Below is a statement that reflects the third ‘A’ in the Triple-A Model – Accessibility (to needs provision). It captures my thoughts and my response when I am talking to caregivers about their experience of the behaviour of a child who is recovering from a tough start to life. Embedded in this response is the notion that children do not do anything for no reason. If we can hold on to this idea, we might then ask ourselves what is going on for the child? This is the first step in the process of making and maintaining a relational connection with the child that, ultimately, represents our best chance of being a positive regulating influence over their approach to life and relationships. Often, the behaviour of the child who is recovering from a tough start to life reflects their preoccupation with a need that was met inconsistently during the developmental period, and their endeavour to reassure themselves about access to needs provision. Responding to the need facilitates for the child the experience that their need is understood and important, that it matters, that they matter, and they can rely on you for needs provision. This is a relief for the child, thereby supporting lower arousal and reduced vulnerability to anxiety and additional behaviours of concern associated with activation of the fight-flight-freeze response. It supports functional learning about access to needs provision a reciprocal connection from the child.
The statement goes like this: