“This child doesn’t say much or cause any distractions.” (observation of an 8 year old)
The alarm bells go off when we see or hear a child acting out – raising his voice, pushing his body, or disrupting the class. But what about the kids that tend to be overlooked?
When Billy wakes up in the morning he takes a while to get energized. He communicates in therapy about feeling lonely and disconnected like “his body is asleep.”
When I observed him at school I noticed that he was easily missed. He didn’t call much attention to himself, he was able to go with the flow of the day, but yet he had limited interactions with the other children or teachers at school.
I noticed that when he walked down the street the people he passed didn’t look at him, they didn’t say hello or make eye contact. I counted 10 different people from children to adults, all of which passed him with out acknowledgement.
Billy and I decided that while it wouldn’t be easy – he was going to create a social experiment. With our practice of body posture, gestures and facial affect – he would try to initiate just a simple wave or head nod when ever a person passed him.
On Monday, he attempted this movement experiement. Within the first 10 minutes of being dropped off at school, he said 1 out of the 5 adults he nodded at responded with a smile. The other 4 didn’t even see him.
Within a week he increased this number – moving faster, lifting his head hire, adding a smile. He was able to increase peoples awareness of him and in turn he communicated feeling awake, and alive.
The simple movement choices and acceptance of this movement challenge provided Billy with insight into his control over his interactions and the effect his body choices had on his relationships. When he made a social connection to other people he expressed “feeling happier and more a part of his school.
Do you know of a child who could use support? Everyday I work with children of all ages and their families to help them communicate 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.