Thursday, April 1, 2010

Let me out of this classroom!

Continuing on this theme of Jaedon's teachings....

Today, one of our new volunteers went into the playroom with Jaedon.  Jaedon had just asked me for nuts and I shared with him that we didn't have any, but that I would get him some grapes.  While in the kitchen, I could hear Jay in the playroom protesting vehemently, sometimes screaming, sometimes crying.  As I brought the grapes up to the volunteer, I did a quick check in with her.  She had not experienced Jay crying before and we hadn't yet talked about strategies to deal with crying.  She shared that she felt somehow the crying was her fault.  I quickly encouraged her to see crying in some different ways, told her Jay wanted nuts and we had none, gave her the grapes and left.  They were together for about 45 minutes before I called her for some feedback.

Much of my journey with Jay feels like a cycle of him doing something, I get uncomfortable, I explore, I get comfortable, he does something else.... Well, I don't get uncomfortable about everything he does.  Things fall in categories and I become comfortable about much of the variations within the category... but there are always variations I don't expect and of course, new categories.  Some days, I just want it all to stop.  Enough with the new things!  Haven't I grown and questioned enough?  Apparently not.

Iris commented on last week's post

Being a student about beliefs, I want to point out something you wrote above: "Initially, Jaedon seems to interact with them strongly, almost showing them how much fun their time could be. At some point, they will each get to see the powerful reflecting image too". Do you see the words "initially, almost, could, at some point". What are the beliefs that you are selling here? How come? How useful is it for you, Jeadon and your team?

As I think about the questions, the first set of thoughts are disorganized around the theme of fear.  I'm no longer afraid of Jaedon's future.  I am afraid that the volunteers will not continue to move themselves from discomfort to comfort as they encounter various behaviors.  Jaedon is a charmer. Hardly anyone meets him without falling in love.  I feel like falling in love is fleeting and I don't know if they have the stamina to stay in love.  Seems like I think loving takes stamina...hmmm.  I still find some behaviors challenging (like the new behavior of collecting spit in his mouth until his cheeks puff out ... followed by bursting into giggles) and am constantly reformulating the beliefs I have (he's not regressing, he's finding a way to strengthen the muscle tone in his mouth area). I am constantly widening my Platform of Acceptance. I'm afraid they won't stick with the challenge, to figure it out.

It's funny, I spent maybe 20 minutes talking with this volunteer, helping her explore some of her discomfort.  After 2 sessions with Jay, she was both eager and unsure.  A younger relative of hers has autism and her interactions with him are different from what I'm teaching her to do with Jay.  She was uncertain of her ability to 'get it'.  I think she was ready to pack it in.

Amidst the beliefs about volunteers and their tenacity, I have clarified a few anchoring beliefs.  They help keep me sane while I work on everything.  This idea of Jaedon being the teacher is one of those.  I am definitely in the classroom.  I encouraged her that if she wanted to get it, we would both take it a step at a time, and that Jaedon would help her.

Today, I worked with 4 of our 5 new volunteers at different times. I had many opportunities to worry about them and all their possible stuff.  Instead I decided that they were all learning, as am I.  Everything is part of the learning. I have learned to feel comfortable with Jay running out of the playroom, or down the stairs or screaming or poop accidents. Today I was learning to be comfortable with someone else learning.  I was learning to let go of my desire to script another person's learning process to ensure that the outcome is what I want.  After all is said, either a volunteer becomes comfortable with something or they don't, but I don't have to stand at this point, projecting to their discomfort and choosing discomfort.

Iris, I'm sure there is more here, but this is my brain dump of today.  By next week, I should have taken some time to talk about/explore my spit issues and why the dickens it should be more significant to me than poop!  I'll tell you what I discover!

1 comment:

  1. Faith, one of the things that occurs to me is that when we find ourselves experiencing various versions of the same fear repeatedly, it can be the result of chasing a symptom rather than a root cause.

    For example, one of the root causes I found for myself was the belief that I somehow wouldn't be enough to handle whatever came along. In the absence of recognizing that one, I would chase down every potential problem that came to mind and convince myself that I could handle each one, one at a time. It worked in the specific, but not generally.

    I guess the thing is to find the common theme among the fears and then address the common thread.

    What do you think?


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