Sunday, June 14, 2009

In Praise...

Dr. Ken was to provide me with consultation for the next 10 years. As with most autistic children, treatment is ongoing. New situations evoke new or for that matter old behaviors which need to be addressed. Dr. Ken's advice was to make me a better person, able to understand behaviors of all children. I have applied his advice many times over with positive results. I am not saying that I always agreed with Dr. Ken and he would be the first to say otherwise. I became his "devil's advocate" as much as he became my "savior". I was able to help other children because of my experience under Dr. Ken as well as despite of it. I like to think that I was able to acquire a deeper level of intuitive understanding and apply it.

"Behavior Modification" conjures up more debates in this society than not. I believe that there is much to learn and that it provides many tools that parents should have in there "toolbox". People believe it is a cold application and negates where children are on a developmental level. I like the way it cuts to the chase. Is the behavior appropriate or not? If not, talking about how it is not can be highly overrated and I guess I will be taken to task for saying so.

Dr. Ken used to say that the biggest mistake is to be constantly on a child to do the appropriate thing. Children will behave appropriately many times and it is up to us to acknowledge this to the child - "catch them when they're good". Balance of "catching them when they're good" and addressing inappropriate behavior is really the basis of success. Deep rooted in this is consistency.

I have always believed that children are a gift and should be granted respect from birth. There simply is no future without them. Rules in my house have always been realistic and expected. Children know where they stand in my company. Appropriate behavior gets praise, smiles, hugs, enjoyment, play...you name it. Inappropriate behavior results in consequences. Pure and simple and for the most part, guess what children will choose?

God bless the children, sometimes they understand it better than the adults...

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