Just in time for the start of school Gavin Bollard has a two part series on “Less Confrontational Strategies for Approaching Children with Aspergers Syndrome” and “Less Confrontational Strategies for Approaching Children with Asperger’s Syndrome during a Meltdown Event”.
I love Mr. Bollard’s practical approach. I also liked that he started with how to approach and Aspie child in everyday situations rather then during the meltdown. This emphasizes a place we as teachers and parents have power – learning to honor who our children/students are and make an effort to meet them on their own turf. As any reader here will know that I do encourage teaching your Aspie child to bridge the gap to the nuerotypical world, I also think it is important and very useful to learn to bridge the gap back. I am working to not only incorporating these practices in my own interactions with my son but also in my recommendations to his IEP team during planning sessions.
For me, the start of school means more opportunities for stress, triggers, conflicts and meltdowns. Because of this, I really appreciated a handy reminder on how to handle meltdowns. Although some of these suggestions are already a part of my auto-response (Make the situation safe, attempt to get the aspie into a stationary position and attempt to get the aspie into a stationary position), I really need to work on re-framing from lecturing, identifying and removing the trigger and co-habit but don’t touch. However, given the emotional pain I feel in association with the melt down what I need to work on most of all is to remember that I am there to mentor which will help me to forgive and move on.