Thursday, July 23, 2015

Floating Motivation with Purpose / autism autism parent sped edchat executive function dancing soft skills



Channeling one's energy towards a goal with purpose is more important than the release of that energy without great purpose. Without an engaging purpose by which the student sees practical value for them it will not be long before motivation for the activity wanes away. 

By bringing an activity like surfing or dancing and presenting it as what could be a life time activity, I look to perfect being keen on delivery and timing. I am careful to roll it out. Dancing is a social activity, it is therapeutic on multiple levels, and a cornerstone concrete activity I use to foster independence with people on the autism spectrum. 

Since a student may not want to dance for 15 minutes I will mashup dancing with soccer knee/ leg air ball kicks to keep engagement and motivation moving. I call it soccer dancing, but it can be basketball dancing, or you may create your own mashup to pump motivation levels.

One game I love to play with another student is 'adventure mine craft dancing.' A dancing/ martial art game involving smart horseplay, theatrical acting and improv story telling. The whole notion of play comes into focus and it always seems like it 'helps' my student. Feeling confident and calm in dancing the body is a life skill I find valuable in the life of people identified as on the autism spectrum.

I  want to foster tactical awareness as much as executive function, quick response, and heightened engagement levels. Self expression  and moving the body, waking up and strengthening the spine. 

It is the 'purpose' that grabs the heart for the soft skills needed to accomplish some great feat.  So listening to what floats their boat is by all means important to me. I want to be effective on the short and long term, so I seek to convey to my students who have been identified as being on the autism spectrum, that I am listening and yearning to listen better. 

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