“The Adrienne Process and Chess”
by Adrienne Murphy,MA CCC-SLP, Founder of the Adrienne Process
It was a sheer delight to be interviewed on April 24, 2020 by Evan Rabin, National Chess Master and CEO of Premier Chess. Evan manages chess programs for students of all ages and levels in the NYC area. In our podcast episode, Evan inquired, “How can your program, “The Adrienne Process” be useful for my students when teaching chess?” To answer this question more specifically, first, I will discuss what The Adrienne Process is and then outline the specific “Action Steps” and their application to the game of Chess.
The Adrienne Process is an integrative online program specifically geared for parents of young children with special needs. The program consists of individual online parent consultations and online content for parents: e-book, multiple award-winning children’s music album, “Heartsongs of the Rainbow” and an accompanying online course for the music album: “The Heartsongs Curriculum: 7 Days to Create and Experience Joy with your Uniquely-abled Child”.
I am a veteran Speech-Language Pathologist, Award-Winning Recording Artist and certified Healing Arts professional in the areas of yoga and energy work. The eight “Action Steps” of this program use the letters in the name, “ADRIENNE” as a pneumonic device or acronym, to delineate each step:
Attract the right “Support Team” to help your child with special needs.
Desire only the BEST for you and your child. Never settle.
Realize that your child’s growth/development is a journey and not a destination.
Intend consciously. Visualize the outcomes you want to happen for both you and your child.
Engage with your child at his/her own level through play, creativity and nature.
Become the “Observer” of your child’s behavior and not the “Reactor”
Nuances are the subtleties of your child’s behavior that are embraced with curiosity not with fear or shame
Execute the therapeutic plan with confidence.
The “Action Steps” of The Adrienne Process can easily apply to chess instruction for any student:
For any aspiring chess student, it is important to “attract” the right support team consisting of an excellent instructor such as one of Premier Chess’ instructors and the student’s classroom teacher and parent/s.
Each chess student “desires” to be the “winner” of the game and to play his/her personal best.
Realize that learning the “art” of playing the game of chess is a process/journey and takes much practice to master.
Intend to play your best consciously. Visualize “each move” or “outcome” as the steps needed to “win”.
Engage and strategize with your opponent in the present moment foreseeing probable outcomes your opponent may take as a result of your particular move.
Become the “Observer” of your opponent’s “moves” and not the “Reactor”. This will help maximize your strategic options.
Nuances are the subtleties of your opponent’s moves with any particular piece that are embraced with curiosity not with fear or resignation.
Execute the game of chess with confidence! Lastly, chess enhances a variety of skills in the following areas for students of all abilities: attention skills, sensory processing, visual-spatial discrimination, higher-level cognitive skills, socialization, and pragmatic language. Chess requires that a student maintain sustained focus/attention for an extended period of time. By enhancing a student’s attention skills during chess, greater focus can be sustained for academic/classroom subjects for an extended period of time across subject areas. For students with issues of sensory processing, that is, being hyper-sensitive (i.e. overly sensitive) or hypo-sensitive (i.e. under sensitive) to environmental stimulation, chess is a wonderful game that controls the student’s environment with clear boundaries that enhance safety and structure in a predictable fashion. This predictability is especially important for any student with a sensory processing disorder. In addition, each chess move requires visual-spatial discrimination which is the awareness of how pieces move and how the move of an opponent can directly impact that particular student’s moves. Divergent thinking and problem solving are higher-level cognitive skills facilitated during the game of chess. Each student is forced to think of the myriad of possibilities that can occur with each piece’s particular movement by an opponent. Social skills are enhanced for any chess student. Each chess student has to learn how to play fairly with an opponent and follow the rules in an appropriate and socially acceptable manner. Pragmatics or the use of language increases with learning how to play chess. Pragmatics refers to the appropriate use of non-verbal behaviors, eye contact, turn-taking and staying on topic.
In conclusion, many children who experience difficulty in any of the above-mentioned areas would benefit from learning how to play chess. Chess is a wonderful game to learn for all students and all abilities! Using the “Action Steps” of The Adrienne Process can enhance this learning more effectively with lasting results.
For more insights about The Adrienne Process, listen to her conversation with Premier Chess CEO Evan Rabin in the 30th episode of Premier Chess podcast.