I still remember the first P.L.A.Y. course I attended with Breakthru Enrichment Station and Phoebe was the facilitator. Enormous information, vast knowledge and wonderful experiences were shared.
When the first P.L.A.Y was introduced, I may have looked at it as I have known what ‘presence’, ‘listen’, and ‘acknowledge’ meant! But knowing and putting it to action are totally different thing!
My son, Aqil, had his start up in early intervention program at Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation. I have learnt that every achievement of a simple milestone is a joy to celebrate. Thus, my family learnt positive reinforcement as early as Aqil at his three-months-old of age. Till to-date, Aqil is so used to positive reinforcement that we must, in any ways that we can, celebrate all his achievements!
As a start, let me share one short scenario. At one dinner occasion at home, Aqil had finished his meal but still laze at his chair while looking at his tablet having YouTube Upin & Ipin on the screen. His sister, Nina, told him to get his plate to the kitchen sink and wash. He had looked at his sister with an uneasy stare. Nina repeated the same request two times. Aqil finally gave a hand signal denoting “wait!”. A few minutes past, he was still at the same position. Nina repeated the request again. Aqil again gave the hand signal to wait. Until Nina did not continue to say anything and left him, he suddenly stood up and made his move to the kitchen sink with his emptied plate.
This incident taught me……… I learnt, the ‘presence’ moment was giving space to Aqil to make his move without reinforcing request denoting instruction. I learnt, that ‘listen’ing to his gestures was to ensure that we notice his request. I learnt, that ‘acknowledging’ his pace was a reward of respect for him. Wow! Indeed, every meticulous second in our action is actually precious moment to pause, think and cherish. As Aqil completed the task of getting his emptied dinner plate to the kitchen sink (although not washing it), we celebrated with thumbs up to him and a ‘good job, Aqil’ saying which denote the YEAY! In such a simple task but differently acted by our son!
Not ending this yet! I’ll tell more how P.L.A.Y. is played on Aqil’s other sibblings. J