Conscious Discipline is intended for all children and adults. However, it can be especially powerful for children with exceptionalities, including autism. The practice of Conscious Discipline creates structure and safety, builds connection with even the most relationship-resistant children, and helps develop executive skills in children who may have deficits in that area.
In this episode, Master Instructor Elizabeth Montero-Cefalo shares insights and strategies for maximizing the effectiveness of Conscious Discipline with children on the spectrum. Elizabeth has worked extensively with children with special needs. Her special needs classroom has been recognized as a Conscious Discipline model by Dr. Becky Bailey and Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Listen as Elizabeth provides actionable tips on setting your intention, seeing through the child’s perspective, and creating the safety and connection that allow executive skills to flourish.
Just like all children, children with autism have their own unique strengths and challenges. You can’t assume that strategies that worked with one child on the spectrum will work with all children on the spectrum.
Your intention is key. Children, and especially children on the spectrum, can sense your intention. Listen to your inner speech and check in on your intention, as this sets the trajectory of the interactions that follow.
By observing children in a non-judgmental space, you can learn how the child learns, what the child seems to enjoy, what triggers the child’s upset, and more. Use these observations to shape future interactions and interventions.
You can’t teach problem-solving and foster executive skills until you have a foundation of safety and connection in place. This includes predictability, structure, lots of visual supports, and authentic connection based on activities and games that the child enjoys.
Seven Powers (https://consciousdiscipline.com/methodology/seven-powers/)
Seven Skills (https://consciousdiscipline.com/methodology/seven-skills/)
Elizabeth Montero-Cefalo, Conscious Discipline Master Instructor (https://consciousdiscipline.com/professional-development/instructors/elizabeth-montero-cefalo/)
04:15 Conscious Discipline and children with special needs
07:26 What is autism?
09:39 Elizabeth’s story of a boy in her classroom who is on the spectrum
14:43 Importance of intention
17:22 Seeing the child and the child’s behavior differently
18:40 Non-judgmental observation
22:36 Power of Acceptance
26:50 Foundation of safety and connection
28:34 How to create safety for children on the spectrum
31:19 How to ignite an interest in connection
33:35 Teaching problem-solving/executive skills
THANK YOU FOR LISTENING
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On behalf of our Conscious Discipline family, we wish you well.