“Our son is being sent out to the office repeatedly for not joining the class for group tasks and becoming disruptive. Is this typical?” (age 4).
Therapuetic support allows for families to explore age appropriate behaviors, atypical patterns, and more importantly the underlying individual differences and needs of their children.
In observing Mateo, I became aware of his melted posture and slowed pace at transitions. He appeared overwhelmed (moving away from the group or request) when an unpredicted sound was created by the teacher. When the teacher requested transitioning into group time, she would ring a chime, sing a song, or even clap her hands. Each time I witnessed this was different. While Mateo cooperated in individual work, and he was aware of what was expected for a transition, his body immediately found ways to create seperation and find predictability at these group moments.
Supporting his sensory needs and regulation allowed his teacher to set up more consistent transition sounds, to create a space he could intentionally and with permission go to as needed vs being sent to the office. In sessions, plans were created to practice modulation of sounds and emotional expression around these uncomfortable feelings. He got to playfully use movement to explore tones of voice, transitions, and anticipation.
Rather than seeing his response as “bad” the school and family learned how to identify the etiology of the behavior, create opportunity for change and ultimately expand on Mateo’s ability to predict/read cues the teacher’s (and others) presented.
Do you know of a child who could use support? Everyday I work with children of all ages and their families to help them play, learn and connect. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (310) 966-0700 to schedule your time.
Please Note: These stories are based on real moments but all names, ages, and identifying information has been changed to ensure confidentiality and safety for all individuals involved. The events are a composite of related scenarios used to illustrate the work; bringing understanding to the benefits of supporting children through a mind/body connection.