Saturday, March 7, 2009

Slowing down

Those of us who are working with an RDI(r) Program Certified Consultant are learning to be mindful to SLOW DOWN with a child on the autism spectrum, in order to give our children opportunities to process more information with fewer repeats and reminders and prompts, to give our children experience in gathering their own information, taking their own actions in response.

I heard Dr. Becky Bailey speak today about her program, "Conscious Discipline", and during her presentation, she said something that I have never heard, and something that re-emphasizes for me the need to SLOW DOWN. She said that young children process information 12 times slower than adults, and that 11 and 12 year old children process information five times slower than adults. She was referring to "nt" children (nt = neurotypically development, which in the autism world, usually means "not autistic").

She asked us how many of us as parents and teachers have repeated and repeated information and instructions, growing more and more frustrated with every spoken word, because our children (students) weren't responding quickly enough? (Everyone in the audience raised a hand.)

She told us that the message we are sending to our children when we do that is quite negative, and she encouraged us to slow down and to remember that our children do not process information at the same speed as an adult.

Food for thought.

2 comments:

The Glasers said...

It makes me ache for all of the children trapped in ABA, forced to respond so quickly no thought is involved. It must be discouraging and overwhelming all at the same time.

poohder said...

It is so wonderful to finally get a
NUMBER for the difference. I had no idea the difference between children and adults processing was this vast.

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