Non verbal communication
I continue to stand amazed at the power of using non verbal communication. I was just watching a tape of a family in their assessment from six months ago in which they talked a lot. As a response their child would do one of two things – repeat it or get up and do what he was just told to do. In either situation, the mind of that child was not being pushed to think beyond responding. The communication was inappropriate and carried no meaning.
Now six months later as the family as integrated much non-verbal communication into their lifestyle, the child is relaxed in the silence. When we first started using non-verbals with him, he would cry and whine or just start talking about anything just to fill the silence of the room. He wasn’t used to it and didn’t know what to do. Now he is much more regulated and often uses much more appropriate language. There is still more work to be done, but it is amazing to me how when the words are gone, he begins to look around the room and discover what is around him. He has time to think and observe without having to constantly process what is being said to him. He is more attentive to his parents because he isn’t able to get information from them any other way. He is sharing with them many more smiles and references when uncertain. His mind is now being pushed as he has to determine what having your hand out means. Is my mom looking for a hand slap or is there something in the room she might want handed to her? Often the hand slap happens first and when the hand stays out, he begins to look around to see what else might need to happen. The mind is working, processing is taking place and awareness of his environment is expanding. Simply amazing!
It is so easy to slip back into the world of talking, guiding through words, telling your child what to do etc… If you have found yourself talking a lot again, or if you haven’t tried offering a non verbal environment to your child, give it a try. It may be very hard on your child at first, but what begins to evolve is amazing. If you are a classroom teacher, try implementing a quieter atmosphere for your students. Watch and see what happens!
Enjoy the last days of summer and until next week,