Re-creating and teaching ‘happy’

31 Jan

I spoke to the local autism advisor today to get some input on how to teach the child I mentioned who does not know what happy is. We had an interesting conversation. 

First she asked me what the purpose was of him being able to know this. This is a child who cannot follow a picture schedule, or even a schedule with representational objects. This child knows that the word happy is associated with a smile on someone’s face but has no other awareness if what that is, either for himself, or for others.

happiness_boyIf we think for a second about what would be useful for this child, he is one who screams the place down and upsets all the other students. Wouldn’t it be useful if we could teach him how to make himself happy when he is distressed?

This is at a whole new level for me, I have never worked with a child who is quite this low before. It is making my head hurt getting my brain around it!

The plan? She suggested modelling happiness in exaggerated ways,  through physical and video, making a happy book of things that make us happy, to model happiness for him. 

Wow. I will let you know how I get on!

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