As I was sitting in a training this morning, a particular metaphor about the Social Sensory Cognition Process came into focus for me. As parents, and educators, we work hard to help our children build maps of the social landscape around them. A map of course, is a tool that represents the relationship of things to each other, most often places. The social maps we create for our children is a reference tool for them to look to to avoid dangers that we ourselves have discovered the hard way, and to take the path we hope will lead to happiness which is sometimes but not always the one of least resistance.
But here's the thing.
A map is useless if you can't locate yourself on it.
That, in a nutshell is why the central focus of the processes we use in our social groups is to bring focus to the three social senses that create the possibility for authentic social connection. In other words, the work of the social sensory process is to bring the child's awareness to the space they are present in, and that of those around them.
You can hear me talk ad nauseum about the Social Sensory Process here: http://kidscooperate.com/blog/playdhd
Kids Cooperate director Aaron Weintraub discusses the importance of play, and the Social Sensory Cognition Proces on PlayDHD TV.
Each week in the Kids Cooperate Social Groups, we try a new sensory experience as part of the Social Sensory Cognition Process. This week, Passion Fruit...
In group we have been working towards a theory of understanding why we, and other people do what they do. This is important work towards developing a Theory of Mind, the ability to understand that others see the world in ways that are different, but equally valid to our own.
Listen. Process. Do.
The Social Sensory Cognition Process that we use at Kids Cooperate is about guiding children to an integrated sensory experience that opens a space for real connection.
sometimes look for answers where it is easiest, not where they are most likely to be found.
For children on the Autism Spectrum, learning to recognize the difference between the voice of the gut and mind is important to making sound decisions.
Each session the children and young adults in the Kids Cooperate social skills groups are asked to consider the structure, function, and meaning of the mind.
I had the opportunity to be interviewed by PlayDHD about the Social Sensory Cognition Process.
Kids Cooperate offers innovative, affordable, and effective social skills groups for children and young adults on the Autism Spectrum, with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, ADHD, and shyness to families in Mansfield CT.
We work with school based clinicians, developmental pediatricians, primary care physicians, and your special education support team in Mansfield, C to provide comprehensive services including therapeutic social skills groups, behavioral consulting/support, and transition services for independent living.
Contact us today for a free consultation! (860) 576-9506.
Autism services in Tolland county getting some press! http://tolland.patch.com/articles/creating-a-network-of-spectrum-services-in-tolland-county
Autism is a way of being. It encounters every aspect of existence. - Jim Sinclair
Get out and vote today! Take your kiddo if possible.
You are a parent of a child on the Autism Spectrum. You know storms. You prepare for and handle emotional nor'easters several times a day, but the approach of Hurricane Sandy offers new challenges. Children on the spectrum often find overwhelming sensory experiences and unexpected changes to schedule challenging to cope with, so if Sandy hits us as expected, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Here are three tips to prepare:
1. Make a plan: Create a simple plan for preparedness for your child. Use pictures and simple drawings if your child is a visual learner. Avoid "worst case scenarios" if possible. Focus on the possible challenges in a simple "IF THIS, THAN THAT" format. For example, if the water shuts off, we drink bottled water.
2. Prepare sensory comfort objects: If you have a battery powered stereo, make a CD of some familiar and comforting songs that can be played over strong wind and rain. Create a mantra and repeat it often such as, "a little wind never hurt anyone!". Know where your child's comfort items are such as stuffed animals and blankets.
3. Keep calm, carry on: You are your child's best barometer. If they sense your fear and panic, they will feel it keenly. Use self care techniques, breathe deep. Take what you get.
I remember the feeling as both dread and elation. "I am going about this all wrong." I was about a year into my job as director of Kids Cooperate, running social skills support groups for children and young adults on the Autism Spectrum, and I had just realized that the conventional wisdom about social skills training needed to be turned on its head.