Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Relaxation game.

Okay, one of my biggest challenges in life is my rigid thinking and inability to be "naturally flexible" in regards to my immediate reaction to stress.  I  react, and then think, which has not always worked out well for me.  My child is very much the same and has spent a large portion of his school career learning "flexible thinking".  This is mostly a good thing, I think.  "Mostly", because I think it's a good skill to have, obviously.  I just am not sure that it's always taught with respect for his neurology and is often taught at the expense of what I am trying to teach him in regards to self advocacy.
One of his therapists suggested a game that I thought was pretty awesome.  It's a regular old ball and she wrote different phrases like "Find a happy place" or "Take a deep breath" to help him practice relaxation techniques.  We toss the ball back and forth and wherever his right thumb lands is the "relaxation" that he needs to practice.  
I wanted to do this game at home with him, but I changed it up a bit to include some important self advocacy skills.  Like, "Say or sign "NO!" and "Think of a way to ask for a break!".   So, we did it and he LOVES it.  My personal favorite is "LOUD HANDS!" because he sure loves his loud hands!   I think that you could customize this ball to your individual child's needs, and even use PECS cards or pictures.  I used words because my child happens to be hyperlexic and words and reading are big motivators for him.  Anyway, I wanted to share some pictures, and yes, the "WILD card" is the Ice King from "Adventure Time" because our house is totally inappropriate.