Parents can sometime be hesitant to contact us because they are concerned about how their child will behave. In a private or public setting their child may exhibit violent behavior, or have self injurious behaviors. They often ask, "Are you okay working with our child, even if they exhibit behaviors X, Y, and Z?" My answer always remains the same, "Absolutely."
It is not human nature to be violent towards one another. There is ALWAYS a trigger behind any behavior. The trick is to identify that trigger by looking for ques to help prevent an unwanted behavior from occurring.
Through the years we have had several parents warn us about their child's certain behaviors that have caused other providers to work with them in a constant state of fear. And honestly, we rarely see those said behaviors at Specialty Athletic Training, and the reason is because we care about our clients on a personal level. Humans are not inherently bad in nature, so we don't treat or talk about our clients as if they are.
Behaviors are often a way of communication and can be easily misinterpreted. It is our job in those situations to figure out what our clients are trying to tell us. Are they exhibiting frustration between transitions? Are they becoming frustrated with the demands being placed on them? Are they becoming visibly agitated and beginning to be more physically aggressive? By identifying triggers and the precursors of behavior, we are able to simply talk to our clients and assure them that we are there to support them and that everything will be alright.
It is very important to remember that there is always a trigger behind a behavior. Being able to identify those triggers and treating our clients with respect is only one of many ways that makes us unique at Specialty Athletic Training.
About the Author
Ryan Lockard, CSCS, CFNS, is the head trainer and founder of Specialty Athletic Training. He is President of the Autism Society of Oregon's Board of Directors and is accredited by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, as well as by the International Sports Science Association (ISSA) as a Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Ryan has worked with individuals with special needs since 2007 and has over 10,000 hours of 1:1 instruction working with individuals that have various special needs.