Fun and Functional Therapy
Choose your battles. But, when you chose it, win. Ok, easier said than done. But, let me give a manageable example: You want your child to follow simple directions in the daily routine. However, you often find you’re either repeating yourself until you’re angry or just doing it yourself. This common struggle is actually a learning opportunity. It can start simply. You say, “5 more minutes of TV. Then, it’s time to read a book.” Demonstrate you mean it by setting the timer when you say it. (There is a handy timer on your smartphone) When the timer goes off, prompt your child to turn off the TV. If they don’t, then you walk over and do it yourself. No discussion. You just taught your child to respect boundaries, anticipate future events,and follow directions. You are also teaching time concepts including time management.
If they are upset, it’s ok. Use words to acknowledge their frustration or disappointment by providing the vocabulary and a strategy to self-soothe. Example, “I see you’re frustrated that it’s time to turn off the television. It’s ok to be frustrated. Why don’t you take a deep breath and choose a book in your room.” If they need assistance with the transition, a choice of books may be helpful. The bonus learning opportunity is emotional control, vocabulary, and the ability to self-soothe.
*visual schedules like the one pictured are available to print online. They are a great visual addition to our words to assist the routine. (It’s a strategy similar to adults checking the calendar or to-do list to stay on track)
Please share any simple strategies that work in your home.
Lauren Norwood M.Ed. CCC-SLP Certified Speech Language Pathologist American Hippotherapy Association Level 1
Lauren B. Norwood