Photo: CBC.ca

Another news story this past week really captured my attention because it resonates with everything that Floortime and Self-Regulation are about. During a Celine Dion performance in Las Vegas, a fan jumped on stage, rubbed against her, and didn’t want to leave her side. Security quickly rushed to Celine’s side, but she shooed them away and took over. What she did was a model for humanity, and more specifically, also a model for Floortimers.

Co-Regulation

Celine is a natural Floortimer. She instinctually started at the first functional emotional developmental capacity of Shared Attention & Regulation. She began by reaching out to the woman, saying “I’m glad you came up on stage“.

She remained calm and collected. She acknowledged the woman and her presence. She is really trying to not only gauge the situation, but to also attune to the fan and empathize with her.

When the woman told the security guard “Don’t touch me“, Celine reassured her requesting, “Can I touch you? Ok, come with me.” and proceeded to shoo away security.

Follow the lead

Celine was following the fan’s lead as she sang to the woman, “I love you, you love me” after the woman jokingly and inappropriately rubbed against her in a bear embrace. She didn’t panic; she went with it. She asked, “Look at me. Do you see my heart?” in order to let the woman know “You may get me but I get you too“.

When the woman responds by singing, Celine tells her, “That’s what I want to hear.” Then the fan began to dance and Celine asked, “Are you ready to party with me tonight?” Celine is really responding to the fan’s overtures in such a natural, co-regulating way. Imagine how understood that fan felt in that moment!

Connection

Throughout the interaction, Celine continued to connect with her fan with her body language, and verbally. She told her, “We have something in common”… “we’ll fight for our babies” and “We’re both wearing gold. That’s a sign.” She assured her, “I’m going to help you out” and “I love you” with a hug before getting into a playful game of who loves whom more.

She also was checking in with her even as they parted ways, maintaining the connection by saying, “Be careful! Don’t hurt yourself!” to show she cares. She reassured her fan that the security guards are ok saying “he’s my brother” and “they’re my friends” she reassured the security guards that the fan was also ok: “She’s good…she’s good…

Reflection

Throughout the incident, Celine Dion showed incredible patience and flexibililty. In her mind, she must have been thinking ahead and planning ahead about what to do next, but she stayed in the moment with her fan and allowed for her fan’s emotional expression without trying to suppress her.

When the ordeal was over, Celine reflected on the incident with great wisdom and compassion. She told the audience, “Some people go through a lot. And some people need to talk. And I want to say thank you to all of you because maybe for 5 min we have given this lady a moment to talk“. She then thanked security for doing what they had to do, and thanked the audience for their patience. She then checked in with the fan to make sure she that she was still doing fine. What grace!

A Natural Floortimer

Celine Dion is a natural Floortimer, understanding how to connect and empathize with another human being, and how doing so can avoid an otherwise disastrous situation. We need everyone to see this clip because it is relevant for not just police officers, mental health workers, and parents of all children and adults, but for all of us. This is how it’s done right. Good show out of you, Celine!

If you enjoyed reading how this wonderful example of empathy and compassion is exactly what we are aiming for when interacting with our children who have developmental and regulation challenges, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter, below, and feel free to write any comments below.

Until next week… here’s to affecting autism!

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