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Flexible thinking by Mediation


After discussing the meaning of "change," my student has built up the fundamental idea about it. He can tell the definition of “change” is “something becoming something else.” However, he said to me that he is afraid of "change." I requested him for an example of "change." His example is about traffic lights turn from green to red; the color is changing.


Mediator: Do you think the color-changing of traffic lights turning is good or bad?


Student: It is a bad change because it delays my time to where I want to go.


Mediator: If the traffic light facing you always remains in a green signal, and other traffic lights keep changing as usual, what will you expect?

Student: Oh! A car crash may have happened.


Mediator: So, is the color changing of the traffic light is good or bad for you?


Student: Oh yeah. It is a good change because it protects my life from the car crash.


The student started to taste the positive side of change.


Many autistic people will show signs of distress before having a meltdown. Sometimes they feel stressed or anxious when they find some changes. For example, a mother used to drive her autistic son to school with her red car. Then she changed to another black vehicle to send him because there is a regular check-up for the red one. Her son refused to get into the car and screwed the whole day.


To help autistic individuals to eliminate meltdowns, we need to implant the root concept of “change.” When they understand what “change” is, they would better accept “change” around them. One of the effective ways to implant the concept is using clay modeling. When he understands the meaning of “change,” we start to bridge the idea to their daily lives. Changing the color of the traffic light from green to red is an excellent example of change. When they allow the “change” concept process in their brains, they can master the clay modeling scenario with their sense of touching. They readily accept most real-life changes. Eventually, they will decrease the amount of meltdown and react appropriately to most of the changes.


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