Beginning A Therapeutic Relationship
With A Child
I approach all children in a similar way...as a playmate and a friend; as an entertainer and an audience. I use my experienced senses to watch, listen and get a feel for the child's rhythm and vibe. I offer some possible play ideas and welcome each child's ideas with an open mind and a positive perspective.
The children are surprised; they seem to suspect it's a trick.
The Moms are surprised (and are often confused, at least for the first few sessions...until they GET IT).
Get WHAT? Get the value of forming a genuine relationship that gets kids motivated to learn and communicate in a fun, easy way. There are very few struggles. There is very little hand-over-hand prompting. There is instead a gentle coaxing and the lure of enjoyable engagement.
Kids like my open mind and positive perspective. It makes them know that I GET THEM, and they feel their inner star shining; they feel recognized, proud and appreciated.
This morning I walked into a house to find a little boy playing away from his little table, where he had left a large piece of his french toast floating in a puddle of milk on his plate. His see-through green plastic glass was next to the french toast, upside down on the plate, with its rim hidden under the milk.
I examined it and said, "Wow! I like the french toast island that's here in the milky sea, with the cup mountain." And added, "This is great!"
At first he looked startled and then smiled; he realized that I got him, and appreciated his creativity. I described a vision that he had a glimpse of earlier, even though it had been an afterthought of his playing with his breakfast.
His mother smiled as I gingerly handed her the plate full of milk. She then said to him, "John, don't you wish I saw things the same way Noelle does?" John just grinned back at his mom, and then said, "Yeah."
I'm Noelle Michaels, speech and learning specialist, and I truly love my job!
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And...if you need help or advice, please contact me!
Noelle Michaels, MA, CCC-SLP, LDT-C
Bilingual Speech Language Pathologist
Special Educator & Learning Specialist