Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Art of communication

"How is Calder these few days?"
A question like this is not difficult to answer, unless Calder is around during the answering. It's the same reason why I don't bring him with me for autism talks anymore. Because unless it's all good news, talking about him would bring up memories of misbehaviour frowned upon. Reminding him of past misbehaviour, beside likely making him sad, is sore temptation to make him repeat that behaviour. Because he gets fixated on whatever is foremost on his mind. That's why if I don't want him to point at people's eyes, it's much more effective to distract him with another activity than to warn him "don't point" or "don't keep laughing" or "no spitting". Recently a fellow parent sent me an article about giving statements as prompts instead of issuing instructions. The writer reasoned that statements give more room for choice and initiative. So this morning, when Calder's school bus had arrived but he's still seated (frozen) at the void deck, it's all I could do not to push him forward. And instead of ordering him "go", I said, "The bus is here." Communicating with Calder (and in his presence) has become a high art indeed.

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