Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Sense of Self

When working with a family,  its not uncommon that parents will ask me, "how do I "get" my child to do this, or that.  The entire relationship between the parents and child becomes focused on skill acquision.  While this may help check the boxes off in skills,  what it neglects is helping a child to see the world through relationships...through first their parents eyes.  This sense of self is the foundation for those thinking skills that are intuitive.  When a child can reflect on past experiences in their own mind rather than an adult prompt, this memory encodes for future decisions and experiences. Its the  collaborative moments that give our kids competence, which is WHY RDI focuses on the experience of the interaction and not the task of completion.  This competence comes from developing a sense of self...  being able to pull from your past an experience that is simular to a current situation, and being able to navigate through because of this reflection.  At the very core, an infant who touches a hot stove encodes that this is something they dont want to repeat.  Those of us not on the spectrum do this effortlessly.  Those on the spectrum struggle with this hindsight, and foresight and how to use it in their life.  Imagine for a moment if you couldnt think about past experiences in an emotional sense... That when you looked at pictures you saw information and not experiences.  For example, we all relive our vacations through video and pictures.  While we watch we smile, laugh, and it brings us back to those moments.  This is our sense of self...  and why many on the spectrum will look at pictures,  even if they are in the picture they will label the "facts" of what is happening or the items in the picture.

Below Dr Sheely explains why the sense of self is so important, and why we need to continue to be diligent to change the narrative...  Skills arent bad, but with out a sense of self, a child stalls within their understanding.  I hear this all the time as parents of tweens and older call me.  Social skills work on trying to help a child with communication with adults and peers...but without a healthy sense of self each skill needs to be taught in isolation and then generalization is difficult.

Do you feel as though you are doing all the thinking for your child?  They dont do alot without being prompted?  Or every day they have the same behaviors, make the same errors, or want the day to have as little variations in it as possible. They are only seeing the world thru their eyes!

Lets get them back on track together through RDI!

Watch the video here from Dr Sheely
and here is the transcript...
I wanted to bring up something that I think we forget sometimes in the field of autism and we become so concerned about the relationships between parents and children and the relationships with children with each other and that kind of thing, that we forget a huge problem in the field of autism is the relationship with self.
And I want to bring that up because if we’re always looking outward and we’re not thinking about the development of Dynamic Intelligence, we are overlooking the importance of the relationship each of us has with ourselves. When we’re talking about having the parents do this work with their children it replicates what happens into typical development. And in a nutshell, typical development, the child, the baby, begin to see the world through the parents eyes. And in seeing the world through their parents eyes they then begin to see the world through their own eyes. We see that, you know we see that with kind of running away and coming back in the individualization.
The reason why we have to go back and we have to make the children better apprentices with their children is that in autism, instead of seeing the world through their parents eyes first, the children see the world through their own eyes first. But when a infant gets a perspective on the world, the reason why the infant gets it is because they are becoming good observers and natural imitators of their parents. And it’s that way they learn to kind of navigate the world around them. And you can see when we see children in very extreme examples maybe look at a fan or want to close doors or they are still into that stability maintaining mode. They are not seeing how their parents see the world. They are only seeing it through this idiosyncratic way