Why wasn’t I told about this training 3 years ago!?! Professional Crisis Management is training on how to handle aggressive, self injurious, and/or disruptive children or special needs adults. Last week I was able to attend the 22 hours class to become trained in PCM. And all I could think was I REALLY could have used this training years ago when Mr Rockstar was having aggressive melt-downs every day.
I heard about PCM from the autism center where Mr Rockstar goes for his therapy each week. Most of their staff is trained in it and at some point Mr Rockstar’s lead therapist mentioned that parents have taken the class in the past if I was interested. Even though Mr Rockstar hasn’t been as aggressive lately, he also is 8 and getting a lot bigger, so I thought it would be a good idea for me to get trained.
I thought I was going to be able to just go observe the class, get a few tips, and leave when I had seen enough. But it turns out PCMA doesn’t want anyone half trained so I had to do the full 22 hr class and take the test at the end. It was EXHAUSTING. Just be warned. It was also empowering. Their philosophy is to use minimum force so I loved their escalation and deescalation strategies and the idea of quickly giving positive feedback (physically) when the child starts calming down. This matched really well with what we had been taught by our first behavioral therapist on how to get Mr Rockstar out of meltdowns. For the same reason I couldn’t get half-trained, I can’t actually share any of the techniques used in the class with you here. 😥 But I can tell you it was a great refresher/overview of how to prevent meltdowns, a plan plus training on how to protect yourself/child/environment during a meltdown while still respecting the child’s dignity and freedom, and a great refresher on how to interact with the child post melt-down to get them back to pre-crisis calm and rebuild your relationship with them.
If you have an aggressive, self-injurous, or destructive/disruptive child that you feel at a loss of what to do with, I highly recommend looking up on PCMA’s website to find a class near you. I know many kids have these behaviors at ages 2-4, but if they are still exhibiting these behaviors at age 5+ I wouldn’t hesitate to take the class just so to have a game plan you can feel confident in. Just having that plan helps me stay calm and not put more fuel on the tantrum because my emotions are not in check.
In other news, Spring is ALWAYS the worst time of year for Mr Rockstar. So far this year he definitely has been more agitated lately, a few toys have been thrown, but no crisis behavior yet. Fingers crossed we make it to the summer this year without any extreme behavior! How has your spring been so far?