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Helping bring awareness & differentiation to “No” for L.L.- Autism Spectrum

By November 19, 2012 July 27th, 2019 Blog

LL is diagnosed on the autism spectrum and his parents were interested in neuromovement lessons to help him with a variety of challenges.  This was our second lesson together.

L. had a  pattern of  responding to many initial encounters with “No no no no no”.  It was accompanied by a significant emotional charge.  In this second lesson, L, sees the video camera and gets upset and expresses this upset as ‘No no no no’!!!.  Instead of turning off the camera, or hiding it, I let him be in the space of ‘No’ without my getting upset, judgmental, or feeling as if I needed to do something different.  I held his ‘No’ in a safe and compassionate way, not pushing L at all, but exploring the word No in such a way as for L to begin to hear the word, apart from the emotion it was paired with.  My thinking process is to:

1).  Hear what he was saying by my using a prosaic tone in a variety of ways.  Say ‘No’ in many different ways and attitudes.

2).  Use variation in activities once he could recognize what he was hearing.  IN this case, I read him a book with the word ‘No’ in it repeated from page to page.

3)  Find social contexts in the immediate environment to use the word more powerfully, and and introduce a variation to No.  or, Yes.

4).  Create the conditions for  LL to embody this new opposite.

We found creative ways, using sounds, imitation, engaging Mom & Dad in a counting game and gentle, slow, weight-bearing shifts on his pelvis in sitting; L learns to sense and feel that ‘No’ can also be neutral, that it needn’t carry the emotional charge it had in the beginning of the lesson.  This led to his ability to differentiate’ No’ from ‘Yes’. and his subsequent discovery of Yes when looking at a video camera that initially was very upsetting to him. As well as clear expressive communication to what his needs were at the end of the lesson:  “I want to get down”

Pati Holman

Author Pati Holman

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