Building Security

First: watch, listen and wait.

    • Pace/Rhythm: Each person has their own pace. Think about fast-paced people who may talk quickly, move quickly, or shift their attention quickly. There are also slow-paced people who may talk more slowly, have low quiet voices, move slowly. What kind of pace does your student have?
    • Gauge emotional state. Start interacting when the child is open to it.
    • Find out about what kinds of topics, sensory input, objects, people your student likes from others who know the child.  We have created a Likes and Dislikes Form to help compile this information.

Find out what interests your student by interacting with them.

See what the child does, but do not try to control the situation by “teaching” anything. This is the time when we are letting the student teach us about him or herself.

    • Offer objects without any expectation of what the child will do with the object.
    • Make your hands available with your hands open, your palms up.
    • Provide Inhibiting or Excitatory Sensory Input if necessary, or allow the child to regulate him/herself.
    • Together, create a unique greeting ritual out of something you both enjoy. This is something you will do whenever you greet the child so that they can get ready to interact with you. This will be different from what others do with the child. It may take several sessions of getting to know the child for this to naturally evolve.

Video Examples

    • Offer objects
      In this video, the teacher is offering the child items to explore. She makes a noise with the object to let him know it is there. She never controls his hands or shows him how to use the objects. She is finding out about what he does with objects.
          • Make your hands available
            This is a video of a mother and her child interacting. She is letting him explore her hands. Her hands are available to him and he is able to control what they do.
        • Inhibiting
          In this video, the child is being provided with input that is calming to most sensory systems, rocking. You can see by the end of the clip that she has nearly fallen asleep.

        • Excitatory
          In this video, the child is being provided with input that wakes up most sensory systems, vibration. You can see that she not only is awake, but is interested in having more of that massager on her arm.

      • Greeting ritual
        In this video, the teacher sings a song to the child as she moves his hand. It is evident that, by the end of the song, the little boy is looking forward to his time with his teacher.

Video Tutorial:  Building Security

TSBVI Outreach Consultant TVI Sara Kitchen delivers part 2 of a 7-part web training series on Interaction and Bonding.

Sara Kitchen