Today we dove right into playing with Ezra. We spent 25 minutes each with him in the playroom and were observed by Becky who then gave us detailed feedback. I always wondered how we were supposed to give 30 minutes feedback on just 15 minutes of watching someone in the playroom. Now I know! I got to really work on my attitude and beliefs that have been limiting me and the program. After feedback we had lunch and then more time in the playroom followed by another 2 hours of feedback, and then watching a session with the amazing Kim while Amanda commentated on her work. Seeing the Son-Rise principles applied so beautifully was inspiring. I realized that many of my doubts that I had about the program were the result of not seeing it done properly, and my fear of wasting my time with this. Essentially I’m very result driven, which kind of kills the effectiveness of the program. It’s not about results, it’s about loving and accepting Ezra and myself and thereby inspiring his growth.
Joining has been an issue for me and the volunteers we have. Most of the time we interrupt Ezra in his isms, try to get interaction out of him, prompt his interaction with questions, cues, etc. Becky explained today that what he has challenges with is deciding to want to interact. By truly joining him, we strengthen his “decision muscle”. Yes, he will give us little green lights, little cues that he’s ready, but they are not clear, they’re not committed. Becky pointed out that with such unclear signals to peers he would have a hard time engaging him. I have definitely seen that in application where he would go up to a peer and sort of mumble his desire to play, usually with no eye contact, and the body turned fully away from the person. So by joining him and really only engaging with him when he gives us clear signals we help him with his biggest challenge: the desire to want to interact with others, and the way to communicate it. When he does show us that he wants to interact or glances the way we help him gain confidence is by acknowledging and celebrating his efforts in looking at us.
Another technique that we learned today is how to use a theme, and keep on tying his motivations back into the game we are trying to play. We haven’t heard about that before, but it was really inspiring to watch Kim prepare a game, and keep his interaction going.
I’m excited for tomorrow.