EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
There are many effective ways to prepare for the unexpected. When it comes to being prepared, “expect the unexpected” is absolutely a must—especially when it involves those who experience challenges adapting to rapidly changing circumstances.
Martial arts have long been a form of preparing people for unexpected situations and planning for various outcomes. The right instructor challenges the student. And, with constructive criticism and motivation, they also help their student grow in crucial ways. Within this training, there’s also preparation of the body for unique movement by building strength and stamina for continued and precise movement when necessary. However, what nearly all “therapies” tend to overlook is the unknown—and this is where martial arts truly shine.
For neuro-diverse individuals, it takes a specialized kind of instructor to best assist.
Some instructors might overlook some of the telltale signs of stress and rising emotional burdens. Moving rapidly to an easy-to-observe curriculum will allow for improved adaptability. Unfortunately, most forms of traditional martial arts training are too rigid for the special needs community. It requires unique skills to modify accordingly, swiftly and rapidly to assist the neuro-diverse.
ADD SMALL ELEMENTS OF CHANGE FOR ADAPTABILITY
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you go to a grocery store in search of ice cream. You find that your favorite ice cream is sold out. At this moment, there’s an observed reality, and a decision must be made about what to do next: Purchase another brand? Maybe get another flavor from the same brand? Perhaps you’ll just skip ice cream altogether and go to the gym.
No matter what the final outcome is, some type of unforeseen event has happened. If this modified decision hadn’t been reached, it could have been easy to get emotionally frustrated.
So, there are two ways to approach situations such as this to help adaptability in change. [OCTOBER 2020]
Change is hard for anyone. A disaster always comprises a series of unforeseen and unsettling events. It’s never as planned previously, and adaptability is key to success. When we look at how we make decisions and realize there are reasons for our behavior and motivation, we can completely adapt to those changes with minimal stress.
Likewise, we can help those who are uncomfortable with change by making the process of decision-making more routine. They say the brain is a muscle, and practicing with it makes us mentally strong. Our brain is also a nerve, and it needs to be stimulated in order for us to experience mental advancement.
Having continual training and development that practice "expect the unexpected" are essential for developing patience and understanding. Communication and understanding remain instrumental aspects of adapting to new, unique situations. We can support others to develop these skills; and often, it's as simple as establishing a routine of “scheduled unpredictability” in order to practice the OODA loop.