I do everything in my ability to prepare Bubs to have a successful day. Whether at home, at church, with friends, in a restaurant, wherever.
If I know that his day is going to be filled with lots of excitement, he starts the day by jumping on the trampoline for 7 minutes. It is just like brushing his teeth for him. This is just part of our morning. At first it was a battle. We started by me holding his hands while he screamed and jumped. Now he realizes that he jumps to help him stay in control. I also talk to him about jumping when he gets that feeling that he is going to get out of control. Helping him realize he can take control of his needs instead of me having to jump in.
Chaos sends Bubs through the roof. I realize that some kids can handle it but Bubs can not. It takes us hours to pull him back down. When he starts winding up, we read, play with playdoh, listen to music, change scenery (go outside), play in water (to name a few). He plays in a small room or tent with legos. I highly suggest having a closet, tent, or cardtable with a blanket over it as a spot for a SPD child to go. Have pillows and books in there for them. This is a safe place for them to get control. (More in an upcoming post.)
When we have company or are at a restaurant, Bubs can get really loud. I don’t say anything but simply rub his back. He use to hate his back touched but now it is calming to him. It is a reminder that he needs to reel himself back in. (More about volume in an upcoming post)
Before going anywhere, we talk about expectations. We role play at home with stuffed animals and toys about situations that the kids may encounter. Such as – if a boy sitting next to Bubs is throwing food and everyone is laughing, what should Bubs do. (Bubs is a huge follower). Before going into a doctors office, I explain that I will choose a place for them to sit and they are to sit there. The expectations are laid out from the start.
By doing these little things, Bubs is automatically starting out of the right foot.
But – no matter what you do to prepare your child, there are teachers that will set them up to succeed and teachers that will allow the “class” to behave in ways that will compromise your child’s abilities to stay in control. Observe the class to make sure that the teacher is a good fit. I have asked before for Bubs’ classroom to be different. He can not function in chaos. Staying in a chaotic classroom is not fair to him.
How Do I Explain, Part 3 tomorrow!