » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:00 pm

Hello Patty

Thank you for sending this great post with such great detail. I am so excited that you are experiencing your sweet boy in his playroom and that you have volunteers who are on this amazing journey with you.

How we set up the environment is such a key factor in allowing our playroom to be more of a yes room :D vs. OH NO! Don’t do that room :shock: . So you want to consider what you can do to set up the environment so that it is the most successful for David. For example, with the thermostat in our playroom here at the Son Rise Program Intensive we have placed covers over them. They are just too tempting for kids to resist. They have buttons and dials and not only that when you mess with them air comes out of vents. Wow! My first suggestion is to get a cover for the thermostat. The other thing is that you can set boundaries in the playroom. We consider our thermostat to be property and it is not meant to be played with. We do set boundaries in the playroom when a child’s safety and well being is in question and when they are attempting to destroy property, or property is at risk of breaking. I would encourage that you review with your team how to set boundaries in a clear and loving way. I have mentioned some tips below.

I love your idea about getting a piece of rubber to absorb the sound when the radiator is flipped up and down. I was thinking duck tap around the edge as a temporary solution. My thought is that if there is any possibility of the radiator being too hot or breaking from David flipping the top then I would set a boundary on it. If not then feel free to let him ism on it.
Since you have the sensitivity to sound then do your best to be comfortable when it happens. If David senses a discomfort or a reaction in a flinch or pull back, he may then do it with you to seek out a reaction. So do your best to not react internally and externally. If you are joining him and really in the rhythm of it try to cover your ears before it hits the metal. Have fun with joining it just modify this one aspect. Only cover your ears for when it hits and open them up again so you can hear David’s sounds and words.

Overall , it sounds like your team gets an opportunity to set a boundary in a loving and clear way. Assure your team that it is okay to lose the connection after setting a boundary. This is a way David gets to learn that he can not always get what he wants and that is something he can handle in a calm way. Here are some things to consider when setting boundaries with David;
Be calm (ATTITUDE IS KEY) to the best of you ability
Once you set the boundary follow through with it.
Clearly explain what boundary you are setting and why you are setting it. This is such a wonderful gift to give your child. For example, you can say “This thermostat is actually not toy. It keeps our room a comfortable temperature so we can play in here. I am not going to let you play with it because I don’t want it to break.”
Offer an alternative. You can draw a thermostat; you can make one with toys off the shelf, etc.
Remember to celebrate David when he easily responds to a boundary you have set.

Thank you for posting your questions and let us know how it goes.
Susan Humphries
The Son Rise Program ™ Teacher
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Re: Handling certain behaviors

Postby Kimbapatty » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:11 am

Hi Susan!
I just read your reply and I thank you for all the great info! I will share this with my volunteers and love your help and ideas!!! You guys are awesome!!!!!!!!!!!
God Bless :P
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