Trimming his hair during the weekend, his hair grow so fast. Looking at him sitting there reminds me how hard it was few years back.
Long time ago when he was younger, having to bring him to to get his hair cut has always been a challenge.It was easier to cut/trimmed his hair when he was younger but as he was bigger, I am afraid Im going to give him a bad hair cut (which i did) and its troublesome to do hair cut at home.
The Sensory Problem
Our first attempt to get him a hair cut was at a salon when he was 6 or 7 years old. I thought bringing him to a salon, lady stylist will be a good help instead he had a meltdown, scream and tried to throw a chair.Having sensory problem makes him hates of the sound of the electronic hair trimmer.The smells of shampoo, hair dye and lots of liquid items related to hair treatment can probably affected their sensory.Some salon has lots of picture, decor, color that are very attractive but too striking for those with sensory problem. So I had to continue giving him hair cut at home while he watches the tv or use handphone for distraction.
The Environment and Location
Probably at the age of 10, we decided to bring him to a barber shop, the barber was an old man and the shop were very quite and not many people at the time. When he was sitting down, i remember my heart beat so fast and I prayed that he will sit still…and yes he did. It was a success!After the success story, we continue to get his hair cut at the same barber shop and even if the shop were full, we will patiently wait for our turn.Why he prefer barber than salon? The answer is..the environment …not much smell..not much visual distraction…its just plain SIMPLE.
Little Step at a Time
So yes that struggle is real but little step we make and the little step they take is a victory.
Not like before going to the same barber shop, now we can choose any barber shop convenient, as long as its a barber shop.
For parents with special needs, why dont you share with me your child’s hair cut experience.
Looking back 16 years ago when i became a mom to a cute 3.15kg baby boy. I was still in the operation room half ceaser. Its was a scary moment when i heard doctors talking to each other “the baby not crying!” faster..do something”! I heard foot step running..and within 10 minute i can hear a baby crying. I was relieved, everyone was relieved. My baby boy is so chubby and i remember his smell the first time i hold him..smell so nice. My Sean Matthew is my first born…and thats is the start of my journey of being a mother.
Something is not right
First time having a baby of my own but not a first time taking care of baby. We are the generations who become nanny to our relatives, taking care of our younger cousins during school holiday.
There is something not right when a child became too active, too sensitive and doesnt want to play with other kids. As a mother this worries me.
I know I have to do something, even though I was being denial. Just imagine when you are in a party, he will just scream just because he dont get what he wants or scream and lie down on the floor in a restaurant because he thought the people in front was looking and talking about him. That is just a two examples of many situations we faced.
It was embarrasing, stressful and i might be into depression (didnt get myself check). As i know its not normal to have feeling to jump from my 2nd floor apartment, crying without reason and became worse after my second child was born. I was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted.
The Blaming Game
The cozy home became war zone. Love became hate. There are nothing good to see anymore, everything focus on the bad and the wrong.
Then I wanted to do something different, i want to change!we want change!
To understand something you need to learn about it. Mr. Google has become my good buddy and references. Seeking informormation and knowledge from parenting, special needs and self development. How to control stress? understand emotions….and how to be a good mother?…”change anything you want to be with NLP”.
I packed my bag and took my NS-NLP Certification in KL for 7 days in 2010. Its a complicated things but i slowly understood the way it works once i applied it in my life..to myself and my family.
I didnt stop learning, attending seminar and courses related to special needs and children to be general. Outdoor Play and Certified Teacher Yoga for Kids.
After attended seminars, I then realized there are NLP technique being used in other therapy but the only different is the terms they used.
I did my own research and applied it my son, from how to control his tantrum/meltdown, how to relax, how to get ready for big event and so on.
There are so many Certified NLP Trainers in Malaysia and even Master NLP Trainer in Sabah. I am not sure how many can use their NLP knkwledge to help you as what i did is all through my own experience.
Do check out this Tips to get Autism ready for social gathering.
Should you need my assistant, please do not be hesitate to email me at email@example.com
Everyone know what is communication and why we communicate, in general to convey message and making sure the receiver received and understand the message. You are receiving my message while reading this article.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR ROLES, RESPONSIBILITIES AND YOUR CLIENTS
As a Teacher, your roles are more than a ‘Teacher’. Students and Parents are your main clients. For parents, you are the first person they asked advice from or someone they turned to if they want to share something about their child because you are with their child most of the time at school.
For students, you are more than a Teacher who provides education, you provide protection, support, encouragement, love and care. You are their older sister/brother or even as their parents. You carry lots of responsibilities in your daily duties. Be proud of it!
WE ARE FULL OF EMOTIONS
Yes we are human, we are not perfect. We are full of emotions and everyday we are facing with lots of ups and downs. Remember not only you have lots of stuff going on in your mind…kids do too.
WHAT IS GOING ON INSIDE OUR MIND
BEFORE YOU START YOUR DAY
Before you start your day. Inhale, exhale and be thankful. Keep yourself calm and enjoy the day.
Remember the 5 basic needs, each and everyone of us need these basic needs to get ready to learn. Every child need to be seen, heard, need to be respected, need to feel belong and therefore they will be ready to learn.
HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR STUDENTS
You are not just dealing with any typical students, you are dealing with ‘special needs students’. You might have observe each students and you are fully understood that each students are different but the one thing that is similar are they are fragile. Looks like they don’t understand you but they do have feelings, they heard and understand whenever you talking about them. They don’t want sympathy they want empathy. They want you to show them you CARE and LOVE them.
Always remember to listen to them, look at their eyes, mirror them and speak their language. Observes their action, their needs. The more you observe, the more you be able to understand them. Have vision on them and asked them their vision. Show them empathy, they want to feel that you understand them, that will make them feel secure and safe.
Handling kids are never easy, handling special needs need special teacher like you. Be calm, keep calm because that is the only weapon that helps you go through their mind. Acknowledge them and use their names when you are talking to them. Recognize their ability, even the small things makes a big different. Always encourage them, for the job well done. Even when they fail, keep on encouraging on what they can improve.
DON’T JUDGE THE PARENTS FOR THEIR CHILD’S BEHAVIOR
We use to judge parents when their child behave badly especially in public. I believe this happened in school too, whenever there is a naughty student we assume the behavior must be from home.
I would have think the same before but when my kids are in school I seen some differences, things I didn’t teach from home, things I don’t want them to say, its all there in the package.
...”Over the years, I’ve learned that child behavior is not as cut and dry as I once might’ve believed. Some kids aren’t born with a “don’t hit” and “be gentle” button, and it takes time to nurture those things. No two children are alike, and having a son that hits and bites is further confirmation of that fact. And while before I was a seasoned parent, I thought the only thing that resulted from good parenting was kind and obedient children, now I know otherwise. In fact, I’ve met plenty of wonderful parents over the years with kids who seem like they go out looking for trouble. I’ve come to believe that it’s one of the great lessons of parenting—that you can’t control everything your children do”.-Sarah Bregel- Parenting.com
…”Once kids reach school age (and for many of us, even sooner) they are away from us many hours a day. We have less control over the things—and people, and behaviors—they latch onto. Of course, it’s always important to take note of, and work to curb, any undesirable qualities that pop up, but being away from parents is a good thing. It gives kids room to grow and explore in new ways. We will still be the most influential people in our children’s lives, and inevitably they’ll pick up some of our mannerisms, ideas, habits, prejudices, and talents. But they don’t have to be—shouldn’t be—our mirror image…” Peggy Drexler Ph.D. – PsychologyToday.com
Imagine those parents with special needs child like me, we face challenges in managing our child’s behavior. There are times we can’t control them and they themselves unable to control what they experiencing, remember they are SPECIAL, they have sensory integration issues.
Parents are already stress, not that they don’t do their work but they are things beyond their control. If you focus on the parents too much you are will not be able to focus on the child.
HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE PARENTS
CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO ON HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH PARENTS
You have chosen your career as a Special Education Teacher and I am sure you more willing to learn. Working with different type of special needs students, with all the tools you learn, the knowledge and experiences you have, you need to be physical and mentally strong.
From a parent to all the special education teachers .. I salute you.. and thank you for your hard work.
YOU DID A GREAT JOB!
Here are the full version of the video;
Notes : This article is adapted from my presentation for empowering teachers and Trainers program organized by CHILD,UNICEF AND MPWS. This article may have been different from the actual slides presentation but the content are more likely the same.