Recently, I went to a restaurant at a shopping mall with a mostly nonverbal, preteen client (let's call him Josh) and his mother. There was a cafeteria-style food counter, and next to that, a place to stack used dishes, a slot (like a mail slot) for used silverware, and bins for trash and recycling. Josh… Continue reading Behavior is Communication, but it’s not always easy to interpret
Why do I keep feeling like we (or at least I) have to be DOING something? He doesn’t want to do, he wants to simply be, and he wants me to simply be there with him.
After the hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of times that he has tried and failed to get someone to understand something, he still cared enough, hoped enough, trusted enough to try to bridge that gap of understanding once more....
In both cases, a preteen client was being physically violent. However, the two situations required very different responses. In one case, a behaviorist approach worked well for everyone involved, including the client. In the other, it would have been catastrophic, especially for the client.
Sometimes my job is difficult, frustrating, or annoying. Sometimes it makes me feel like the luckiest person in the world. This day was the second kind. And not just because I got to wear a bathing suit to work! *** Less than a year ago, I would arrive at his house, pile into the car… Continue reading Just Amazing
It takes (at least) two people to communicate. The transfer of information does not happen in a void. Lots of professional people have written professional things about this, everywhere from brain injury journals to Star Trek fan forums. Here's what it looks like (sometimes) in real life: My client takes his mother's hand, tugs. She… Continue reading Communication is a collaboration
Why does it never occur to us that a child might be crying because of the song playing on the radio, laughing at something they just imagined or remembered, or angry just because it's been a long day rather than because of any specific event?