Somatic Problem Solving:
Assisting neurodiverse children and young adults progress in their communication skills, community awareness, self-motivation, and overall independence. These goals are achieved by learning to pay attention to their body's reactions to the environment and stimuli and then adjusting their behaviors and/or the behaviors of others.
As a somatic problem solver, I help my clients achieve their goals in numerous
areas involving work, home, school and recreation.
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Whether the goal was initially described by the client, a parent, a teacher or a job coach, I understand that clients themselves must understand the importance of their actions and what is possible with patience/diligence. I know how to motivate each individual to progress toward the lifestyle they desire.
IN THE HOME
- Kitchen skills: cooking, recipe building, menu planning, shopping
- Chores: making the bed, taking out the garbage, cleaning the house
- Scheduling: maintaining a calendar, managing free time, executive functioning skills
- Self-care: grooming, showering, medication
Example: placing marks on the stove and shower, so client can set the right temperatures on their own, allowing them to relieve stress and focus on the task.
ON THE JOB
- Communication: interacting with supervisor and coworkers
- Scheduling: reporting to work on time and remembering their daily schedule
- Independence: phasing out the need for a job coach by using an iPad to help clients remember individual tasks and related steps
- Confidence: holding a conversation with colleagues or strangers (learning flexibility and representing their own interests)
Example: Use QR codes to prompt client to implement the correct workflow at each workstation
IN THE COMMUNITY
- Independence: going for walks, visiting the library or other regular locations; using multiple transportation modes and accessing locations
- Quality of life: inviting friends for activities/socializing
Confidence: learning to navigate new spaces
- Family assistance: helping family members feel comfortable as the client’s independence grows
- Advocating: Representing a client’s needs regarding an allergy with community members in person, by phone or email.
Example: Shooting and creating videos onsite to later reflect on and adjust behaviors to achieve
the goal. Some clients get overwhelmed in the moment but love watching themselves.
- Tools: identifying and using the best apps for common tasks, self-regulating emotions,
organizing easily accessible information for library and grocery discount cards
- Communication: learning how to email, using word prediction and word banks
- Independence: calling or texting others by phone
- Growth: customizing apps (like Prologuo2go) to aid with communication and incrementally
adapting them into the client’s processes
Example: Creating check-able lists on the client’s personal device, which provided a mechanism for client to start doing their morning routine on their own.