Have you worked with autistic kids? I'd like to develop better skills for interacting with autistic kids and getting them to play. We have a family that comes to our hoop jam, an older couple with a teenage son, and I think they are in crisis. The mother hovers over her son, constantly taking his hands off things and allowing him no independence at all. She becomes frustrated and screams at him and her husband until the boy simply takes off running away from her. He's going to get hurt or her elderly husband is going to get hurt trying to chase him down. It's pretty hard to witness. I suspect she is a burnt out care giver. If I had more skills interacting with her son, the jam could be a respite for all of them. Does anyone have any advice?
I've worked with kids with Aspbergers but this young man is in a much different place on that scale. I think his mother is afraid he might hit or throw things. Maybe that's why she hovers so.
I have contacted a member of our drum circle who works with autistic kids and he is going to casually introduce himself and tell her about his work and some respite programs that would give the young man some independent time and give this mom some free time as well. In the meantime, I want them to be happy and comfortable at our hoop jams and I think being able to be who her son needs me to be is the way to do that. Does anyone have any advice?
(I've checked out other threads here from 2010 but they had a lot of people who were interested in the topic but very little advice.)
I'd appreciate any help you could give me and I promise to share my progress too if I'm able to make any.
Thank you Lovely! I got your email also, I just haven't had a chance to answer it. I was planning to make you a little tutorial this weekend about smoothing out your barrel rolls but I've had this foot injury that makes it impossible to do that move til it's healed. It seems much better today though. Hopefully it is healed enough to allow me to shoot it in the next few days. (I'm trying not to rush it. I often re-injure myself by rushing back into fun too soon.)
Your son is cute! Tell him he looks like one of the Blues Brothers.
I'll check out this book. Thanks for recommending it. Those are good questions to ask too. I'm going to make myself a little note to take along on Wednesday. I hope they come back. I feel like last week was kind of traumatic for all of them. They've come many other times without incident but last week that poor mom was just kinda losing it. She yelled at her son and her husband for 15 minutes straight! It was this awful high-pitched shrieking. I was very close to using my camera to capture it so that I could show it to her. I can't help but think she's not really aware how that makes everything worse. But I don't want to alienate her either or make her feel judged or like she doesn't want to come back. I feel like that family needs our hoop family. I'm going to tread as delicately as I can.
Yikes--that's so hard to hear about the stressed-out mother...I can only hope that with all of the Autism awareness we have today that we did not used to, that there would be some kind of emotional support somewhere for a family, be it recreational or clinical or whatever. I've also been in that place of wanting to connect and help but not knowing how. Where to put that empathy. Sigh.
Sometimes these kids have regressions. They can be doing so well, then lose ground. So hard to adjust for the families. That could be a possibility.
Thanks for your kind words! Please be well...and healing mercies for your foot!
Please dont video her, that would probally mortify her. We all have bad days, she may have had something stressful happen to her or her son and just wasnt reacting well. Being a parent is a juggling act, being one of autistic kids is like juggling, hooping and riding a unicyle all at once. She probally knows that she overreacted. Its easy to do when pushed so hard every day to get everything right. Somedays its like being an octopus, you have to have a million hands just to visit the grocery store. Yeah, sometimes it can make it worse when you overreact like that with autistic kids. They feed off whatever energy you give them. She needs love and acceptance in the highest form.
Great advice about the sensory cues! Check on that Caroleena, is the park near a road, loud things, such as cars, machinery? What about music? Some kids have sensory issues where these things can agitate them severely. Some kids may not like to be touched, while on the other hand, some love hugs and deep pressure massage.
The park is somewhat isolated but there is a drum circle at the center of it. He has drummed occasionally and used other percussion instruments. Always with his mom hanging over his shoulder though.
Inspiring to hear he was drumming!
Well--I dug out my book because I hadn't spent time in it for awhile, and realized there is a small essay called 'Cycles and Circles' on one of the first pages! The author is referencing the poet laureate of the state of Nebraska (John Neihardt) recording the Sioux nation leader Black Elk in 1930:
"You have noticed...that everything an Indian does is in a circle and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back to...the sacred, unbroken round hoop." It says "HOOP"!
Looking over this book, I am not sure it is the best resource, I am sure there are better, but this has a lot of warmth and candor and widom pulled from many sources. I still can't believe I turned to page 15 and saw HOOP. Hoop! Too funny. A bit off-topic, so call this a post-script :)
Native American First People have been hooping for thousands of years. There is a petroglyph in Dry Fork Canyon, Utah, of a dancer with a hoop on his waist that is 1,200 years old. The word hoop comes up in many of their stories and is used to represent wholeness, cycles, and the earth. Especially in Black Elk's writings.
Yay! I think I have new-hooper-serendipity-itis. Like when you learn a new word and you see it everywhere. I had to look up 'petroglyph'. Cool!
Here is a link to a photo of it on my facebook page. I detailed the story as well as we know it also. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1259770788655&set=a.102...
Thanks for the link--unfortunately (maybe b/c I don't have FB?) there was a 'Content Unavailable' prompt:
Hmmmmm. Maybe because we're not friends there? My name is listed as Carolyn Mabry there. (They won't let me list Caroleeena, even though it's been my nickname for years, because it has three "e"'s. Facebook....)
Here is a photo of that petroglyph from my album here. Hopefully it will work: http://www.hoopcity.ca/photo/hoop-petroglyph?context=user