Essential #2 : Slow, From Kids Beyond Limits, by Anat Baniel
you can only do what you’ve already done
Crazy, crazy, the way educators,
be they in schools, or well meaning OTs and PTs with special needs kids
keep trying to hustle along the child
And it’s so understandable.
The child is “behind.”
So much to learn, so get it in fast.
Except: the child doesn’t learn.
If the teaching is too fast, it turns into mush in the would be learner’s head.
I just experienced this recently in a terrible Salsa lesson. After just barely demonstrating our next steps, the teacher put on music that a natural athlete could keep up with, but anyone really needing to learn would be overwhelmed and lost.
And once, when a wonderfully good hearted PT came in to observe me lessons,
she could not only see the obvious results,
but her main comment was: “Oh, my. I really have to slow down.”
The brain loves to learn.
But if something is new, it takes time.
If a child is challenged, then go slower.
But even with ourselves, rushing ourselves to learn faster than we can feel and stay present with,
will result in either
or faked learning,
which instantly goes away.
And there is this:
many if not most special needs kids, and especially those on the spectrum,
feel the world as a bombardment of too much
Slowing down to one thing,
and their brain can “catch” what is happening.
Not only will they learn to make connections,
because they are able to notice,
but the very slowing down for them will be a kind of meditation.
Let’s say that, but more broadly:
Slowing down, for both you and your child will be a kind of meditation.
All good spiritual teachers extoll us to pay attention to those we love
is the world of slow,
can really be felt.
Attention and love are extremely similar, if the attention is approving.
So, we can slow down,
help our children move and think and even talk more in the moment,
and help everyone get ahead more quickly
by slowing down.
Anat recommends the Slow Game, where you take an activity such as putting a puzzle together,
and challenge yourself and your child to SLOWLY put each piece in.
This could be a fun variation with dressing, which often drives the parents crazy as already being “too slow.”
But what about, one day when the clock isn’t breathing down our neck, see how slowly a shirt or a sock or pants or a shoe can be put on.
How slowly we can walk around the room.
In nature, slowing down, and matching the clouds or some lazy breeze or slowly trickling stream, makes a huge amount of sense and will bring great relief to both you and your child.
(And you can change things up. That’s the next essential, variation. But for now, see how slowly you can do a number of things with your child)
Anat recommends Slow Time, which is basically, you going to be with your child in a meditative and nor hurried manner. No judgment. All attention. See what you can learn that you may well have missed in the usual hurried world.
This is as much for you, as for your child. This is your heart and soul being rewired as you make it easier for them to move and think and interact in the world as they rewire their brains.
Take a breath now.
Slow can start any time now is.
And now is always now is always now.