Last fall I had an out of control toddler with major social anxiety issues on my hands. Any social situation A-man would spend crying and squealing out of control. It was awful and it got to the point where I hated going out with my children. I would avoid even having tea with friends.
In the last few weeks I have gotten a lot of comments about how much A-man changed. People who haven’t seen him in a while are amazed that it is the same child.
In my October 9th, 2015 post Typical Boy In An Atypcial World I talked in detail the steps I was going to take to help him. In today’s post I am going to over what worked and what was a complete fail.
No Homeschooling With Lilly’s therapy I have been pre-k homeschooling for what seems like forever. Since A-man’s birth he has been in a learning rich environment. We have been colouring, painting and doing everything learning for a long time. At first I was concerned about him falling behind with pre-k learning but taking out the focus on academics we where able to fully focus on socialisation. It took the pressure off me.
Triple P Parenting I took a parenting course that helped me focus my positive parenting a bit better. In college I took a bunch of courses on positive communication with children. It was helpful having someone else’s perspective to give me tips. Communicating with your own children is very different then communicating with other people’s children.
Anything Structured Was A Fail A-man needed time to get into an activity by going to anything structured it made it tougher on him to get into the activities. He needed time to get comfortable and on his own time. As a friend reminded me, (often) it can take a child up to 90 minutes to get into good quality play. A structured program doesn’t allow this so he didn’t feel comfortable at them.
Now for the biggest help, a friend!
Yes, a friend. A-man has had an admire since he was one. His girl Anne would always try to get him to have interact with him but he wouldn’t have anything to do with her. Her mom C and I started teaming up going places last fall.
I found this really helpful when it came to re-directing behaviour. My friend also has her Early Childhood Diploma and often would step in to help A-man transition to a new activity. As time passed he has gotten to the point where if I am not around he knows to listen to her. 🙂
Over time A-man has also gotten comfortable with Anne and her siblings. He’s going from a solitude play to more of a associative play with his friends.:) To be able to play at this level you need to have a strong social interaction between children. Which means his vocab jumped from 3 words to three word sentences.
A-man also hated being touched by Anne. Anne would go for a hug and A-man would walk away. Now A-man will hug Anne freely but she has a tendency of taking it up a notch. (Giving him a kiss on the cheek.) The neat thing about their friendship is Anne keeps introducing A-man to new things;
Textures his sissy can’t eat, expecting him to answer her in complete sentences and of course her amazing John Deer set of tractors, combines and other farm machinery.
My friend C keeps reminding me that we have seen amazing changes in 9 months it’s going to be neat to see what happens over the summer. The thought excites me but also makes me nervous!
This post is linked up at Turn It Up Tuesdays
(2008). PsyBlog. Retrieved 14 June, 2016, from http://www.spring.org.uk/2008/07/6-types-of-play-how-we-learn-to-work.php In-text citation: (Springorguk, 2008).