“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” Plato
Each child has their own unique kind of brilliance. It is our job as parents, teachers and therapists to uncover that brilliance and allow it to shine and give light to everything and everyone around. As parents and educators, we need to help our children recognize and celebrate their own special light. With Video Stories we can give them a “vision” of their own potential that can inspire them to act it out day by day.
We need to be our students’ biggest cheerleaders. I always try to come to the student with enthusiasm and a certain level of optimism, believing that they can do the skill, encouraging them that they are so good at this skill, that I’ve chosen them to be the star of the show playing this lead role, because they are going to shine! This positive attitude has a lot to do with the success of the Video Story.
I would encourage you to turn the enthusiasm and optimism to full force, even if it feels strange at first. Our students have been bombarded with so many negative and discouraging messages throughout their lives and experiences that we need to be communicating something dramatically different. We need to renew our optimism, perhaps even encourage ourselves, so that we can genuinely believe in our child’s potential to learn and grow and relate that excitement to them. All children have an amazing potential to make sincere, dramatic positive change. And with Video Stories, we have a powerful tool that can counter the negative messages and deeply ingrained patterns of behavior with an intense visual memory of themselves accomplishing their goal, successfully and independently.
What we believe about ourselves has a dramatic impact on our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Our beliefs are often shaped by our experiences; so when our students with special needs have experienced failure many times and in many forms, it may become ingrained into their belief system about themselves. These children are bombarded with negative messages, and need a powerful positive message to counteract them.
All children have a fascinating and miraculous capacity to grow and change and create and influence others. Students with multiple severe special needs embody special gifts as well. We need to open our hearts and minds to recognize these gifts and discover their own particular kind of brilliance and beauty. We then need to communicate to them the specific ways in which they shine.
Video Stories create a framework for showcasing the student in their most successful moments. When the students see themselves doing something new, independently and successfully, the words, actions and skills become their own powerful visual memory, literally a “vision” of their own success.