Peek into an Auditory Verbal Therapy session, and you’re likely to see a whirlwind of activity: playing games, cooking snacks, reading books, and talking, talking, talking. There’s a lot of doing happening, but there’s something to be said for what we don’t do, too.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we need to be “on” all of the time when working with children. If something isn’t happening, if there’s a lull in the game or in the session, you as the parent/therapist are not doing your job, right?
Not so fast. While being active is important, we can also learn so much about children’s interests and abilities by watching as they play independently and refraining from jumping in the instant they start to struggle.
So here’s the challenge, for parents and professionals alike: Sit and watch your child for ten minutes while they play independently or talk to someone other than you. Hang back and just watch. What are ten things you can learn about the child from your observation? What do you notice about how she plays, or how he solves problems, or how she repairs conversational misunderstandings without your assistance? Write them down! How can you use what you’ve seen to help your child when you get back to active therapy?
Are you up for the challenge? Take ten minutes, and you’ll be amazed and what your child will “tell” you when you just watch!