joining a child who is six years old

joining a child who is six years old

Postby tawwa » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:37 pm

hi i work with a child who is six and i am wandering does anyone know how to join in his repetitive behaviors if he doesn't let you copy what he does, he is very aware you are doing it and tells me to stop and recently told me he gets very angry if i copy him? what techniques could i use to join him?

also the child won't let you join him but wants you to repeat certain phrases he wants you to say what should i do here?

finally he is also reliving/ repeating video games that he has seen over and over, do we join this?
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:30 pm

Re: joining a child who is six years old

Postby BeckyDamgaard » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:17 pm


Thanks for your question! What a wonderful thing you are choosing to do, working in this beautiful boys Son-Rise Program!

At times, we will have a child who is asking not to be joined. There are two things that are the most effective in this situation.

1) First experiment with the way you join. Often, our children are very specific about their isms and they can be very easily interrupted if we are too close, too intense, or too loud as we join. Make sure you try joining from a distance (at least 4 feet away) and even try turning slightly away and joining in a quieter, less animated way. If he stops telling you not to copy him then keep joining in the way.

2) There will be some children that will still continue to be conrolling around you joining them and tell you to stop, even when you have experimented with being more low key. In this situation, you want to be excited to give them control and show them how user-friendly and trustworthy you are. At the same time, you could join in a way that has a similar element to their ism but is not exactly the same.

For example, I once worked with a boy who would walk around the playroom reciting the story "The Ice Queen" as he looked at himself in the mirror. When I joined this, he told me "Don't copy me". At this point I celebrated him for telling me, sat down and whispered the same words as him. Even then, he told me "Be quiet". Once again I celebrated him and then got a piece of paper and a pen and wrote the words he was reciting down on the paper while being silent. I had fun imagining the story in my head with the same amount of drama that he was creating from reciting. This he allowed me to do no problem! As the week progressed, I could slowly get louder and more exact as he became more flexible.

If this boy is conversational, you could also explain that you are doing what he does because you love him and love to be interested in the things he is interested in. You are his friend and that's what friends do!

For the activity where he will have you repeat certain phrases, give him control and enjoy doing that with him as that in of itself is the ism.

For the last question, the answer is yes!

Have fun! We would love to know how it goes!

Posts: 170
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: joining a child who is six years old

Postby junelys » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:02 am

what if the 6 yrs child is non-verbal? He is capable of using words and even phrases but only in a echolalic way, like a recorder and mostly songs from the tv.
He wants me to leave the room by pushing me away and sometime call for his mom while crying and shouting.
what should I do to make him undertsnad that I want to play with him and have fun with him....
oh! one thing: when ever I enter the door of his house, everyone in the house (grandma and mother) starts to be agitated and turn to him and explain him that it's not ok to cry and that he has to behave nice while I will play with him....
I explained them that it's not ok this way and gave them the ideea to celebrate my arrival and encourage the boy to accept me..but no's like they don't understand what i'm saying...
what's your advice?
one more thing: from your wide experience have any of the 6 yrs children non-verbal managed to grow and become verbal and normal kid?
thanks a lot!
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:37 am

Re: joining a child who is six years old

Postby BeckyDamgaard » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:22 am


It's so wonderful that you are volunteering with this boy and reaching out for support and guidance!

I will try and address all your concerns:

1) You asked how to help this boy understand that you are here to play with him and help him. The most effective way to do that is to remain calm, easy and comfortable, loving and accepting that this boy is doing the best he can to try and get control and even if you did just that it would help! Also, keep explaining to him that you are to play with him, you love him and want to play exactly what he wants to play and that you are here for thie next 2 hours (or however long) and that even if he cries and shouts you will be here for him when he is ready tpl play. Then if he keeps shouting and crying, quieten down and move to the corner of the room, take your energy off him and read a book or play by yourself as a way to show him that you will still continue to have fun even if he chooses to cry. This attitude will be really great to do with his family too. Explain that you are ok with the crying and want to really be accepting of this boy. You will go in the playroom and wait for him. At the end of the day they will do what they feel is the best way to handle the situation and as long as you are calm and easy, they will pick up on your attitude and it might be an inspiration to them.

2) We absolutely believe that there is hope for any child to change and grow no matter what their age or language ability. If he is capable of speaking in phrases (even if in a scripted way) then we would not consider him non-verbal at all.

We wish you all the best and so appreciate your help and involvement in this boys life!

Warm regards,
Posts: 170
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: joining a child

Postby katrinajbennett » Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:13 pm

My ten year old repeats movies and actually likes me to repeat them back at him. He becomes very excited and gets really close to my face and smiles. If I do not understand his words correctly he will actually keep repeating until I say it right. However, since this is his stim. How do you build upon that without him loosing interest? Please help as I spend hours repeating him and he doesn't tire of this at all.
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:54 pm

Re: joining a child who is six years old

Postby BeckyDamgaard » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:40 pm

Hi There,

It's great to hear from you!

So first of all, it is very common for our children to do these types of stims (repeating lines of movies, books, what people have said in the past to them, etc). The fact that he is doing this means he is looking for control and predictability in a world that is out of control in many ways to him. This is why we join our children and give them control in The Son-Rise Program so that they can regulate their overloaded sensory processing system and we can build a stronger, more trusting relationship with them by entering their world and getting excited about what they are excited about.

Next time you do this I very much encourage you to really let go and enjoy it, see it as a way to bond with him and deepend your connection with him. Schedule time that you have set aside to be in The Son-Rise Program playroom with him and this is where you will repeat the movie lines with him if he wants to do that. When you are not in your playroom session but doing other things outside of the room, do not feel like you have to continue joining him with this. This would be a time that you can sweetly explain to him that you would love to do this with him in the playroom but are now busy with other things and are focusing on something else.

Now, in the playroom, look for his green lights (green lights are social cues he gives you where he is showing more openess and space to allow your input). In this case it might be that his body and intensity relaxes a bit and he is not so close to you. Or it could be he stops talking and smiles. At first you can try making small variations to what you are doing. For example, you could sing the line, use a puppet or figurine to say the line, get up and act it out, or write it down maybe. This will be helping him with his flexibility in his area of interest.

Give him plenty of control within this, so if he tells you "no" or "stop" and doesn't seem open then celebrate him for showing you and try varying it again later.

Have fun!
Posts: 170
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:51 pm

Return to Older Children

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests