Message from the Executive Director

Perspectivei28j "Our philosophyc how to perceive persistence"

@The number of children diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder has increased. Various methods of educational treatment are sought because early approach is necessary. However, we value building emotionally accessible human relationships based on knowledge of developmental psychology instead of controlling behaviors. Let us introduce an example of a boy, S.

@S was diagnosed as slight developmental delay with autistic tendencies when he was 2 years old. When S started to come to our center, his facial expressions were poor, he didnft speak, and was firmly attached to spinning objects. One day, on Parent and Child Attendance Day, as soon as S entered the center, he shook off his motherfs hand and ran through the hall to below the exhaust fan. He was staring at the spinning fan with a stern facial expression. His mother who was standing next to him while holding his small younger sister looked at him exasperated as if to say gThe exhaust fan again!?h.

@S has come to depend on his mother little by little through the time he spent with her during Parent and Child Attendance Day. The staff noticing his attitude was different from usual asked his mother what happened that morning. She told us frankly, gWhen we tried to leave the house, he got cranky, so I yelled at him carelessly. He still made a fuss on the way to the center, so I dragged him here.h Understanding the situation and the motherfs frustration and difficulties, the member of staff spoke to S, gIt must have been hard for you.h Just then, he stopped staring at the exhaust fan and looked at her face. It seemed that he had immersed himself in the exhaust fan, in trying to avoid the feelings of discomfort and shock of being scolded.

@We patiently tried to pay attention to his eye direction and facial expressions, understand his feelings and check him not only when on arrival but throughout his time at the center. Because of this, his behavior has clearly changed. He used to wander around or go to see the exhaust fan when something he disliked or involuntary happened. However, his behavior has gradually changed and he is responding more to staff. For example, when we call his name, he turns around, and looks at our face firmly. When we extend our hands to him, he asks to be held, and though he found it awkward to be held before, he gradually fell into our arms. He tried to tell us, gHit. (I was hit.)h while gesturing hitting his own head. At last, he no longer runs through the hall to below the exhaust fan by himself, because he can be comfortable and stable with the staff.

@This episode teaches us how important it is to share viewpoints such as gA child has feelings and emotions even if they donft express themselves verbally, gThere is a meaning to their persistence,h and gIt is important to cooperate with parents and the center to find out their background.h If we donft listen to the family and only focus on getting rid of his persistence, he might have remained strongly persistent. Cooperating with the family and our center has also changed his motherfs feelings. At first, she was negative and said, gHow long are you going to stick with that!?h, but she became more positive and tried to understand the child who was trying desperately to express his feelings. She became stable enough to apologize to him and his younger sister. Around the time of his graduation ceremony, he was assertive and could say gNoh, and could depend on his mother, and say gMom, come here!h His mother was very pleased to see this growth.

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