Saturday, September 20, 2014

#CoachBill - Reversing Introversion by Having Music Rock you from the Inside-Out / #executivefunction #ADD #ADHD #autism

How about some quick tips to naturally boost executive function skills development in child who is somewhat introverted? This is great for a teenager, but it works with a young child or an adult too. Likewise, it works swimmingly well for an individual with attention deficits or even autism.

By making it a point to let loose and dance, be it by yourself or with someone else you grab at the potential of 'rocking the house.' In other words, dancing softens peoples obstinances, and introduces increasing degrees of mental flexibility when it is engaging. People 'turn on' and smiles appear, little annoyances do a 'fade-away,' and all that matters is moving to the beat and having a grand time. Getting people to learn to dance early in life is like learning a whole new language. In fact, in a world where 93% of communication is said to be non-verbal, dancing can communicate a great deal about how we feel, and it can take how we feel and completely change it. Dancing can be liberating, therapeutic, artistic, and a catalyst for friendship. 

I recommend it as a self-regulation tool for regular folk, and especially for kids and adults with ADD, autism, executive function skill deficits. 

1. For best application, have music that is not boring on when your child comes home. 
2. You want to keep it upbeat obviously.
3. Experiment with different tempo music to see how this affects mood!
4. Have your child have access to playing their own music at some point. 

Dancing is tough if you are introverted, or your child is introverted, but we all have to start somewhere. A student of mine on the autism spectrum climbed one of the worlds tallest seven mountains less than 60 days ago, and it all had to start with one step.

Have dancing be an integral part of your life and/ or your family's life. Sometimes it is just what we need, and it gets us to where we want to be feeling. The introverted child may dance akwardly at first. Not seeing the parent doing it really takes away pereived value in the activity also.... so dance parents!  Keep playing music in the house. It doesn't have to be all the time, but be consistent about it. Make it part of the family lifestyle to have music played in the house.

Introversion can be increased significantly if opportunities such as dancing in the home are not present, and I professionally reckon that television viewing and tech devices continue social isolation.  Parents are on the frontlines as to how the children develop and as such need to be the model they seek to see in their child.

You want more extroversion in your kid? Dance. Dance. Dance. Let your hair loose if your Mom, and take off those bedtime slippers if your Dad. 

Golden Cup tip:

Use body language to communicate that dancing can be more than moving to a beat, but listening to music and having it move your body freely without really trying to think about how to sway the body. Just following the beat and rythm. Some may understand this, some may not. An introverted child who is able to transcend their introversion for a while while dancing, does so at precisely the same time and to the same degree that the music rock them deep inside. Once they feel this they remember it as a positive experience which paves the way for dancing as an accepted tool in their life.

Want more of Coach Bill, MA SpEd? He works 1:1 with individuals and families in Connecticut, the New York City metro area, Marthas Vineyard, Providence, RI and Puerto Rico. Executive function skill deficits, ADD/ADHD and autism.

Life Skills Corp. is covered by major health insurance companies and is also a credentialed After School Provider for the Department of Child and Family Services in Connecticut.

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