Autism Treatment Center of America®

Change a Child's Life - Donate Today!
Autism Treatment Center, Celebrating Children with Autism!

Q&A Session 4

Q&A Session 4 with the Director of The Son-Rise Program, Bryn N. Hogan

Topic: Crying and Screaming

Q: Dear Bryn (and William and Molly and Raun and staff)
I hope you still remember me and Richard from The Son-Rise Program Start-up in Rotterdam. I can tell you that we are very busy at this time. Only one month after the course we are working with ten volunteers (as I never could imagine before). The Sunday after we came back Richard gave a very successful presentation in a community center nearby our house and people were moved by that. We have to thank you for the big inspiration you gave us!!

At this moment I am already giving feedback for 4 weeks now and it works out very well. Almost all of these kind and enthusiastic people are flexible, open for Son-Rise principles and attitude, some of them already have read some books, viewed video tapes and are searching for more information on Option methods for there own problems in life. We are all learning a lot.

Dejana does very well with our volunteers, BUT... and here is the question: Richard and I are getting all the crying and screaming. She does it only with us, why? What can we do? She even bites her own hand again, this was one of the things from her past before Son-Rise. When she hears the bell ringing knowing that one of the volunteers is coming to play with her she immediately stops that kind of behaviour and all is well again. I am discouraged a little bit by this because I thought this kind of behaviour was behind us. During our sessions many times her eyes seem to disappear up under her eyelids and she closes her eyes, like she is tired, did you see that kind of behaviour before and do you have a clue what it means?

Thank you very much for your time and attention, hope to meet you again in the near future. Many greetings from Richard and Dejana.

Branka N.

A: Dear Branka,
Yes - of course I do remember you! I am so excited that you have found volunteers (I know in the past you were hesitant about having people in your home) and that you are feeling so strong about giving feedback and expanding your team - good for you!

In terms of your question about her crying: Always first, you want to focus on your attitude: How are you and Richard feeling about her crying? Is it difficult for you? You may want to spend a bit of time together perhaps exploring this and seeing if you can find ways to be even more at ease, more relaxed with this. Generally speaking, we have seen that children often cry (this is not a rule, but what we have generally seen) with people who are somehow reacting to or supporting the crying in some way. It would be useful to analyze your responses: Do you move faster to get her what she wants when she cries? Are there built-in benefits perhaps to her crying that she might get from you? Do you change in some way when she cries so that she would feel it is an effective way to communicate? Have there been times when she cries and then you stay longer? or open the door etc? These questions will help you to determine possible benefits she might get from this behavior. Once you see ways in which you may be unwittingly supporting her crying, you can then alter and change your behavior to help her see it is not as useful to cry as it is to try to communicate in other ways (words, gestures etc.) You want to make sure that when she does communicate without crying, that your reactions are excited, warm and that you are very responsive to her desires during this time. This will create a wonderful contrast for her: When I cry, things move slowly, no benefits. When I try to communicate in other ways - wow! Things sure do happen fast and in a very excited way! This could make a very profound difference for her, and for you.

In terms of her rolling her eyes back, again, I think you may want to study this, as you would the above: What is happening right before she does this? What do people do when she does it? Do people become “concerned” and therefore “tense” or “ill at ease” with her? If so, then she can pick up on this, and also this will alter the person’s behavior. Again this shows her that this may be an effective way to communicate something with others. I would apply the above suggestions, to these circumstances as well.

I hope this is helpful for you - please do write again if you are wanting more support, and I would love to hear how this works for you!

With warmest regards,

Click Here To Learn More About Our Program & Services

Q&A Session 4