Very rigid and inflexible! :)

Very rigid and inflexible! :)

Postby imlovinit » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:18 am

Hi all, I'm loving this messageboard, such a fab resource, I'm surprised more people don't use it! But I tell all Son-Rise families that it's available :)
To recap, I am a SR volunteer of several years living with a family relatively new to the program. Their sweet 6 year old boy is S, borderline Stage 2/3, full time school, some language but mostly echolalia, and his biggest challenge is currently flexibility. S is constantly wound up with anxiety, he depends on a very strict routine (such as dad putting him on the school bus, mum taking him off the bus, always going straight to the playroom after school and always eating dinner before coming out of the room) and if there is even a slight deviation from this, there are always massive meltdowns. I have been with this family for almost a year and have built up an excellent rapport with the family and S, to the extent where mum and dad are able to go away for the weekend and leave me in charge. S is very familiar with me and responds very well to very clear boundaries (which he has with me but not necessarily mum and dad), however when something doesn't go his way or we are trying to prep him for a change in his routine later in the day, he will just cover his ears and shout random words (!). S can occasionally relax and occasionally takes the cue from his adorably sweet NT younger brother. S has also been known to scratch, kick and punch us however I am the only team member currently showing one consistent response to this and have brought this up in a loving and non-judgemental way several times with the parents.
Any thoughts guys? :)
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Re: Very rigid and inflexible! :)

Postby SusanHumphries » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:35 am

I am sending you a great big celebratory shout out to you for your dedication and contribution to this sweet Son Rise Family. Overall, I do not read a question in your post but maybe you the following thoughts will be supportive.

I love reading how much you are wanting the best for your special Son Rise friend by honestly sharing your wants for him with his family and the team. Sometimes people do not do things because they might not understand all the reasons why or there may be a resistant to doing them. I recommend that since you are such a big part of this child’s life that in your next meeting ( or arrange a meeting) with the parents and tell them all the reasons you do what you do. For example, write all the reason why you think it is useful to respond to his tantrums in a consistent way. Review our webinars to give a Son Rise perspective, remember we have 30 years of experience of dealing with 1,000’s of children who use crying ,whining , pinching yelling, etc. as a form of communication. Ask S’s parents what their thoughts are or why they have not done what you suggested. Encourage them to get support from us. We have so many different services to assist them. If they have attended an Intensive in the past they get a free 20 minute support call. There are reasons you have conviction about what you think will be useful, share all your reasons and what you see as working for him. Remember present your want with excitement for S’s growth and express your intention of wanting to help S and the team. Please let us know how it goes.
It sounds like transitions are a big challenge for this cutie. He is having to deal with a lot of stimulation and sounds like lack of control if he is being bused and is in school. His inflexibility will definitely show up in transitions. For now do your best to explain what will be happening, making his routine as predictable and digestible as possible. As soon as he comes home get him in the room so he can get a great dose of Vitamin C (the C is for control). Passionately joining him, passionately celebrate his wants and not wants, give exaggerated control in your interactions are some of the makeup of this Vitamin-C.

Here are some links to support your friend in flexibility and tantrums.
http://blog.autismtreatmentcenter.org/search/label/Flexibility 12 post on our blog about Flexibility 8-)

http://www.autismtreatmentcenter.org/contents/other_sections/autism-treatment-webcasts.php # 12 William Hogan talking about Aggressive Behavior :D
Susan Humphries
The Son Rise Program ™ Teacher
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