Friday, April 2, 2010

Social Stories Only Get You So Far....aka.you can't TEACH social skills.

We went to the park today... a real park..with real kids....first venture out since fall. If you have a kiddo like Andrew...Can I call him a sizzler?? That is Carol Barnier's word for kids like Andrew. Well if you have a Sizzler, you know what I'm talking about. The first few minutes we were waiting for friends and Andrew went up to a boy who we didn't know.

Hey! I like your hairstyle.
(strange look by boy which continues throughout conversation)
Hey! Kid! I like your hairstyle. (It was stylin.)
Hey! Don't you talk kid??!! I said I like your hairstyle.
Do you want to play tag?
Hey! Kid! I'm talking to you!!!!!
Didn't your mom teach you any manners? You are suppose to answer someone when they talk to you.

This is just one example of how you can't TEACH social interaction! You just can't... RDI is getting at it and that too was seen at the park. Once the friends came, a game of 'tag' was started...kind of...Andrew wouldn't be 'it' but no one seemed to care. Kids don't talk. They just do. We had one social skills class where the kids were taught to shake hands with each other. Um....i'm pretty sure that is kind of setting up a poor kid for failure from the get go. Talk about being different. Anyway, we are seeing great gains in Andrew's ability to read other people in order to join in. Even the interaction with the boy showed this. He didn't just stand and continue saying the same thing over and over. He read his reaction (or non-reaction) and responded appropriately, even if the initial interaction wasn't exactly on target.

He is also getting better at knowing his own limits. We stayed at the park for 45 minutes. After about 30 minutes he started 'tapping' another little girl we knew. He said he was trying to help her learn to walk. I clarified that 'tapping' (hitting) was not allowed. He did it again and his behavioral consequence happened. I told him if it happened again we were leaving and within 10 minutes he said, "I want to go."

So first day out...not bad.

3 comments:

Debbi said...

Amy, what's with the handshaking thing with these kids? At Ian's school, he was getting in too close to the girls he was interested in knowing better (procipriation) and hugging...so the adult's suggestion was he shake hands upon greeting. They role modeled it...blah, blah, blah. I finally said "uh excuse me...you are just making him seem more odd... do you know any teenager boys who shake hands with girls upon greeting in the hallway???". Sometimes I just wonder where their heads are. Sounds like the RDI is paying off for you. Great blog!

Army Wife said...

When Henry was 4 I would take him to the park, he TRIED so hard, he would introduce himself to 4 year old children by saying, My name is Henry, I like Thomas the Tank, gold, Wheel of Fortune, and various other gameshows, what about you?"....the kiddos would run off...

Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum said...

hey Debbi..I am starting to have a 'hugging' issue. Sometimes it is too much proprioception... sometimes he cops a feel. That didnt' bother anyone too much when it was my cleaning lady w/ an autistic son but more so when it was a friend's dd. she shrugged it off. Oh and there is this guy that comes over and helps w/ stuff around the house and also rough houses w/ Andrew because Mark can't do that. Well- Andrew tried to tickle a kid his age- um- didn't go so well. I saw a FB post.."Today is Autism awareness day. Consider yourself aware." Wish I'd of had that at the park! LOL

Army Wife..I just ache when stuff like that happens. Andrew has recognized that other kids like other stuff. very cool. but he will then bombard them and if it doesn't fit the category, all is lost. He asked a girl if she liked barbies...she didn't. But why not? all girls like Barbie....in his mind

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