Behaviour is Communication

by Marita on January 19, 2012

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We had had a few moments recently where I have been very strongly reminded that behaviour is communication.

This picture is Heidi covering my mouth because I was saying something she did not want to hear – sometimes when she runs out of words because she is overwhelmed or too excited it is the non verbal cues that I need to watch for. Thankfully covering my mouth with her hand is very simple to understand.

A more subtle moment was during the dolphin show at Sea World when the music was building up to something and Heidi was sitting beside me very tense and still, just her fingers flick, flick, flicking each other as she waited and worried. A big squishy hug helped and soon Heidi was jumping and clapping again.

When Heidi is happy she jumps up and down, recently she did this whilst sitting on the top bunk and fell off, bumping her head on a chair on the way down. Annie responded by bolting out of the bedroom and trying to get out the door to run and hide from her sisters pain. Frustrating to have to chase after Annie whilst also needing to care for Heidi and make sure her injuries were not serious. Thankfully my husband was home and we were able to take one child each.

Annie has a very strong ‘flight’ response when things go wrong, despite her excellent language skills when she is very distressed her first instinct is to run and hide, somewhere alone, safe, quiet and away from the situation.

All behaviour is communication, I just have to keep learning how to translate.

{ 9 comments }

Sarah @fignutmum January 19, 2012 at 6:09 am

Agree.
Yes the problem is working out what they are trying to say. So we need to be on the ball. So when a behavior starts we can think back and see what is the trigger.

It’s very much like learning a new language

Daisy January 19, 2012 at 7:12 am

This was a fascinating read. I think it’s fantastic that you understand your girls’ behavioural clues, and that you look for more – I can understand it would be frustrating, but also enlightening when you do figure it out.

Nathalie Brown January 19, 2012 at 8:27 am

Marita what a spot on post, will now go and share, thankyou for sharing your insights. Nx

Marita January 19, 2012 at 9:24 am

Thank you :)

Maid In Australia January 19, 2012 at 8:39 am

My son used to do that whenever his sister got hurt, it would drive me nuts. He is now almost 11 and knows he has to stay and try to help her and/or get me or an adult …. they do learn. While I can translate, I always find it hard dealing with the judgement of others who don’t understand, but I guess it’s sharing like this that helps raise awareness.

Mandy January 19, 2012 at 8:40 am

You are so right. I am always looking for behaviours beyond words to try and work out how my kids are feeling, and better still trying to communicate back to them with more than words, as you said, sitting for a moment, a cuddle, holding hands, all those things build love, trust and security.

Gavin Bollard January 19, 2012 at 8:46 am

Some great points here. I’ll have to look more closely at my own “communication”.

On a side note, you’ll have to work on that flight reflex because that’s the single most important reason why so many aspies get into trouble with the police. They get scared and take off and are judged guilty by their behaviour.

lisamareedom January 19, 2012 at 9:52 am

My life purpose

Renee | About a Bugg January 21, 2012 at 9:43 am

Poss is also a runner. Whenever she feels overwhelmed, she’s off! It’s hard to manage, especially when it’s occurred due to someone being hurt or something being broken that draws my attention there first.

Someone above me mentioned it’s like learning a new language – how true.

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