I work with neurodiverse parents and children to help them develop better relationships and emotional flexibility. Together we’ll work on all sorts of issues like challenging behaviour, emotional regulation and sensory sensitivity. The model I tend to use most is Dr Ross Greene’s Collaborative and Proactive Solutions model. Its main tenet is that…
“challenging behavior occurs when the demands and expectations being placed on a kid exceed the kid’s capacity to respond adaptively…and that some kids are lacking the skills to handle certain demands and expectations.
So the emphasis of the model isn’t on kids’ challenging behavior, which is just the manner in which they’re expressing the fact that there are expectations they’re having difficulty meeting. Nor does the model focus on psychiatric diagnoses, which are simply categories of challenging behaviors.
Rather the model focuses on identifying the skills a kid is lacking and the expectations they’re having difficulty meeting.
Then the goal is to help them solve those problems…“
Some strategies I’ve suggested in the past
Each of these will have a different effect and may be useful for multiple reasons or issues. They aim to teach specific skills that I find are commonly needed for kids who aren’t like their peers.
- Proprioception check-in activities – heavy work, spinning, rough and tumble, balancing, climbing.
- Purposeful 15 minute down-regulation times each day. Some kids’ brains don’t up-regulate positive emotions and dampen negative ones as well as typical kids do. Practice grows brain connections, and practicing calming oneself is a useful skill.
- Time Timer
- Visual Scheduler
- Strengths focussed living
- Feelings and emotional flexibility modelling woven into normal life
- Structured play with turn-taking emphasis and inclusion of all group members
- Sibling (or other family) education
- Unconditional positive regard
- Unstructured playtime for fun and free expression of interests