Saturday, February 13, 2010


THIS article was recently posted via Facebook. In it the author tells how damaging it can be to turn a child's face to yours physically. I have 'issues' with people touching my face but beyond that, it is offensive when you get right down to it. And the demand.."look at me" just plain silly. Andrew actually 'references' me quite well but does so only for his own advantage. What I mean by this is that he looks to see if he is 'getting to me' and then escalates the interaction to achieve his own means. This came out loud and clear when we did our assessment for RDI.

Since beginning RDI I have noticed so much more 'looking to me' for information. In this clip below, Andrew and I are at Chuck E Cheese. (Where a kid can be a kid and a mom can get a headache.) We were passing out Valentines at a Homeschool Valentines party. For those that don't understand the core deficits of autism, you may not understand the significance, but through four short months of working on PARENT objectives such as slowing down, decreasing verbal, speaking in declaratives, Andrew is learning to look to me. This is NOT done by saying, "look at me." He DISCOVERS on his own that looking to me can be beneficial. This is pretty basic. You can see my 'visual cliff' post here which discusses what I am talking about. Andrew learned to hear like a champ with his cochlear implant through AVT. So thankful that we did that and now we shift gears. I did not caption this video because there is no need to hear any discussion. The emphasis is on the visual interaction- and can anyone REALLY hear at ChuckECheese? (Ok..I'll caption the end. My BF Sydney says "have a great day!")

As I mentioned, Andrew does look to me when we are in an intense interaction but not when we are just 'together.' When we were outside last week he was convinced that there were squirrels under the snow. In this picture he was pointing back at the mound of snow on the air conditioner and asking if it was 'ok' to touch it because there might be a squirrel underneath. It is the first instance I can remember that he referenced me for a safety issue.


The Glasers said...

I just love it! I cannot believe how beautifully Andrew followed your lead in such an INSANE setting. I'm not sure I could have guided Pamela with all of that chaos!

We had the same experience with teaching Pamela to reference. Not once did I prompt "Look at me" or even to the sign for it.

I so wish people would get this!

Army Wife said...

Good for Andrew! This reminds of a horrid story...we were at the neighbor childs birthday party across the street, before we left, I asked the children to thank their hosts...

My son said thank you, and did not look at the host..the host kneeled down in front of everyone at the party, and said...

"You need to look at people when you talk to them, this is just plain disrespectful" a stern voice...(in front of EVERYONE at the party..)

I wanted to pound the guy, but we opted to have nothing to do with them...

HomeschoolSyd said...

I couldn't get the video to play, but since I was there - I just wanted to offer you encouragement. Amy, you guys have come SO FAR in the past few months!!! Your journey is amazing, and the outcomes will be so worth every moment you've put into this!
I totally love the squirrel accomplishment - that is HUGE!
Army Wife - some people are just so... INSENSITIVE!!!! ACK!
CEC is definitely insane, total sensory overload, and Andrew did AWESOME :)
Hugs all around!

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