Saturday, 26 June 2010
Talking Circles, Talking Sticks, Autism & ADD
My son has some conversational difficulties and gets very frustrated and impatient when he is trying to explain something. This frustration usually results in someone being hit or sweared at. My daughter can engage in long monologues and doesn't have much regard for her listeners and doesn't really allow other people to speak. I think part of their difficulties come from their autism but I think some of it is due to my husband and my competitive style of talking. We both try to dominate conversation and are not good listeners. I don't think this is helpful and doesn't create a good communicating model for our children.
I have decided to try an introduce a Native American Talking Circle to resolve problems and discuss family matters. The idea is we sit in a circle listening to the person who holds a talking stick. The person that hold the stick is allowed to speak for as long as they wish without being interrupted. (In native American culture is is rare that people talk for too long but due to my kids tendency to indulge in long monologues I am going to restrict there talking using an egg timer.) Once they are finished talking the stick will be passed to the next person. Hopefully, this will make the kids feel more secure that they will be listened to without someone butting in.