Tag Archives: goals

Plan C

NACD Bob Doman Blog Plan CI’m in LA, flew in this morning and spent the afternoon working with a couple of great families.

I had a quiet dinner and read my book in the hotel restaurant. When I left, I saw the hotel manager and we passed pleasantries. I’ve been coming here for many years, and Arthur and I have kind of grown “older” together. He asked how I was and I commented “okay,” but he had observed my slower than normal pace. I acknowledged that my back was giving me fits. He said that getting older was better than option A (not getting older). I suggested that I wasn’t happy with Option A or B (accepting the inevitable) and was going to pursue Plan C.

What is Plan C? Plan C is investigating, working and fixing my back so I can actively pursue life. For so many of our children and us, the perception is that our choices are limited; accept the diagnosis and prognosis, follow the typical path, and accept the inevitable. I don’t think so!

The medical model—make a diagnosis, based on the diagnosis make a prognosis, and then apply accepted procedures—doesn’t work for me. For children with developmental problems, that means accepting labels, creating expectations based on the label and on how the “professionals” have failed those with the same labels, and then making accommodations and accepting limited potential. Hooray for all of you “average” people who choose to be exceptional. Hooray for all you parents who have children with educational or developmental problems who choose to believe your children have unlimited potential.

Let’s hear it for Plan C!


Dream It and Do It

dreamsLast night I turned on the TV and there appeared a familiar face.

A couple of decades ago I worked with two families who had daughters. Jen and Stephanie had some pieces to work on, but both had high hopes and ambitions. Stephanie from the get-go had only one target—acting. Her friend, Jen, was interested in a variety of things both academic and musical, performing and excelling in voice and violin. The girls created a competition in the one thing that they could go at head-to-head, which was processing. The friendly competition resulted in fantastic auditory processing ability, and both girls were able to develop digit spans into the upper teens and, at times, a notch above.

Long story short, Jen went to college at 14, and two masters’ degrees later has a fantastic job in the tech world, is a concert violinist and a singer in a professional opera company, living her dreams. And Stephanie? Well, there she was on my TV.

Dream it and do it.

A New Year

2015_calendarAs a holiday, I abhor New Years; but I always embrace the new year.

I’m not a New Year celebration guy. I don’t enjoy parties. I have no interest in watching the ball drop and will hopefully be sound asleep before it even happens.

But the new year is something else entirely. I have always looked forward to the new year as a chance for new beginnings and new chances. I don’t actually make resolutions, as much as I perceive the new year as yet another opportunity to do it all better.

Whether you are actually celebrating New Years or just hanging out at home, pause a moment, reflect, and realize that come January 1, we have yet another chance to do it all better, with renewed energy, hope, and effort.


Strategies won’t work if you don’t believe that the outcome is really possible.

In my last post I introduced you to Lia, an exceptional young lady with an exceptional mom who believes that her daughters can do exceptional things. When Ashly works with her girls, she does so with the expectation that they can and will do exceptional things. As obvious as this sounds, the lack of such intention presents one of our greatest challenges.

Strategies won’t work if you don’t believe that the outcome is really possible.

Whether I’m giving a parent yet another strategy to address their child’s behavior, or a motor development program for their developmentally delayed child, or you try another diet or a new exercise program, or as a nation our government is trying yet another approach to solving some international issue, our intention, which is a reflection of our belief, can determine or undermine all of our efforts and strategies, affecting the results. As an example: Mom says “no” for the five thousandth time to Johnny for an inappropriate behavior; but her expectation is that he is going to do it another five thousand times and that he really can’t help it, or that she can’t really stop it. Her intention is to do her job and give him the feedback that his behavior is wrong; but Johnny reads the part of her intention that is that she really doesn’t believe that it is going to stop. Whether she has a consequence that goes with the “no” really doesn’t matter, because her intention will affect her behavior and Johnny’s. And to compound the issue, Johnny is going to fight and resent the consequence because he knows it is really only punitive and that mom doesn’t expect him to stop regardless of the consequence.

A number of years ago I created “Visceral Response Technology,” a system/protocol to change perception, increase awareness, and change responses and attitudes by changing a person’s visceral/gut response. Education alone often does not significantly affect our visceral response, attitude, belief system, or expectations. Changing all of that requires creation of a new perspective, a new conceptual construct.

Bottom line: if you don’t really believe you can do it, you probably won’t.

Believe it and make it so.

Waiting for Hercules

Three feet of new snow, about 5 degrees, and my stairs and the walk up to my front door need shoveling. At first sight it is kind of a Herculean task for this out of shape sixty-five year old guy, but I view it as an opportunity.

photo 1 for blog

My regret is that one of my grandsons is not here to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

One of the great opportunities our children can have and lessons they can learn is to be presented with and accomplish Herculean tasks. Herculean tasks help your children learn what they can do if they really try. They teach them to look at a task that they think is impossible and to learn that they can really do it. As parents you should be on the alert for tasks that appear to be Herculean. The ideal Herculean tasks are those that look huge and to the child seem impossible, but which are doable, although they may take a whole lot of time and effort. The child who is used to 5-minute chores might perceive shoveling a driveway covered in a foot of snow, a yard covered in leaves to rake, an entire vegetable garden to weed, a stack of logs to move, or washing all the windows in the house all as Herculean/impossible tasks. But they are not impossible; they are possible if they try.

Completion of Herculean tasks provides children with an opportunity to redefine themselves, to change their perception of what is possible, and to learn that if they try they can in fact do it. The child who learns they can do Herculean tasks will continue raising the bar on their perception of what they can do and will learn to attack new tasks with the intention of succeeding–not just trying, not just making an effort, not just going through the motions, but having the intention of accomplishing the task.

The child who learns they can do Herculean tasks won’t shut down when presented with the task of writing a twenty-page report, reading a 500-page book, learning all of the bones in the body, or pushing to take another tenth of a second off their 100-yard dash.

Look for those appropriate Herculean tasks and change your child’s perception of himself forever.

Okay, so much for my break. I’ve finished the steps and walks.

photo 2 for Hercules

Now the driveway!

photo 3 for Hercules

Or perhaps I’ll wait for Hercules.

Related Links

NACD Family Chore List