Velcro (noun, trademark): a fastener for clothes or other items, consisting of two strips of thin plastic sheet, one covered with tiny loops and the other with tiny flexible hooks, which adhere when pressed together and can be separated when pulled apart deliberately.
How do you spell the sound Velcro makes when you pull the pieces apart?
I don’t know how to spell it but I can hear that sound. Can you hear it? To me it signals change.
For many years, I worked with children diagnosed with Autism. For most of those little folks, change was really hard. A change in plans or expectations might result in a resistance to the change; it might result in a refusal to accept the change. It frequently resulted in some demonstration of objection to the change: crying, hitting some one or throwing some thing.
A helpful strategy was using a picture schedule. Images of events and opportunities in the day were attached to the schedule with Velcro. We would review the schedule, the planned routine, and begin each activity. At the end of each activity, we would revisit the schedule. In this way, the children would see a visual cue of what was next.
When a change in the schedule occurred, we would announce, “Check the schedule. It’s different.” Then we would make the change in the full view of the children. In fact, we even assigned a Schedule Helper to pull and peel the images off the schedule and reposition the new event or the new order of events.
This helped quite a bit. To tolerate change, the little folks needed the opportunity to practice change and really excelled when they participated in organizing the change.
Don’t you just love change? What? You don’t? Do you like it? Do you endure it?
Wouldn’t it be great if we could plan life, occasionally check our schedules to regroup at each new step in our life, and be the Schedule Helper organizing the new events and order of things?
Sometimes we can; for the times when we can’t, I simply say to myself…Check the schedule. It’s different…And then I hear the sound of Velcro.
Thanks to whoever invented Velcro!
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