Last evening our center hosted 2 child therapists from SCEP who came to teach us some of their ways of communicating with young children. SCEP is a play based center working with children who may have some language delays. It's full name is the Society for Children with Communication and Emotional Problems, and was founded by Dr. Elizabeth Brandt, who was a speech and language pathologist.
I love their work, and have attended several of their workshops over the years. Much of their work with children and parents is based on the work of Dr. Haim Ginott.
Everything they do at SCEP is based on respect for the child and seeing things from the child's perspective.
I came away with some new plans for my work. I plan to use more visual ways of predicting transitions for my children, such as "prediction boards". So I'll take photos of my kids in various activities, and create some visual cues. Some simple one's I plan on are: Preparing for lunch, showing each step, such as cleaning up, washing, etc. ; Nap time routine; Dressing for outside play. I think these will be useful, as I have very young children (2 1/2 to 3)
Another new idea I have just learned are "Social Stories", so I'm excited about learning more, and making some of these for my kids
Following is one of my favourite quotes from Dr. Ginott:
"I've come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It's my personal approach that creates the climate. It's my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized."