Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sensory needs.... implant materials...

Sorry I don't have a more catchy title to this post. My head hurts.

On one hand, Andrew is under responsive to all things sensory. He love heavy hugs, deep pressure and swinging like a monkey.

But he can sense the smallest of changes. When we change his mapping on his implant, even a tiny bit, he notices it. We have tried going to the BTE but it is MORE than just the feel of something on his hear (his BWP has nothing on his ear).. he senses small changes in programming. I think he might be a super taster and sense small changes in flavor. He likes Lays chips...not BetterMade. (Ok even I can taste that.)

We changed his head piece this week. We made sure it had the same number of magnets. He felt a HUGE need to push things into his headpiece and even when it came off, he'd smush things on the implant site. It then transferred to pushing peas in his belly button. I thought I might go insane. We decided to change back to his old headpiece. Within a day it stopped. If you look closely, there is a DIFFERENT RUBBER on the circle around the headpiece that touches his head. REALLY?? Obviously there is some sort of 'reaction.' Now what to do about it????

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My name is Amy....

And I am a math curriculum addict.

I am sitting here recalling how we started with Saxon (a bust) and moved to RightStart for a year and a half. Then we got stuck. Instead of just taking a breather I panicked and bought curriculum and kept trying...

Yes...I own them all. K-4.

And now I am trying to breathe. Breathe in...Breathe out.. repeat.

I need an intervention. Going to bust out RightStart and begin where we left off in B and then order C. Now where did I stash the manipulatives?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Travel Kits Review

I was given the opportunity to review an e-book called Travel Kits: A Simple Way to Bless Others. This e-book from The Old Schoohouse is $12.95. The book is like a giant brainstorming for putting together a travel kit. The idea behind the book is to bless someone but certainly you can put together your own travel kits with ideas in this book.

The e-book covers all the details for preparing the travel kit, from ideas on inexpensive gifts, how to 'stagger' opening them in the car, various types of wrappings and ideas for fun ways to eat and distribute snacks by including them in the travel kit.

For the wrapping, Andrew is the king of recycle. He love to 'repurpose' things. (Just today we were emptying out expired calcium capsules to add to the garden..but that is another post.) We decided to take some craft paper (purchased in a roll from Costco and delivered to my house because it is super heavy) and paint footprints on the paper. We then can use this paper to wrap an old box. We fill the inside with tissue and then add the travel kit items. You can also individually wrap the gifts....with the craft paper or tissue (that has been painted..or not.) It is great fun. Very flexible..adaptable.

One way to extend this to 'schooling' would be to include some 'blessings copywork' by adding little snippets of scripture (written by your child of course) that could be put in all the little packages. The e-book also has plenty of ideas there as well.

The book is full of so many ideas on how to fill the packages...themes, ages, group / family gifts and even 'parent gift boxes.' There are ideas of how to make games to include. The e-book gave me inspiration on how to have my own child make up a game. He could, for example, make a travel bingo with his own drawings. (I might just be too selfish to give that up but I could always copy it onto card stock to use again and again in future gifts.) The book included almost a full page of ideas for travel bingo and not all of the ideas were 'visual.' This appeals to me with a hearing impaired child. I am always in the teaching hat but I am thinking you could make up an entire travel game based entirely on sounds. Train, horn, truck horn, people yelling (if you were in the city.) Ok that game might be a bit short but if you included visual and auditory you would be helping 'cross some circuits' in the brain. Add in some sort of kenesthic movement you could do in the car (pat your head and rub your tummy) and you are all set. I told you in a previous post, I am all about rabbit trails. That is what I loved about this e-book. It started my brain moving to all sorts of possibilities for a travel box for others..or for us!

As part of The Old Schoolhouse Crew of reviewers, I was given a complimentary copy of Travel Kits from The Old Schoolhouse. I am not compensated for this review and am not obligated to provide a positive review.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


This post is from January 2008 on my old (now private) blog. Someone was asking about scheduling so I thought I'd repost. The idea is still much what we do today. It is a way to be parent 'driven' but allow for where the child me be 'at' that day. I have edited this somewhat as we have changed, over time, how we do things. And we now 'formally' do RDI with a consultant.


Continuing on with the series of Masterly Inactivity articles posted on Simply Charlotte Mason...."Good Humor" to me draws a distinction between Floortime and RDI. In Floortime and P.L.A.Y. we are to follow our child's lead in order to engage with them. In RDI it is parent driven. To be honest I have never 'quite' gotten the parent driven thing from the standpoint that you have to START somewhere. And even with RDI I think it can START by engaging where the child is at.....but this is about the adult making that choice to make it child chosen (in RDI) vs. just entering the child's activity.

I try and make our day a bit of both....child and parent driven. This means really that it is 100% parent driven (theoretically) because I choose when it is child driven. Our daily schedule does not label each subject; rather it gives 'work sessions.' I do this so that I, the TEACHER can decide how much, and what we will do during a given work session. Our day starts out with 'wake up' and 'fool around.' I know that many say first work then play; however after trying this for some time, and seeing how it did NOT work, I decided consciously to PLAY first, then work. Even a few minutes of play will put Andrew in the mind to work as he has had a taste of 'fun' and then knows he will get it again if he works his best for the next session. The reason I don't put down the subjects to be studied during each session is simple. If it is going well, we may do extra and if it isn't going so hot, I require Andrew to give his 'current' best and then we go to break. If I make this MY decision I do not consider this giving in as we all have 'off' days. Andrew is thankful for this and so is his mom! And I often thank him at the end of each session- long or short- if he has tried his level best.

Our schedule changes every day of the week as you can see. On Monday we go to "Friendship Circle, Wednesday is gymnastics and on Friday we go to the homeschool co-op where we have an engineering and hip-hop class. We will also be adding a recycle art class on Tuesday. As you can see, this isn't 'fancy' and there are no Velcro tabs to move from one side to the other. The velcro schedule is a big behavioral tool for schools especially in preschool. The problem for a kid like Andrew is that you have to do EVERYTHING on the list. I look at our schedule as a template. The teachers, bless their hearts, try so hard with the tools given but I honestly think a lot of the 'behavior' tools actually hurt the students. Life is why put it in a box like that...make it a mystery. That way I can choose good humor and a treat every now and then.

So how does all this tie back into Masterly Inactivity and Good Humor. I think the key is being mindful and following through. Doing what a child wants is not 'giving in' as long as it isn't a 'way out' for you or for them.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Geography e-book review!

I am new to the Crew!!! The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew that is. Our first item to review is The June Module on the subject of geography from Schoolhouse Planner / Modules which can be found HERE and it sells for $ 7.95. You can find other module sets here including the entire set for the 2009-2010 school year. They are timeless topics that can be used any year. TOS has an abundance of fabulous products that can be found on their website. You can find all reviews done by my crewmates by clicking group blog.

The e-book starts out with text on what 'geography' means and then leads into specific information for each continent. Some of it was over Andrew's head (9 years old special needs). What I did was begin by giving him a worksheet from the text and asking him to fill it out. I could then use the materials in the e-book to focus in on what he needed to learn that was at his level. This really can be used for many levels and there are even specific pages targeted to older (high school) learners. These are called 'mini-unit studies' but I have to say, I didn't think they were so mini!

The website really does outline the nuts and bolts of the e-books (including samples from the book) so I thought i'd tell you about how WE used it!

We never do things exactly as outlined and this module was easily adaptable. For example, they had a word scramble exercise. For Andrew, I wrote each letter on an individual piece of paper. He had a go at unscrambling it himself and then would look to me for a thumbs up or down if he had the next 'right' letter. I had him cut out the various matchbook style books on each contentent and we took some delightful rabbit trails down the links that were given in the book. Did you know that the giraffe has a blue tongue? (It is kind of blue- black. Here is a picture I pulled off the internet.)

We did all our reading via the e-book (vs. printing) and Andrew did quite well with that. We cut out the matchbooks and then went to visit one continent per day. There were short lessons or longer ones for each continent. The copywork was extensive and available in both manuscript and cursive. We printed out the manuscript and then gave him his "Smart Start" paper to write on.

Because we are slower with our academic work here than most (and it is summer), this may take us awhile to finish but we will be putting these all in a lapbook or notebook to review at a later date. This is an e-book that can be easily set aside for awhile and returned to later. That is what we will do! I plan to continue to use it as a resource throughout the year.

As part of The Old Schoolhouse Crew of reviewers, I was given a complimentary copy of Travel the World from The Old Schoolhouse. I am not compensated for this review and am not obligated to provide a positive review.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Just Another Day at Camp

I had a whole slurpee and a medium fries on the way home from camp today. ( the fries are not that out of the ordinary but the slurpee is.) Andrew chipped his tooth..again. Same tooth..different day. I do not heart the slip and slide.

I did learn a lot at camp this week ;) Stuff happens. I learned, from talking to other moms, that although I may have flipped a wig when Andrew chipped his tooth (think bad episodic memory) I am no longer a fanatic. I was talking diets with other moms. Not that they were FANATICS mind you because then I'd have to take a serious look in the mirror, but I was chastised by a woman because my kid eats tomatoes and MD french fries. (Yes..I know they are not gluten free.) I think we have to make our own choices! And I did go thru a period where I was very strict but since we have loosened up a bit, Andrew has decided to increase his own foods. I am not even really 'sorry' about the grape issue this week. Sometimes you have to try out things to prove to yourself that you are on the right track. (But no more grapes.)

I also did a lot of back and forth in my head this week on other choices. Is RDI right? Is homeschooling right? Is it "ok" that I think, at the age of 10, that that many people and that kind of camp structure is too much for Andrew? If we did public school and ABA I bet he'd be able to handle it. But then again, I was talking with a tutor/nanny of one of the children and she mentioned that this child had tutors 6 days a week- ALL day. I don't WANT that. Another person was commenting how their child would not listen to their mom but was great with the tutors. I want Andrew to respect me as his primary guide. Does that make me a fanatic? I am pretty sure there were several people that might call me 'over protective' but our low key RDI lifestyle has been working well for us for the last 9 months. We have seen more improvements than we have ever seen in behavior and relationship.

Andrew had a major meltdown in his swimming lesson today. He truly wants to fit in at camp. It reminds me of the book I just read, "Look Me in the Eye." He desired to but didn't know how. But tossing a kid who is working on objectives with one primary guide (or and dad), can not be EXPECTED to hold it together when tossed into a large camp setting. It truly was not his fault. I mean, I lost it as an adult today. I was with a friend this week and we were talking about how we loose it as moms. So I think I should have expected this one. And should have listented to my gut and stayed home today. He lost it at swimming and it had to do with the fact that he was on overload from the entire week. He did do GREAT this week at noticing gestures, doing his own non-verbals. But all that takes a toll on a person! Even today, and the stress of everything that happened ..I have been sitting watching TV and on the computer for about four hours. I just needed to chillax. And I don't have any 'extra' needs! I so wish I had recognized and paid attention to the signs.

I am thankful for prayers. Andrew did not even CRY or SCREAM at the dentist. (And the dentist was closed but the call in dentist came in and she was great.) It was like God was right there calming him. He sat for the x-rays, let the dentist fix his tooth. It was a long 90 min drive through construction and traffic on the way home and I called a couple of people to chat. But when I got home I got an email from a friend who prayed for me around 3:30. That was when we were at the dentist. She did not know we would be there..that all this would happen. Whisper from God.


HUH? What?

I'll get to arabinose in a second...

I am writing this blog as much for myself as for anyone else who may care to listen. (I need to remember what I saw this week.) There are two foods that, when given in great quantity and combined with additional stressors, drive my son over the edge. He can have them in VERY small quantities... but not every day for a week. They are apples and grapes. I got a shipment of grapes in our door2door and they mysteriously disappeared. He also had them many days at camp this week. Today we are reaping the fruits of that mistake. Andrew has, in the past, had major (ripping the doors off) meltdowns. Some of this was behavioral. But it has come to my attention (this week) that there are things that trigger his brain into full meltdown mode. I actually think it is a combination of events that are contributing. When we began RDI we moved to a behavioral model to help curb the tantrums. But we also slowed everything else down. And it was fall / winter and there wasn't much in the way of fruit..especially grapes.

So..why grapes and apples. The answer is arabinose. You can read an very long and technical article HERE. It has to do with both yeast and Krebs cycle. You can also google arabinose and autism and come up with quite a bit.

I had actually planned on writing a very long blog explaining it myself but why do that when others have already done it. Just making you aware. Today has been so stressful. We did camp and Andrew chipped his tooth. It was 3 PM on a Friday afternoon. My dentist's on call dentist did come in. And the prayers helped because Andrew didn't even yell. But the whole thing really did bring me back to remembering why we do what we do. I kind of lost it at the camp because it was all deja-vu. But that will be another post. Just wanted to make some folks aware of the grapes / apples connection. I don't think you can just not eat ANYTHING...and I think every kid is different. But too many grapes this week.....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

You Can't Judge a Book By It's Cover

And you probably shouldn't judge a camp by the first day. Let me start by saying that I still don't like social skills groups...or direct instruction.. but ALL the camp folks have been so willing to take an idea here or there when I tried not to micromanage but just give 'suggestions.' And I thank them for that. It has been really good the rest of the week and I am so thankful for the CEF and their staff. All gifts from God.

Here are some cool highlights so far:

Andrew's helper is such a wonderful natural guide for Andrew. She sets limits, is respectful of him and he (mostly) follows her lead.

Andrew does push the limits..but not continually. Last year he went through the preschool (I am thinking naked) without his implant but with squirt gun....several times.....daily. The preschool is NOT part of the camp and I'm pretty sure the camp instructor got in a bit of hot H2O. This year, he did dump a wet sponge on a girl he was clearly told not to but then did not melt down. He just sat out for a bit and then went back to play. He has had a few running incidents, but when 'caught' he didn't further deteriorate. When people have told him to stop (non-verbally) he does so MOST of the time.

I truly feel that I am able to just sit back and watch. When he ran, I let them handle it. I still sit off and watch. If I leave, I will end up at Target and camp cost will increase dramatically. I typically have been seeing him once or twice during camp to hold his implant so it doesn't get drenched or to just see what is going on.

This year there are parents even MORE concerned about their child's diet than me. (I's hard to believe. It's true I tell you!! It's true!!!!) I try to minimize grapes and Andrew loves them..craves he probably shouldn't eat them. But he has grabbed a few at home when I have them here. Today at camp he gets in the car and says in a giggly voice, "Guess what we had for snack?...Grapes! Oh! Glory!!"

I found myself telling about four people that they should consider RDI as a career. Mostly these were young folks making their way into the world. Did you know that RDI consultant is a GREAT job where you can manage your hours, take the clients you want, and you don't need a specific degree??? (But you do need a bachelors.) I'm just saying... And if you are a guy reading this, the world needs more male 'teachers', consultants and therapists. A friend recently noted that guys can be especially good RDI guides and consultants because they are less likely to micro-manage.

Andrew is doing wonderful with natural gestures and this was one suggestion I made for the people there. We are on a stage 2 objective that deals with gestures. Most of the day he has his implant off because they are playing in water. In the past he would ignore on purpose or be so into what he was doing (or himself) to notice. In stage 2, the objective deals JUST with gestures at home with the primary guide. But he is reading other's gestures in high energy activities. We still have quite a few gaps to fill in..but I see that we are making great strides in the area of non-verbal language. And since 80% of communication is non-verbal, I'd say that is pretty important.

So that's it for now. We have tomorrow and next week. It is storming out now. But the weather has been fabulous! So thankful for that.

Monday, July 12, 2010

"Higher Functioning"

We started camp today. A few highlights...

  • Andrew would like to join cousin Ryan in winning a prize for running. He is also pretty darn good at hiding.
  • Again, I repeat, most places are auditory and although my son has great speech, he is indeed hearing impaired. People forget that. (But they learn quickly when a child doesn't respond!)
  • Talking and intelligence does not equal "high functioning."

To elaborate on the last one a bit.. I struggle with individuals who 'assume' that Andrew's needs are different in the area of sensory or they assume he really CAN attend or CAN sit just because he has fabulous language and is intelligent. The folks at camp are grasping this but it is a hard struggle that sometimes even I deal with at home. He 'should' be able to do this or that..but CAN he? Is he being disobedient? does he need a break? does he need a new battery or microphone in his implant?

Because we homeschool Andrew isn't as apt to sit in a group or stand nicely in line. I am 'ok' with that right now. I am 'ok' with him being loud or running into me because I think he needs it. I could probably do a behavioral tool to get him to stop these things but they aren't important to me. In a group setting it becomes more of an issue but I still think there are ways to meet various needs. ( the week goes on they are really doing their best to do that.)

I sometimes walk away from these types of activities, being in the RDI /homeschool minority, and again wondering...are we doing something wrong? Would it be BETTER if he 'obeyed' and sat in the group more? I know other homeschool moms and RDI families question their methods.

Thankfully my morning prayer time came up with something interesting.. a whisper from God

It is a terrible thing to obey because you fear that disobedience could cost you something, or to look at an authority and do what you need to do to avoid pain or punishment. It is beautiful when you obey God because you know it brings pleasure to Him, and you experience pleasure in experiencing the joy and love of your Father.

I guess that is the reason we do RDI. Because at the end of the day, I want the obedience to be something 'beautiful' and not forced.

An added PS..and another whisper from God. I wrote the above yesterday and this morning I had yet another little jewel in my Blessings book

God knows everything He placed in you, and I bless you with being tutored and nurtured by the Most High God, like an apprentice learning a craft, not just information.

That is so much RDI. I was reflecting on what parts of camp Andrew liked. I asked him directly.."The watermelon" was the first response. The second answer was when they made a word rainbow of positive affirmations. Andrew loves to get reinforcement and give it. He hates punishment and punitive behavioral reinforcements. (We all do but Andrew takes it to the next level.) But this activity actually involved some regulatory patterns in placing the words in the rainbow. That gives comfort and predictability which he currently NEEDS.

A final note which I may have said before. I have a Peter here. Andrew would have been the first to cut off the soldier's ear but he also would have been the first to get out and walk on water. After Andrew's initial meltdown and race through the building, he saw another kid melting down and went over to comfort him. I 'heart' my kid.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Five Question Friday

1. What is one food you could eat everyday? Coffee... if it has to be a 'food' vs. a drink..Coffee Beans. :)

2. Are you working in the career you thought you would be when you were 18? At 18 the plan was... well.. not what I am doing now. But I am fine with my current career. I enjoy it more than the one I formally trained for.

3. What is something that you wish you would have done when you were younger and you didn't? Someone else said: "Worry less, have more fun, "just be a kid", love more, hate less." That fits. I wish I knew now that so many of the things that I THOUGHT were important really were not. OPRs come to mind...Oral Progress Reviews at work. Man how i used to get worked up over those silly things. I wish I had done more 'fun' and less 'serious.' And grades..I wish I hadn't worried about them so much.

4. What color are your kitchen walls? Off-White

5. Do you remember what your very first favorite song was? The songs from Grease. I was (and am) a show tune gal!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Camp Time

Lots of fun was had by all this week at Lost Valley... I didn't take my camera to the beach and most of our time was spent there in this sweltering heat but we found plenty of other things to do as well. Brother has a fabulous camper and they were so welcoming to me and my buddy. It was a pleasure to just visit...not be concerned about 'too' much. Some other highlights...

Andrew welcomed someone at the beach by yelling..."Don't smoke!!! Don't you know that you can get cancer and DIE???!!!!" I explained a bit about Andrew (who did not have his implant on while we were in the lake) and the man says.."oh. you must be E.J.'s sister."

A cousin was there that I hadn't seen in a long time. He does crossfit and below he is with Andrew trying to help him. Kind of a God story that deserves a longer blog... but because I knew about crossfit from him, and had been looking into it for Andrew, I ended up today talking with a local trainer who I think could be a perfect fit. Like I said, that will be a longer story but I was doing a 'connect the dots' in my brain of all the things that just 'happened' to happen for me to end up talking to the trainer today. Stay tuned on this one

Yes..Auntie and Princess are fishing while Andrew reads a book to tell them what to do. Auntie was so wonderful with Andrew. She 'helped' him get a fish and reel it in so he could say he caught a fish because she knew that was very important to him. Thank you :)

Andrew and his cousin figured out how to hook up their DS games so they could play the same ones!

The trailer is right in front of a pond. We did find frogs! It was quite fun.

If you are a facebook friend you saw the whole album. If you want to see it all...and I am so sure you do...go there. FB friend me if you wish.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Child Development

Andrew spent most of the time that 1 year old Seth was awake trying to teach him about the world. Mostly about nouns. In this first video, Andrew is teaching Seth how to spell ball...and what the letters sound like. The funniest part about this is that we never did phonics with Andrew. I tried it for about 3 months. He just learned how to read. Thank you Jesus. But notice what baby Seth does when Andrew tries to teach him directly by pummeling with information. He flees.....

In the second video, Andrew is still trying to teach Seth. Another child is shoving something in Seth's face and then Andrew tries to physically move his head to look at him. Somehow Andrew knows that someone needs to look at you to learn..YET..he gets that perhaps that isn't the right way to do it so he moves his own body to be in line with Seth's and decides to teach him the word 'mom' because I am right there. Seth is once again 'outta there' because this pummeling with information is just a tad too much. There were also three other girls there giving him 'attention.' He flees yet looks back in a game of cat and mouse.

I will say that Andrew was doing this 'direct teaching' for quite some time. But there was much 'inviting' by Andrew to participate. In some ways, Andrew's development is not much different than Seth's. There is another clip I won't bore you with. In it, we discover that Seth does indeed know the name of the word ball, and when Andrew says it he goes and gets one. Andrew does not know how to 'be with' kids his own age. He doesn't get the subtleties of relationship interaction of early elementary. Yet I don't believe he could be taught with 'verbal instruction' how to interact with kids his own age. He will get there..but he does get Seth. He gets what Seth needs. Because he is not much past him in some developmental areas. He spent quite a bit of time playing peek-a-boo with him and that was precious. I wish I had gotten that on video. We offered to babysit him because, quite frankly, in the 5 hours we spent at our friend's cottage, the time with Seth was the most enjoyable and easy because they understood each other.

One more random thought. Andrew never got upset with Seth for not 'getting it.' He just kept trying...hmmmmm......

Friday, July 2, 2010

What if...

I just read another status on facebook how someone's kids are behaving so wonderfully this summer with their chores, summer school work, dutifully... so obedient. I started laughing relaying a conversation from a few days ago.

"What if my kid is the one who fails 3rd grade math?" And my mind continues to go..

"What if my kid is the one who punches a girl half his size?"....

"What if my kid is the one who decides to set off the fire alarm at the library on a hot holiday weekend?"...

"What if my kid is the one who decides to pull down his drawers and pee in front of everyone instead of going to use the bathroom?"....

(I'm just saying. Not that any of this has really HAPPENED.)

What if....

How come there aren't more blogs on that?? I sincerely hope my friend decides to at least do a guest blog under a pseudonym. Any other takers? I can change the names to protect the innocent. I think it is great when there are kids who are doing wonderfully however sometimes misery loves company, there are those of us who need a bit of encouragement from others who have been there. I have been known to be real. Anyone else want to join??

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Teaching Social Skills...aka..why our swimming is working.

We took swim lessons a few times from an 'expert' that everyone in the metro area autism world goes to. She has a wait list. People drive an hour one way to see her. She had her chart out... she had her check list...she had her visuals. Didn't work. We recently started with a 20 year old in her parent's back yard pool. I received an email from a friend that said there was..'this girl who taught an autistic kid to swim.' What the heck. Let's try it. And it is working great. Why???

Because she is 20 and she is just doing what normal people DO. In autism and special needs we try to put in so many 'helps' that we end up hurting. We try to teach social skills and then practice them. There is really no need (or less of a need); although I can see why it is done. Teachers have to manage so much at one time. But I find it 'interesting' that when you just slow down and 'guide' (vs. instruct) in a developmental manner at the appropriate level (not age), a child learns. That is what is happening at swimming. And it can even be done in a large group environment (school) when people are willing to think outside the box.

The lessons are not without limits. Andrew ran out of the pool and jumped off the edge. We told him no, and he did not do it again. Interesting...he respects limits from someone who is treating him at his developmental age. He always wants to play with the pool cleaner that is in the pool. He tries to go over to it..every time so far... but each lesson fewer times and for less time. Because we nod, 'no.' Truly it reminds me of a one year old who might go back over to touch something he shouldn't. Pre- RDI, he would have looked back, seen us nod no, and kept doing it until we got mad. He would actually UP the ante to see how far he could take us. He knows now that mad gets him nowhere. (And he has taken it to extremes.) But staying in an activity brings a natural rewards... including relationship, confidence, fun...Behavioral tools really only have helped us in very specific situations with very concrete guidelines that he knows what to follow. And only a few rules at a time so that he can process them. It is all about being a guide to him and him being a willing apprentice.

Other activities that she does with him remind me of early childhood. They count 1,2,3 and bob in and out of the water, they blow bubbles. She actually sometimes looks to me like she is treating him like a 1 year old- but he is accepting it. She doesn't KNOW any better that she should have a check list....give verbal instruction...'teach.' ( case you missed that.) She instinctively knows how to guide Andrew and it is incredible to watch. Direct instruction is not helpful and done as a teaching technique can be harmful because children get to think that they do not NEED to think THEMSELVES. They do not learn to think. If she goes into teaching I hope she does not get jaded.

Just got back from the park. Andrew had a meltdown because there was graffiti. On the way to the park he was yelling out the window, "DO YOU KNOW JESUS?? ASK HIM IN YOUR HEART." But he is like Peter. Act now, think later. He would have chopped off the soldier's ear but he also would have been the first one to step out and walk on the water. He is learning to think first but at the park he wanted to know what the graffiti was about. Mom broke a commandment and said, "lollipops." (You can figure it out.) Never lie. NEVER lie to your kids. It does not work. He kept getting more upset, trying to figure it all out in his head. I won't go into the details but lies snowball. I should have just told him it was profanity. Finally we just sat there. And a friend brought over a lollipop. The WAITING and the sensory was enough. There were no behavioral tools brought out because in this instance it would have increased anxiety. All that took over half an hour I am sure. Felt like three hours. (God bless you friends who do not judge. Thank you for today.)

But I was commenting with a friend recently on how when you do RDI it can LOOK like bad behavior without consequence. He did do a 'bad behavior' today but it was outside of the graffiti incident. He hit a little girl. And there will be a consequence as outlined for him prior to the event. But the whole meltdown looked bad and had nothing to do with behavior. But by waiting it out, we left the park on descent terms. I could spotlight that, "hey we went to the park together and had a good (kind of) time."

I still enjoy moms night with my friends better than the park. Anyone wanna meat me at Starbucks tonight??

Related Posts with Thumbnails