FUN TIPS ON JOINING

FUN TIPS ON JOINING

Postby SusanHumphries » Fri May 06, 2011 2:31 pm

Hello all you amazing Son Rise parents and volunteers,

I hope that you are all finding great joy and ease when joining your wonderful Son Rise child. Here are some points to help inspire you to deepen this joy and ease so that ultimately you can deepen your relationship with your child.

Just a reminder of what your child’s ism is? What we at the Son Rise Program ™ call the ism is what may be more familiar to many of you as the stim. We refer to it as your child’s ism because the ism is very much so part of your child’s aut-ism. When your child is in an ism they are in a repetitious, rigid activity that most often does not include you. Your child is so absorbed in the ism that they are not looking at you, talking with you or really connected to you at all. Are they lining up toys, are they walking around the house scripting a scene from one of their favorite cartoons, are they repeatedly making sounds, starring off, are they drawing the same thing over and over, laying on the floor completely absorbed in a single string, etc.

We at the Son-Rise Program believe the ism or stim is so incredibly useful to your child. There is always a reason your child is doing this behavior and that is often self regulating. Our children are often coping with an over stimulated sensory system. Many of their isms help them regulate their system so that they are able to cope with their external and internal environment. Your child is so smart and really a master of coping with the world.

When your child is exclusive you do what they do. If your child is lining up letters then get your own set of letters and line them up. If your child is flapping their hands over their favorite story book you get your own story book and flap your hands. If your Asperger’s child is incessantly talking about Harry Potter, leaving you no room to say anything, then you listen with delight.
Joining your child is sending a powerful message to your child and giving you valuable information on your child. By joining your child when they are exclusive you are showing your child that you are interested in what they are interested in. This is what friends do, they share similar interests. Your child gets the message that you become a predictable and user friendly person in their world. They get to experience a great sense of control and you are ultimately giving it to them because you are not stopping their peculiar behavior. This makes you an easier person to connect with. You get the benefit of finding out what your child is motivated for so that when you have your child’s willing engagement then you can teach them a skill by using their current motivation. Think about it, your child is choosing to be exclusive from their own expression of their own want. Joining your child can also give you some insight as to what is happening for them internally. For example, I recently worked with a child who was severely constipated and in his ism he would squat, take deep breathes in and out, and would walk on his toes. There are reports that this kind of physical input actually stimulates the digestive system. He was simply trying to help himself in his unique physical behavior.

Embrace this moment with comfort and delight. If you find yourself challenged when joining your child take a deep breather and remember you are sending a message to your child that you love and accept them and trust that they are taking good care of themselves. You are in their world saying “Hello, I am here for you loving you for who you are in this moment.”

Don’t join too closely so that your child really has an understanding that they have space and control. Make sure to be at least 3 to 4 feet away when joining your cutie.

Position yourself so that it so easy for your child to see you and for you to see if they look at you. If your child is looking down at a book then try lying down when looking at your book.

Sometimes children will take your ism toys away and want them for their own ism. This is so cute. :mrgreen: Easily hand over you toy or object so they are getting the control they need. Simply find something similar to join with and if you are left with nothing then join them using your pretend toys or object. ;)

I invite you all to post questions about your child’s ism and how to join it. Enjoy loving your children in this unique way. We are all cheering you on here at The Autism Treatment Center of America!

With supportive and fun thoughts,
Susan Humphries
Son Rise Program Instructor
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Re: FUN TIPS ON JOINING

Postby kathyfoster » Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:59 pm

We just got back from start up but have been spending quite a few hours with our 19 month old. If he comes over and sits in our lap, do you consider this interaction. He'll take our finger and point it to something in the book. Just need a little help with this one.

Thanks Kathy
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Re: FUN TIPS ON JOINING

Postby KimKorpady » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:08 am

Hi Kathy-
I am so excited for your recent jump into the Son Rise Program! This is an excellent question.
We have many parents ask questions about when their child is interacting.

The best part about this question is that we won’t actually know if our child is interacting with us until WE try! So when your child is coming over and sitting in your lap or he comes over and takes your hand, points in a book, when he says a word, looks up at you, etc. he is giving you a “green light”, basically indicating “hey I'm available for interaction”. When we as parents or facilitators get a green light the most useful thing we can do is present something inviting for our child to engage in with us! So if your son comes over and sits on your lap first CELEBRATE him for coming over to you, and then TRY SOMETHING OUT (after all we won’t know if he’s available until we try). For example try giving him big body squeezes, or rolling him back and forth in your lap, or pretend to be a train and give him rides around the room, etc. There are endless invitations we can offer our children , so my greatest suggestion is to be compelling, to invite interaction, and create and deepen a connection with your son!
Have fun trying out the endless ways to invite interaction with your son!
For more suggestions please check out the video blogs dedicated to game ideas while in the playroom with your child!

HAVE FUN!
Kim :D
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Re: FUN TIPS ON JOINING

Postby Usha S » Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:45 am

Hi Sus an,

My 15 yr old son Sriram's ism is paper twisting. He will have paper all the time and do his ism. When he gives eyecontact or smiles while twisting we try to start a small game or conversation. I think even though it is not a strong green light he smiles those times and again go back to twisting. We follow his lead and join him. Then after some time he will twist and start the same conversation. How do we have to respond at those moments? We also do paper twisting and reply to him. Is it correct? Please help me how to take it further and also he smiles a lot while also doing his ism. What to do at those times?

regards,
usha
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Re: FUN TIPS ON JOINING

Postby BeckyDamgaard » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:58 am

Hi Usha,

It sounds like you are doing a great job dancing back and forth between joining Sriram and engaging with him. Often our children will go back and forth between isming and then connecting, isming and then connecting again. I would absolutely re-initiate the same game each time he re-engages.

The only thing I would add that you didn't mention is to build from the ism also. If we are starting a conversation with him when he looks and smiles then it is nothing to do with the thing he is already doing. We want to make the thing that we do when he gives us the green light related to the thing he is already interested in so that we can use his current motivation to build interaction. You can follow these guielines:

1) He is twisting his paper and I am joining.

2) He looks at me and smiles.

3) I make something fun and interesting happen with my paper (e.g. I make it into a paper airplane and fly it across the room. I untwist my paper and pretend it's a letter from a friend to read out to him, etc)

If he was starting the conversation first then I would respond and build from that because that is now his current interest. When we initiate a conversation ourselves, we are going with our own current agenda, instead of his.
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Re: FUN TIPS ON JOINING

Postby AnaLemos » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:21 am

Hello ATCA team.

I've recently been in the Start-up in Troia, Portugal. Thank you for everything. My daughter has 3 and a half years old, and her ism consists in taking my hand and making me draw for her images that she chooses in a catalogue, or a card. Then, she paints the drawing. We can be doing this for hours and hours. How can I take avantage of the green lights in this case?

Thank you so much, this is tricky because it seems like an interactive activity when it is not.


Best Regards,


Ana Lemos

Portugal
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Re: FUN TIPS ON JOINING

Postby SusanHumphries » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:19 pm

Hello Ana Lemos

This is Susan, I was there helping the Troia Start Up Team! Maybe you remember me. :P It is so wonderful to read your post .
Your daughter sounds like quite the artist! :ugeek: How wonderful it is that she knows she can come to you to get what she really wants.

You want to embrace this activity as one of her core motivations. Go into it 100% with joy and delight. When she asks you to draw by showing you or telling you celebrate her and show your joy to be with her in the way she wants to be (e.g. “I love that you are coming to me, How exciting you want me to draw, I love drawing for you.”)

Pay attention to stronger green lights. I am not sure how your cutie pie is indicating that she wants you to draw. Is she telling you with her language or showing you with her physical cues? If she is using language and she is speaking quickly or there is no room for you to verbally celebrate her without her talking over you for you to draw this is often an indication that she may be in an ism and you are a part of it. There is no room for you, it is moving at a pace where she needs control. The way to join this ism is to easily go with her with joy and celebration. Here you are bonding being so user friendly. Stronger green lights are increased eye contact in duration and frequency, maybe she will have a brighter affect with a smile, she is not speaking too quickly or talking over you, or moving you around to draw. Is there an overall feeling of her being connected to you vs. completely absorbed in watching you draw?

When you feel that there is more room or you have received stronger green lights, then it is time to facilitate more connection. Bring all items (pen, picture, papers,) from your eyes. Invite her to make choices physically or verbally depending on her where she is in her language development. Consider ways to vary this interaction if you feel that she is in a repetitious interaction and not an ism. Make themes that use this motivation to be more interactive. Make a theme of picture, go on treasure hunts to get them, hang pictures from the ceiling, make them into puzzle pieces! Her motivation + one of her challenges (this would be her clear role in the game) = theme.
Have fun! Let us know if you have any other questions. When you do the more details of what she is doing it helps us help you more specifically to her needs.
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Re: FUN TIPS ON JOINING

Postby Sunshine » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:40 pm

Hello, my name is Carmie, my son is autistic -7 years old. I will be attending the start-up in April, 2013. In the meantime, I,ve read a lot of sonrise material and recently watched video, decision making in the playroom by Raun. He explained using the ABC technique. When I was joining my son today, although I understand the meaning behind joining, I found myself getting very frustrated because I felt so tuned out by my son. I can not seem to handle the tune-out. I just need to understand, what could happen here, is it possible that I will be joining for a long time until I get his green light? I always feel like I need to get him connecting with me. Can you help me cope with this please. How do I join him without feeling helpless in the sense that I can not get him to look at me?
What am I missing? Help! Thank you.
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Re: FUN TIPS ON JOINING

Postby BeckyDamgaard » Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:19 pm

Hello Carmie,

I hope you are able to get this reply! It's so wonderful that you ar reaching out and being so honest about how you are feeling when you join. The Start-Up in April is going to be amazing and we can't wait to meet you!

Here is our perspective. The main challenge that our children have is with relating to us and deeply connecting with us. This is why joining is so important. Joining our children without an agenda, with nothing more than to purely demonstrate our love and acceptance of them is sending a very powerful message. It says "You can trust me" it says "I am easy to be with" it says "I know you are doing the best you can" and it says "I am willing to do what you love as a way to build a relationship with you".

So when we join, we are not doing it to get eye contact or so that they will play with us. It just so happens though that when we join fully, without a need for anything back then that's when our children really feel our sincerity and take steps to moving toward us. Sometimes we will do it for seconds before our children move towards us, and other times, it takes an hour so give it time!

Try joining your beautiful boy and filling yourself with how much you love and want the best for him. The more you immerse yourself in the experience the more he will feel your acceptance with no push to respond in a certain way.

I hope this helps! It really is fun when you try it!
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Re: FUN TIPS ON JOINING

Postby Sunshine » Wed May 08, 2013 11:45 pm

Thank you so much for responding. I attended the start-up and it was incrediable. Since then, i have gotten so much better at joining. I have liberated myself and truly enjoying Connor's presence and learned to feel his isms, not expecting anything in return. I must say Connor is still isming but now he is giving me a lot of eye-contact still being red light. Before, there was hardly any eye-contact and he used to throw the object I was joining him with off of my hands. There has been a change from him in that sense. Thanks again Becky.
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