Popping or Kneeling?


Popping or Kneeling?

Last night my husband read me a story from John Ortberg’s book “When the Game is Over It All Goes Back in the Box”. In this book , Ortberg shares two stories. The first is a group of young children all asked to play the game where everyone ties a balloon to their ankle and try to pop the balloons of the other children. The winner is the last one to have an un-popped balloon around his or her ankle. The winner ends up feeling great, but the other’s are left to not like him or her a whole lot and they are all ultimately losers.

The second is a group of children with developmental delays in which the directions are given too quickly and the children get the wrong idea of what is expected. The children see the point of the game as getting all the balloons popped. As one child begins to struggle to pop his own balloon, another kneels down to hold the balloon (nice scaffolding) so he can be successful. At the end all the balloons are popped and the children cheer over their success. Which group is left feeling better about themselves and who got the game right?

My husband and I agreed that it’s important to take these two stories and look at them carefully. Life without competition keeps us from trying our best, yet life without the concept of working together to reach a goal puts us out there to do it on our own and ultimately never winning. There will always be somebody that is better than us and if we function under competition alone, we will fail. Team work is an important element in finding success.

At Horizons, we have a wonderful group of consultants working together to provide the best quality of care for the families we service. If we tried to do it on our own we could still provide services to families, but never to the same quality that we can when working together. We, together as a team, can provide more than we ever could if we tried to do it on our own. If one of us is struggling with how to address an obstacle we’ve run across, the others kneel down to hold the balloon until we are ensured success, which ultimately leads to success for the family we are working with. We could become competitive and see who can move our families through the stages the quickest or who can service the most families each year, but if we approached our work with this mindset, we would only continue to fail, not only ourselves, but also our families. I am so thankful that we work as a team, ensuring success for all families we work with!

The same goes for working with your child with autism. As parents you could become competitive and say “I can do this best on my own” or “I can do RDI better than my spouse” but ultimately for to be successful, a team must be formed. Are you popping each other’s balloon or are working together and kneeling down to the other’s balloon when times get tough? What do you need to do to work as a team and to get others on your team so that you and your child can make the best progress possible?

Until next week,

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