What Is Joining? (An Easy Tool to Help Kids with Autism.)

First Things, First

I am thrilled to announce that Move Autism (that’s me) is sponsoring the first ever San Francisco Son-Rise Essentials Program®! For those who aren’t familiar with the term, I’ve talked about the program before and you can learn more here. This will be a three day course in San Francisco, April 25-27th with a follow-up “Next Steps” program July 25-27th! Learn more at http://www.sonrisesf.com.

Beginning what I’m sure will be a theme over the next several months, in this post I’ll discuss my experience with a single element of the Son-Rise Program®, called joining. Before I dive into a definition and my own personal experience, I’ll say a few words about the intersection between autism and learning. What I look to accomplish with children with autism is actually quite similar to what I look for with athletes or book authors – next steps. Autism is a complicated issue with diverse social, environmental, movement and other factors affecting each child. But what I do with individuals, regardless of diagnosis, is similar.

Step 1: Assess where and who they are, getting familiar with their habits and patterns.
Step 2: Form a common bond and connection.
Step 3: Invite them towards something new – be that backflips or more typical child-like behavior.

What Is Joining?

Joining is the term used by the Autism Treatment Center of America to describe a way of developing commonality with children (step two), long before inviting them into something new.