From customer service representative to dental hygienist to occupational therapist; without this critical skill, you simply won’t excel. The bad news is that (in my humble opinion), this is a skill that simply cannot be taught! Like they say in show business, “You either have it or you don’t.”
As a Cerebellum Activation Coach at TheraPeeds Family Center, I rely heavily on my interpersonal skills and sense of humor to establish a special connection with each person I work with. I focus on being dynamic and animated, while tailoring activities to their specific interests. This is how I am able to motivate people to step outside of their comfort zone and work harder than they ever have to achieve the lasting change they have come to expect from TheraPeeds.
Be Dynamic and Animated
Many years ago, a neurologist described an autistic person’s lack of engagement as “an incredible concert going on inside their head” that we are trying to interrupt by asking them to participate in the real world. In other words, why would an autistic person want to interact with you when what’s going on inside their head is so much more interesting? As a clinician, we must be MORE interesting than that concert in order to get them to join the real world and participate in the therapeutic process. Being dynamic and animated pulls off those invisible headphones and plugs them into YOU.
Tailor Activities to Specific Interests
When I work with someone for the first time, I spend much of the initial session learning about him or her and what it is that they enjoy. I use that information to adjust each activity to align with their interests. With a little creativity, a rhythm and timing exercise can be magically transformed into a Basketball, Star Wars, or Gravity Falls type of game. Couple that with a dynamic therapist and BOOM - you’re working towards therapeutic goals and it doesn’t even remotely seem like work.
Cerebellum Activation activities require specific movements that are designed to ‘fire up’ or stimulate the part of the brain called the Cerebellum, which basically is the brake system of the brain. This area of the brain is what helps us to control our bodies, have good coordination and balance and facilitates impulse control. When our Cerebellums are not firing on all jets, we move and act like a drunk person. We can lose coordination, balance, control of our bodies and we can say and do things that…let’s say, we often regret later. This structure is necessary for impulse control and self-control. Our team activates this part of the brain so that our clients can develop these skills.
For some people, physical activity is not only something they dislike, but simply lack the strength and endurance to sustain. However, if a person genuinely connects with you and expresses both familiarity and interest in the activity you present to them, that person will be more likely to step out of their comfort zone and engage in the activity. Through my work at TheraPeeds Family Center, I’ve seen incredible results by using this process of being dynamic and animated, while tailoring to the client’s specific interest. When this process is repeated regularly, not only is there an increase in strength and endurance, but new neural pathways are formed in their brain (i.e. neuroplasticity), which is the foundation on which real changes are built