of Collin singing Lady Gaga’s bad romance song out of the blue, then playing with his new toy legos. I am not pictured. Collin give clear eye contact during parts of the video)

Collin is still recovering from illness but was still able to muster singing Lady Gaga somehow during our “floor time” the other night. I’m pretty new at this parenting thing but I’ve loved learning about floor time, which is a critique of traditional forms of behavior therapy (ABA) where you are trying to direct the child to “behave” a certain way. I have a lot to say about ABA but will save that for another post. The basic concept of floor time is get to the child’s level and talk to them, ask questions, and take their lead. I’ve learned so much this way and he has learned so much as well. When the time is right and the trust is built you can “re-direct” to another activity or topic.

In this video, you can see I just followed him in his Lady Gaga song (which came out of nowhere!). Then while we played with his new toy big rig lego, I asked him questions. With Collin, I’ve found that to get him to verbalize I need to ask somewhat rhetorical questions or say obvious things like, “it looks like a boat.” He immediately responded “NO!” I learned this from ABA therapy and it has helped me so much to get him to focus on the person in front of him and respond. But here is what is interesting. I thought I was “re-directing” him and he got it immediately and rolled with the joke. He also made amazing eye contact which is still pretty rare these days. This is an incredible development for our Collin. It is beautiful to witness and a far cry from his less verbal days just 6 months ago! Nowadays, ABA therapy integrates a lot of the floor time and it has made all the difference. Later I find out that the secret sound of the week is “rrr” and he did learn it from the Laga Gaga Rah rah ah-ah-ah “bad romance” song from mychi.. so it goes.

Many parents – and I’ll add great organizers – do this pretty intuitively and it is a great practice at home and in the movement. Hope this resonates with you and brings some joy to your Thursday. Enjoy the video.