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Showing posts from June, 2018

Paths in the Grass

Recently Sarah found an article that contained a fantastic analogy about how repeated experiences shape brain development, attributed to psychologist Anne Marie Coughlin:

"Consider the notion of taking a walk in a patch of long grass. As you walk, the grass flattens a bit. Each day as you take this same path it flattens a bit more. As you continue to take this path the grass slowly dies and a solid pathway lays beneath your feet until eventually no grass will grow again and the pathway remains. That’s how connections in the brain are developed."

Young children's days revolve around patterns and routines, some of which we structure for them and some of which they initiate themselves. As adults who already have established brain connections it's sometimes hard to understand why children scoop and dump sand over and over again, or request the same books or songs again and again. But to less-developed brains–vast grassy fields, if you will–these repeated actions form ne…

Temperament and DISC

One major piece of Jeanine Fitzgerald's approach to working with children who exhibit challenging behaviors is the DISC Model of Human Behavior, which was developed by Dr. Robert Rohm at Personality Insights, Inc. The DISC Model offers a way of understanding temperament, which is each person's innate disposition toward the world. Theoretically, each person's temperament can be placed at a cross-section of two continuums: Outgoing–Reserved and Task Oriented–People Oriented. Here is a visual representation:

Everyone's temperament is some blend of these four types (D, I, S, and C), but most people have tendencies that strongly identify with one or two of the types. And each type has unique strengths as well as characteristics that could drive challenging behavior if they are misunderstood. For example, D types like to be demanding, decisive, and be in charge, but in a traditional classroom setting they might be viewed as defiant. S types tend to be very supportive and sw…