For most of us, anxiety is an unwelcome component of uncertainty. We ponder these bedfellows in the big context of an ill-defined, uncertain future crisis, an imminent projection. Within the arena of big, these are humongous and most of us would agree that they create the person a storm of avoidance and a subsequent search for predictability.
Imagine though, if overwhelming anxiety in response to uncertainty kicked in much sooner – not when there was a looming, serious problem but when there was a much smaller difference like a substitute teacher or lost crayon. It would be hard to enjoy surprises or the prospect of meeting new people. While not a universal insurmountable problem, this marriage of anxiety and uncertainty occurs frequently enough for families and teachers of children on the spectrum to avoid the introduction of unpredictable scenarios into their lives.
For RDI families of children on the spectrum, the use of uncertainty is fundamental for good guiding. Although it is not always easy, it is always fruitful.
Beginning with small changes: a red ball instead of a blue ball or a big ball instead of a football. The student notices that the unexpected is ok, easily monitored, easily understood. Prediction, while perhaps still desirable becomes less important. Failure, strategically introduced in small doses, rather than leading to a breakdown or tantrum, becomes a point of curiosity.
If this is where you’re headed, join our conversation. We’d love to hear what you have to say!