Talking About Expected and Unexpected Behaviors

homeschool children pe and fine motor collage

Part of the changes we  have made in the past year have involved trying to figure out how to help work through various sensory issue with one of our kids.  At first, we were not really sure what it was or what was causing it.  We still are not really sure, but we are working on at least using out words to talk through things rather than just reacting to them.

One of the things we have tried this summer was Occupational Therapy.  When this was first suggested, I was not sure how therapy to help someone be able to get back to work could work to help our kid function better in social settings, but I was willing to try anything.  Turns out that Occupation Therapy for kids.  wiseGeek explains it here:

Occupational therapy for children is basically any sort of hands-on, interpersonal treatment between a medical professional and a child or group of children that is designed to help the equip the young participants with the skills needed to participate in everyday activities appropriate for their age.

Some of our sessions lately have covered Expected and Unexpected Behaviors.  Here are a few examples:

  • An expected behavior would be to sit in your chair and listen during class.  The result would be that the teacher would be happy and you would learn something new.
  • An unexpected behavior would be to sleep in your chair. The result would be that your teacher would be upset and you would not learn what you need to know for the test.
  • An expected behavior would be to brush your teeth after breakfast.  The result would be that your breath smells good.
  • An unexpected behavior would be to run around the house after breakfast.  The result would be having bad breath and people not wanting to talk with you.

The child who is going to OT was having a lot of issues tolerating these scenarios.  It was too uncomfortable for this child.  It was getting to a point where we were considering stopping OT services all together and waiting for more maturity to happen. (That still might take place.)  This past time, the therapist changed things up a bit, adding in two read aloud books (via Youtube videos) instead of just talking through situations.  Not only did this create a change in the routine, but it also allowed the child to step back and look at the situation from a less personal view point.

A few breaks added in helped break up the session and make the uncomfortable parts not so long.

In both of these books I could very much relate to the adult, as it also mimicked how I reacted to these situations.

The first book, “Miss Nelson is Missing”, that they went through had to do with a teacher who changed her behaviors based upon how the children were behaving.

The second book, “No, David”, very much shows what my life is often like right now.  I have tried to set up our day and life so as to not have to say “no” so often, though at times you just can not help it.  It has become a routine for me to automatically say “no”, so I am trying to change up my answers.

“What do you think I am going to say? Why would I give you that answer?”

“What was my answer last time you asked?” or “What was my answer when you brother asked me that question just now?”

One of my favorite parts was the end, where the therapist stressed that even at the end of a day full of “no’s” that his mom still loved him.

You may not need the stress these points as much as we do, but they are still good books to share with your child.