Our RPM exploration has inspired me to pursue a structured activity not completely centered around Joaquin’s interests. He’s ready and the guiding team is cheering me on.
facilitating social development
Our autistic son blossomed—organically developing fundamental learning and social communication skills—thanks to a play therapy program I ran at home using principles from the Son-Rise program, and neurodevelopment essentials from the Anat Baniel Method. Here I share some techniques, activities, and videos of our team facilitating developmental goals through purposeful play.
In this game our superhero gave great advice to pretend kids dealing with uncomfortable emotions. Some missions also gave us a chance to practice complex imitation.
From our last outreach with Aaron DeLand, these videos show Joaquin practicing complex imitation while playing. The guys went to space again, rehearsed scenes for our next film, and had tons of fun as usual.
Resources I created to help our volunteers magnify their motivation and impact before each play session, and assess their facilitation skills within our program's curriculum.
I used ABM’s essential of subtlety to help Joaquin perceive non-verbal communication, and he surprised me spontaneously deciding to perform charades for me.
Interactive loop games are perfect to pursue subtle related variation. Here I offer several ideas around a turn-taking game for my team of Son-Rise volunteers.
It looks like they’ve been friends for a while and she’s facilitated social goals for years. But it’s Erin’s first solo session and she’s only had 1 hour of feedback training!
This video shows Aaron motivating Kiki to perceive and practice following somebody else’s eyes. He is playful and consistent and Kiki quickly starts to get it.
Choosing love and ease in order to connect with Kiki while joining him in one of his repetitive activities.
Life examples of how ABM's 1st essential propelled us with sustained eye contact, verbal context in communication breakdowns, and understanding of emotions.
A tweak to our Son-Rise program replacing requests by opportunities for spontaneous action. In these videos, Aaron’s playfulness alone motivates Kiki to imitate him.
Becoming aware and reversing the "mental no" and minimal response I give to Kiki's crazy and repetitive comments to give joy a chance and connect deeply with him.
A fun game designed around Joaquin’s interest for shopping that motivated him to practice non-verbal communication.
Disconnecting is not of lesser value than being interactive; just one more way of being in the moment, and it has a purpose for autistic individuals and everybody else.
A playroom game that motivated Kiki to stretch his attention span, body coordination, and physical interaction.
Playing with Kiki while holding the intention to use daring actions to build motivation for myself or for variations around repetitive activities or conversations.
A fun moment playing with Melissa, Joaquin’s friend and one of our Son-Rise program volunteers.
In this game, inspired by Kiki’s new motivation to get traffic tickets, my little bollito stretched himself sustaining eye contact.
A game designed to help Kiki have fun interacting with a new friend on her first day in our playroom.
Joaquin is not a big guesser; he usually wants us to give him the answers without delay. So I prepared a fun game to motivate him to practice guessing.
From the trenches of our Son-Rise bubble, here are the highlights shared with friends, family, and our son-Rise community during our 5th month in the program.
Videos illustrating several Son-Rise techniques during a game we played to develop Joaquin’s verbal communication from single words to 2 to 3-word sentences.