1-Presume Competence– believe your child is a competent learner, regardless of past indications. See your child as the respective fellow human traveler that he/she is. Even children with “typical” neurology perform and achieve more when they are believed to be competent of high achievement.
2-Confidence– RPM is a parent driven therapy. Self-doubt can increase your child’s anxiety, making it more difficult for them to spell for you. Remember, you are your child’s best therapist. Your child expects you to learn and grow just as you expect it of them.
3-Ambition– Have high expectations and dreams for your child. Desire to help them be the best they can be and to lead a fulfilling life. Continually set goals (ideally along WITH your child). Be serious about their education and growth- but have fun. Expect them to work hard and go somewhere in life as you would a “typical” child. Although your child’s life will likely need certain accommodations, embrace the alternatives that will make it a fulfilling one.
4-Persistence and consistency– Learning RPM takes dedication, commitment, and TIME! Push yourself to keep going even when it gets tough. We commonly hear “he won’t work for me.” He very likely will if you persist with RPM, taking the time to discover the prompts and approaches that will work with your child’s particular needs. Help your child learn to self-regulate in a healthy way- don’t let his momentary desire for something pleasurable/routine (they can have that after the lesson and in some cases during the lesson) have precedence over learning. Remember that anything worthwhile requires effort.
5-Patience– Be patient with yourself and your child. Both are on a HUGE learning curve. “Failure” is normal at times. It is okay that some lessons are complete flops- that is a normal part of learning and as with most things in life, we very often learn what works in RPM by our mistakes. Tomorrow is another day. Breakthroughs are wonderful, but most progress in doing RPM with your child will occur in small increments. You can only go so fast and do so much. That is okay. You are trying- that is wonderful!
6-Perspective take– Imagine if you had been intellectually underestimated your whole life, and were unable to communicate complex thoughts, with no hope of receiving a stimulating education, or reaching for your dreams. What would you want from life? What sorts of rewards might motivate you? What would it be like to have an alternate sensory system? If you watched your parents work tirelessly, what would you want to tell them? How would you feel toward someone with that dedication?
7-Rethink Autism (any “disability”)-The practice of RPM supports many other therapies, but also brings many commonly held beliefs into question. Plan on rethinking Autism, the reasons for your child’s behaviors, and other things. It is not uncommon for parents to experience profound reality checks when discovering they completely misinterpreted/misunderstood their child’s particular behaviors and regulatory states.
8-Accept your child as is… but remember ambition– No one wants to be “fixed!” No one wants to hear what “their problems” are continuously. All of us want to improve, have our thoughts heard, be loved for who we truly are inside, be understood, dream and achieve dreams, enjoy life, and make a contribution that is meaningful to us. RPM is not a “cure,” but it allows for stimulating learning, communication, hope, and an improved life.
9-Come to your child-Be in tune with your child’s alternate sensory system. Particularly at first you will need to come to your child instead of requiring them to come to you. Take responsibility for your teaching. Your child is more “normal” than you think. Focus on your child responding and learning- avoid battles and fighting your child over behaviors or stims during RPM lessons or discussion.
10-Be a Learner-The more you enjoy what you teach, the more likely your child will enjoy what you teach. Seek new knowledge. When you dislike a subject- fake it.