Mantras, like positive affirmations, really do have power. In our case, we have found mantras to be useful for both skill development and to support self-regulation. So what are mantras? Mantras are short, positive, instructive statements full of action words. We use them to quiet the mind and focus thinking and action.
Let's discuss verbal perseveration (VP), a very typical and pervasive aspect of language in Fragile X syndrome. Does VP interfere with daily living and activities? You bet your boots it can! At home, school, after school activities, transition times: VP can have an impact on them all. On the list of questions parents ask, verbal perseveration is at the top.
Therapy is a fun, creative process – one of the reasons that we have been at this for so long! One of the challenges of being a therapist is staying on-top of the ever-emerging intervention techniques that come into practice. Not only is it important to know the best strategies available, but it is important to carefully analyze each technique for its utility and efficacy. As most strategies are typically devised or targeted at a population other than those with Fragile X syndrome (FXS), we have taken it upon ourselves to always analyze the strategies in light the FXS learning style. Most often we find it necessary to modify even the most researched interventions to work for individuals with FXS.
“Siri, what is Fragile X syndrome?” She answers with: “I’m checking….here’s what I found.” She then provides links to the Wikipedia site definition of Fragile X, the NIH genetics home reference page on Fragile X and medicinenet page on Fragile X syndrome (FXS).
Direct questions are typically the way we try to engage people in conversation. For children with FXS, we need to learn other strategies. It is critical to understand why it is so difficult for children with FXS to understand and respond to these questions, before we get to the how of getting answers.
We have had the opportunity to visit the homes of many families raising children with Fragile X syndrome (FXS). One of the common sites we encounter is a playroom or play area chock-full of every toy known to man. The parents always remark, “I bought all these toys, but he won’t play with any of them!” This exasperation is likely familiar to many readers.