A few days ago I wrote about a conversation Emma had where she said she’d like to open a center she would call, “Emma’s Hope Care.” You can read that piece ‘here‘. In addition to writing that the center’s philosophy would be “no Autistic child left behind”, she wrote, “no behavior management.” In response, a commenter asked Emma “What would you do to help children cope with their feelings in our society?”
I showed Emma the comment and asked her to elaborate a bit more on her words – “no behavior management” before asking if she would answer the commenter’s question.
This conversation took several sessions to complete.
A: Hey Em. I was wondering if we could talk about Emma’s Hope Care. Would that be okay?
A: What did you mean when you wrote “no behavior management”?
E: No ABA.
A: That was a long time ago, when you were just two years old. We stopped when you were four. Do you remember the ABA you had?
A: Will you tell me your experience of it?
E: I was treated with mostly kindness, but the therapists could not see beyond their training. I learn quickly, but am not able to reply with words that sound right to another.
Worry becomes everyone’s focus.
Real learning happens when no one notices.
The goals waste away.
Tender feelings do not hurt, but are not helpful because they cannot soothe wounds of being constantly underestimated.
During a separate session Emma answered the question, “What would you do to help children cope with their feelings in our society?” from the Conversing With Emma post.
First cope with your own feelings. Second listen to the child. Provide them with patience, accepting their feelings as valid and respecting that this will change as they grow older.