Put aside the pressure to feel ‘productive’ when you work with neurodivergent kids

by Adina Levy

In my webinar Responsive Relationships, I emphasised the importance of prioritising relationship building with neurodivergent children, before diving in to trying to get any ‘learning’ done.

This strategy is crucial for anyone who supports neurodivergent children, from educators and therapists to medical professionals and caregivers. When you prioritise building relationships first (which can take minutes, days, weeks or even months), this sets the groundwork for deeper focus, collaboration and learning.

Reflection: Think about a time you’ve supported or worked with a neurodivergent child who was initially reluctant to interact, or ‘didn’t listen to you’.

Did you pause, step back, take time to build a human connection without pressure? If so, how did that help the connection and learning develop?

Or did you try to push on with ‘the work’? For many of us, we can be in settings where we feel pressure to ‘deliver’ and to ensure time spent with children is ‘productive’. But it’s so important to take time to build connection first as a valid use of time!

Time spent building relationship and connection is always worthwhile.

When I have taken time to focus on building connection first, I’ve always found that children became more engaged and responsive, making our ongoing time together more productive, in the more ‘expected’ sense.

      Keep learning with me!

      Register for the Communicate and Connect Webinar Series for Professionals who support Neurodivergent Children: https://playlearnchat.com/communicate-and-connect-webinars/

      The 3 webinars in the series are:

      • Responsive Relationships: Communication Strategies for Professionals to Connect with Neurodivergent Children


      • Collaborative Connections: Coach and Communicate with Carers & Teams of Neurodivergent Children


      • Supportive Spaces: Creating Inclusive and Accessible Environments to Support Neurodivergent Children in their Communities

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