“My son is so difficult to get out the door, to have him help clean up his room, and even to stay on task.” (Peter, age 8).
Whether you have a typically developing child, or have noticed your child exhibits sensory processing differences, attention deficit, OCD, or even anxiety; there are ways to support their body to make connection and get those simple daily tasks to work!
Peter came with several areas of need which made it feel impossible to get his daily tasks completed without a meltdown or a disconnect.
You guessed it…we looked at the body!! Rather than having his mother insistently ask him to perform a task. I had her only use movement. She was to use her body to move at the same speed as Peter. When he saw a cluttered space he immediately drifted away to a more preferred one dimensional, simple item such as his matchbox car. I helped his mother identify those cues that indicated that his visual system and body needed a smaller challenge. We collaborated to ask the cars to help us in clearing space for a “race” to take place. Peter loved that idea. He understood that space was needed for the cars. He understood that the cleaning up was necessary and meaningful. But we didn’t just dive into the messy room, we had the cars help us divide up steps. Each task was determined based on proximity to Peter, how fast we wanted to move the item (we varied from slow to fast and back again), and we determine a visual map to decide where the items would be placed for the most space.
Peter’s mom was inspired by her son’s interest to help and participate. She was excited that she could visually see her son’s cues and felt she would now know that he wasn’t being difficult but rather that she could support an easier more meaningful relationship to task completion. Peter noticed that anytime he felt overwhelmed or less stimulated (excited) by the task that he could voice to us that he was taking a pit stop (like the car analogy) and then come back. This communication helped everyone stay connected.
Peter’s mom and I spoke more about how the play and movement allowed for more integration of concepts and compliance. Peter smiled as he shared with his mother that she played with him and he helped her clean (a win win for everyone)!
Everyday I work with children of all ages and their families to support their development, awareness and connections! For more ways to learn how to embody parenting and support your child through life, Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.