Joanna (age 2) says, “I don’t wanna take my lunch box to school!” and throws it under a parked car with a flourish. She crosses her arms across her chest and sticks out her bottom lip. “I don’t want it. No.” Mom is flustered and tries to defuse this one and get her child into a warm school building. She says, “Do you know what? I heard the infants are wearing costumes to school today.” “Really?” says Joanna, and she runs inside to check.
Toddlers can be inflexible, but they are easily distracted. As kids get older, rigidity can feel more and more problematic. If your child is rigid, we know strategies and tools that can help.
One of Dr. Marcy’s favorite books for helping a child become more flexible is Llama Llama Mad At Mama…in this children’s book, the little llama gets angry because his mama llama took him for a much-too-long trip to the Shop-a-rama. In this story, the mama llama handles it perfectly. She first shows empathy and partnership, requiring that the little llama help clean up his mess, then rewarding the little llama with a trip to the ice-cream parlor afterwards. Skills like Rigidity can be tested through an autism telehealth assessment.
Keep reading about Rigidity in the CLEAR Reading Room by clicking here.