Helping Children with Autism Thrive Through Fostering Executive Skills
Published January 11, 2019
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37 min
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    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. Essential Takeaways 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. Important Links ConsciousDiscipline.com (https://consciousdiscipline.com/) 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/) Show Outline 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 35:01 Recap THANK YOU FOR LISTENING There are many ways you could have spent this time today, but you chose to spend it with me and I am grateful. If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it with others via your favorite social media platforms. Also, would you consider taking 60-seconds to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes? Your feedback is extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show and I love to hear your feedback! And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live! On behalf of our Conscious Discipline family, we wish you well.
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