Your Asperger Child: The Ten Commandments of Crisis Intervention
- Have a calm voice and demeanor, but convey firmness.
- Make it clear to the child that you are in control; don't plead or make second requests.
- Help the child to see you as a problem solver. Let him know that you are aware of how difficult the situation is for him. Tell him your job is to help with this difficulty. Explain clearly that your help does not mean avoiding the situation or doing it for the child, but rather helping him to do it. E.g., "You have a problem and I am here to help you solve it."
- Stay on topic during the crisis. The child may bring up extraneous or unrelated issues to try to justify his behavior.
- Ignore or interrupt irrelevant comments. Respond with: "That doesn't make sense, I can't pay attention to that," or "That is off the topic, so I will have to ignore what you are saying," or "I can't help you with your problem while you are talking nonsense."
- Say what you mean and mean what you say at all times during the crisis.
- Keep your goal in mind as you go through the crisis intervention steps: creating new rules for responding in the future.
- A step isn't completed until the child has given you his verbal consent to the conditions of the step. Be prepared to repeat steps if additional meltdowns occur before moving on to the next step.
- Allow the child, whenever possible, to make choices as you move through the crisis intervention steps; however, do not offer choices if they would compromise what you are trying to achieve.
- Practice/rehearse what has been decided as the appropriate solution to the problem; this may involve completing an activity or sabotage, accepting a change, or restoring the environment after a meltdown.
More on: Asperger's Syndrome
From Parenting Your Asperger Child by Alan Sohn, Ed.D., and Cathy Grayson, M.A. Copyright © 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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