Crying and whining tips for volunteers

Last Monday, Nathan was crying in his session with Tita Aldhel. Aldhel handled the crying very well:
1. She was really calm thus, not rewarding/reinforcing the crying.
2. She was a good detective, based on what preceded the crying, her best guess was that Nathan wanted to share an experience about riding the air plane, smilie faces in the mirror, etc. but cried when he could not express more.
3. She presented many alternatives to Nathan like sensory squeezes, toys or a glass water.

To add to the list, we were given more tips on crying and whining at the SR Intensive:
1. Move SLOWLY. Just as Aldhel was very clam, don’t make the crying/whining move you.
2. Yet, maintain the “YES” attitude. We always want to be user-friendly in order to continuously build the relationship. For example, you can express, “I really want to help you but you know what? I cannot understand you want when you whine. If you use your words I can understand you better and I can get you what you need right away!”
3. ACT LIKE A DUMMY. Example, you can offer “Nathan when you’re whining, I can’t understand what you want. I really want to help. Is it a glass of water that you want?… Maybe you want to squeeze?…”
4. Use a lot of EXPLANATIONS and PAUSE to give Nathan time to process what you said. Explain and believe that Nathan can understand what kids his age are told. I believe he can. The child facilitators noticed that it took 8 seconds before Nathan responded to their requests.
5. As soon as Nathan uses words or shows a good attempt, move FAST! Let him know that his words are very effective and can get him his needs fast while whining is less effective.

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