Project Based Functional Growth
it doesn't need to be therapy
PROJECT BASED FUNCTIONAL GROWTH FOR THE NEURO DIVERSE offers the opportunity to gain both inner and outer skill sets that help us thrive as who we are. When they are young, OT can be very helpful for helping overcome sensory and functional challenges, but many of those same skills can come simply by doing. When we embark on a facilitated project, that "doing" become a multi faceted personal growth opportunity.
THE INNER GAME - is all about managing what happens in our minds when we are "doing." It's a given that when we are doing something new, we are likely not good at it yet. Being able to step into new learning is a skill in itself! When we are in the moments of action, and we react to something hard or confusing, it is the perfect opportunity to "see" what we do and get help to have more ease with hard things, confusing things, not being good at something, and yes, even failing! I once had a sales manager have us go out and get 50 "no's" in a day to desensitize us to failure. It works! As we practice our inner game "real time" we just get better at not having such a fragile inner game. This helps us be confident in any endeavor.
THE FUNCTIONAL GAME- As we "do" together we gain motor memory, muscle/brain synapse connection, that helps us be free to do more. (See this blog post on planting Peonies with a young man with ASD) We are designed as pattern animals who naturally migrate to doing things in a way that is easiest. If we don't have opportunities to use our selves and develop not only brain body connection, not only mental ease in uncomfortable scenarios of doing, but also great understanding of our processes, we will shut down and only do what's easy. Does your family put dishes in the sink vs in the dishwasher? Mind does, because they do what is easy, unless of course I yell :O. Choosing to work regularly from the life skill menu, is a great, fun, and meaningful way to develop these savvy's!
THE STRATEGY GAME OF LIFE DESIGN- Gaining an understanding of our natural strengths and inherent functional and learning processes helps us create a sort of functional design map of how we best get things done! In addition we can choose our part in group projects based on how we know we do things well!
SOCIAL SAVVY OF DOING & CREATING TOGETHER- When we create and work on projects together with others, it's the perfect chance to practice showing up and contributing as yourself. Having the focus be on the project, it removes a lot of anxiety of being appropriate and we are naturally in flow. Over time, doing together is a great way to develop natural friendships and a feeling of accomplishment. We also have an opportunity to work specifically on social savvy when doing projects with the horses. They are the perfect and safe practice ground for social interaction!