How Early It Starts


How Early It Starts

Hi, My Name is Erin and I will be blogging on Thursdays. I have been working at Horizons for a little over a year now. I started as the Speech/Language Pathologist at Horizons and have recently become one of the RDI(tm)Program Certified Consultants on staff. I love working at Horizons and enjoy all of my time with the children and families there.

A little about myself: I am single with no children, but have lots of children in my life to keep perspective on neurotypical development. In addition to working at Horizons I am a speech/language pathologist and autism teacher consultant for a local school district so I spend my days surrounded by children. Having said this some of my posts will relate to the things I see or deal with in school in relation to children on the autism spectrum or RDI in relation to school.

So on to my story for this week. In the lounge at school one day this week one of the teachers was talking about his son and what was really important as far as creating a “meltdown.” Another teacher chimed in with how early real and fake distress begins and how quickly children pick up on using this technique. He was talking about his 18 month old son and how he will decide when a crying fit is appropriate. His son will throw himself to the ground, peer out of the corner of his eye to see if anyone is watching and then will proceed to cry and carry on until the audience is gone, he gets what he wants or he is told to stop. We were then just chatting about how early children figure out this tactic of using crying to get your way, but it only works if someone is willing to listen and play into it. This made me think of all those times I’ve seen children in stores, church, or even at school who will throw little fits, but as soon as no-one responds the fit magically stops. I thought about this in relation to our nonverbal language and what our “body language” is conveying. If we as adults don’t seem to be affected/stressed by the crying then most children will eventually give it up and learn that there is a more effective way to convey dissapointment, frustration or stress. So the next time this happens to you just take a breath and think about what your nonverbal language may be conveying.

Until next week,



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