Monday, October 22, 2007

Video Review #6

Objective 5


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

RCR Struggles and interesting thoughts from the webinar

i've been meaning to write all weekend, and now it's wed night and i'm finally getting around to it...aggh, life gets so busy.

I've been working various RCR activities with Henry all weekend and this week. We averaged about 10 a day over the weekend, but probably just two or three per day during the week. they ranged from anything from throwing acorns together to putting the dog treats in the container together. I tried to do the non-verbal inviting thing with many of them to get started, but that didn't really work - henry mostly ignored me until i asked him to come participate.

he would try to participate and he especially likes it when i add in funny sound effects, like a big karate chop "high-ya" and then we throw something somewhere together. however, we're not really getting a rhythm with this at all. he doesn't seem to be able to self regulate so we throw at the same time, and i can't do all the repair work for him. oftentimes i have to revert back to a 1-2-3-throw a few times before he starts to get it, or i do hand over hand a few times. but most of our activities do not last longer than 3-5 minutes, so it seems like he's never really "getting" it. i will keep on plugging away though. any advice?

also, attended the parent webinar last night and Gutstein, as always, had some good advice and stuff to work on. Basically the majority of the hour talked about transfer of responsibility - one of the things i found interesting was Gutstein telling parents to be sure not to allow the kid to take a passive role in the activity (a good example he gave was carrying a bag together, where when the kid lets go, you pick up the slack instead of letting if fall. i do that for sure!) so i'm trying to be mindful of when i might be "scaffolding" too much and allowing henry to take a passive role in our interactions, whatever they may be.

Gutstein also talked about having a short, 1-3 word thought to describe the objective that you are working on and carrying it with you throughout the day, being mindful of incorporating it if you can into every interaction with your kid til it becomes second-nature. My thought for now is "don't talk-use non-verbal"

also, another little anecdote and then i'll wrap up here. henry has discovered where the books are locked up in the "activity room". yesterday he indicated that he wanted to "jump on the bed", which i was psyched about b/c that was an activity that we had done together the previous day with Rosie and had a really good time playing and laughing together. of course, i said, lets go upstairs and jump and he said "no, here"...he wanted to enter the activity room. so i suspected something was up, when i let him in he went straight for the books. then he says "i love books". i said "henry, you told mommy you wanted to jump on the bed" and he attempted one pathetic jump to try to please me and then stared over at the books. i went ahead and let him have his fix, the poor kid. Never let them tell you that an autistic kid can't manipulate or won't lie - he played that one just right!

Saturday, September 29, 2007


I sort of had a light bulb go off the other day when I was giving Henry his daily 'before bed bowl of cereal'. Just as we use an intermediate bowl to allow Henry to make many small dumps when adding ingredients to the mixing bowl, I've begun to do the same thing with his cereal and milk. The first time I did it, he caught on right away. Unlike baking, which we're only able to do once or twice a week, the kid eats several bowl of cereal a day so this should introduce many more occasions for RCR.

Since we have millions of acorns on our property at the moment, I'm going to try to incorporate them in an RCR activity tomorrow. I'll probably just hand him acorns and have him throw them somewhere... we'll see.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Video Review #5

Mom - Non-Verbal
Mom and Henry continue to target Objective 5 use of non-verbals in a few different activities.

Mom - Give/Put
Various RCR activities with Mom and Henry in giver-puter roles.

Dad - Non-Verbal
Like I mentioned in the video, I'm not sure this was a good activity to target objective 5 after all because he's done this so many times and he knows his role pretty well. I just gotta get him to stop tasting the batter!

Dad - Give/Put
In these videos, I'm thought I was doing RCR until I started editing the video and remembered that I'm not supposed to talk for that - but still think this was a productive activity regardless. Another thing I observed was that even though I did all these videos last night in a span of about an hour and a half, I don't think it seemed forced to him. To me, it was a little rushed but the point I'm trying to make is that he seemed to go along with everything without a fight so I guess he was enjoying himself somewhat.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The weekend and finding fun games

Well, this weekend without the books went really well - despite the added craziness of having houseguests, we were able to do lot of things with Henry. Saturday, we did a lot of time in the yard, playing with balls and on the swing and on the bike. no pressure - we just had fun with it b/c aaron's family was visiting and it was relaxed (no videos to do :). Sunday, Aaron headed up to the dover race with the fam, so i had the kids to myself all day. It went very well. I filmed a few things, which you will see on tues, but mostly it was just Hen, Rose and i hangin out. I got some alone time w/Henry when i took him to gymnastics class - lots of good opportunity for RDI throughout the class....especially use of non-verbals for transitions - like holding my hand out, or using eye gaze on where he should go and what to do next. and he paid attention pretty well.

We also went to the store after the class and he picked out a b-day cake for Poppy (his great grandpa). we went back to my mom's and had an early dinner and the cake for Pop - Hen helped put in the candles and then blow them out - he was a role-player in the whole process, which was great and really made him feel good about himself - he was just extra smiley today and in tune. I think he liked having that alone time with mom - i need to try to schedule that in on a weekly basis if i can - aaron has mentioned he could come home early one night a week - that might work well.

Proximity, patience, and limiting words was my mantra for this weekend and i think it worked well - hen seemed on a much more even keel. i watched the video you sent - actually i had already seen it from the site, but i think it was a great example of setting a welcoming environment - i'm going to have aaron watch it tomorrow.

Oh, so my three activities that i think Henry would enjoy are playing on the musical instruments, anything to do with the swingset and yard (maybe even a Dora the Explorer type scavenger hunt, we were having fun with things like that this weekend.) and building with this magnetic ball erector set. i think as time goes on i'll have more - eliminating the books (or at least limiting the time with them to about 15 min a day, as well as 15 min of computer) has opened up a lot of new options.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lots of Interaction tonight

wow...maybe putting away the books was good idea. Henry did really well tonight with no distractions. He actually stayed in the room for a long time with Rosie and me - we sang lots of songs, played musical instruments, played a bit with the plastic food. He didn't do any puzzles. I did give him about 15 minutes of computer time while i made dinner, but otherwise he was very much around. I think this is going to really help us find those "play" type of things we are looking for to incorporate into RDI activities. I'll keep you posted how it goes for the rest of the week.

We put the books away

One of Henry's worst obsessions are his books. When he's in his books, it's difficult to pull him away and it's even more difficult to experience share - so we put them away. He has a couple reserved for bedtime but other than that, he's finding other things to get into. One thing he's picked up again are puzzles. Puzzles were an obsession a year or so ago but has since waned. What I'm finding with the puzzles is that I can give him 1 or 2 pieces at a time (giver-putter exercise) and he lets me help him put the puzzle together (experience sharing). We'll see how long this last but we're happy to see something positive come out of this so soon.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Videos for Phone Consult

Aaron RCR

Theresa Objective 6

Theresa Objective 5

Monday, September 10, 2007


well, like we spoke about on the phone, i spent most of the weekend and today seeking out and testing some fun play activities to do with henry so that the majority of our RDI work doesn't involve housework - poor kid, he was working harder than any five year old i know doing laundry, dishes, cooking and watering plants. ha! however, it has been difficult to find play activities as you know that he likes and that i can involve myself in...especially since the majority of his favorite pastimes, like reading and playing on the computer, are such solo activities. As i mentioned on the phone, i've tried to insert myself into a few of his favorite computer games and that seems to be working well....except that they can be very distracting so it's hard to get him to reference me. we also did some hanging out in the bean bag room, but my creativity was pretty low during that time so we ended up just hanging.

tonight, i scored bigtime by starting up a quick game of hide and seek (really i was trying to get hank and rosie to hold off on wanting dinner til 5, so i had 1/2 hr to kill). The game was basic in that i would go hide while they counted to ten, then i would periodically say "where's mommy?" until they started to determine which room i was in and where i was. I really couldn't believe that henry played along like he did - i think i hid like 6-7 different times and there was a lot of great "anticipation" and emotion-sharing in the game - and of course big tickles when they found me. hen was even able to wait and count to ten to give me a chance to hide - i hate to say but i think he and rosie are about on the same level with this game. interestingly enough, the game ended when rosie found me before he did....he didn't like that one bit!

as i mentioned, i did a bit of taping this weekend working on objectives 5 and 6. tonight, after rosie went to bed (and b/c my throat is sore) i decided to do the mommy's lost her voice game. we didn't have a lot of activities that we HAD to do - just to brush teeth, put on pjs, click off the light, etc...but i was able to get a lot of non-verbal back and forth with henry to do them. he also read ME a story before bed...and would check in with me as the story progressed to occasionally see my response to something or an indication that he was on the right's amazing when you shut up what happens! one interesting note on that though is how henry would be able to say some of the story verbatim and then other parts he would just fill in with blahblahblah...i wonder if that's what he's unable to process when i read the story to him??? weird.

we got the RCR stuff and i'll probably read through it tonight. yesterday i finally applied for that scholarship you gave us the info on, so we'll see where that goes. i'll let you know.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Video Review #4

Hangin with Dad - Part 1

Hangin with Dad - Part 2

Pouring Activity

Handholding Activity

Aaron's Notes - 8/29

For the past 3 mornings, I've been trying to get Henry to eat cereal with me - like we've done in the past chanting "scoop, ahhh-ummmm" but he doesn't seem to want to go along with me. Either he doesn't want me interfering with his food consumption or I'm going at it all wrong and I think its the latter. I know were not working specifically on coregulation at the moment but what can I do to make this go a little better?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Aaron's Notes - 8/26

Lets see... thursday and friday we taped on objective 4. That went okay, I guess we'll see it come video review time.

Saturday, we I don't recall doing any formal activities with Henry. We did throw the football a little which he usually hates doing, actually any back and forth, so that was pretty cool.

Today (sunday) we did a couple formal activities and some ran around town a bit. The first activity we did which was kinda cool was ripping off he wall paper in the hall bathroom. I was asking T if she could think of any activities I could do with Henry and she suggested that since it was something I wanted to get done today. Anyway, the wallpaper was really old and coming off the wall on the edges. I showed Henry that he could rip it off the wall and he continued to do so. Then we stuffed it in a trash bag. We would trade off holding the bag while the other would stuff the paper in. We followed this pattern until most of the paper was off the well. Later, we emptied the dishwasher. While he was looking at books throughout the day, I tried to spend some time by his side, not disrupting him but just showing him that I was there. I guess I did poke and tickle him here and there - can't help it. Later in the day, we went to the pet store and home depot. Even though he said he didn't want to go (but I drug him out anyway) he enjoyed the pet store and had no qualms running to home depot. I guess he's used to it by now.

The thing I'm taking from activity 4 is that in whatever we do, I make sure to keep things positive and make it known to Henry that he's doing a good job whether it's by complimenting him, smiling, or focusing on what he's doing right as opposed to what he's doing wrong.

a discouraging weekend

oh well...i guess we all have 'em, but this weekend was a hard one with Henry. Not that he was doing anything other than normal, but it's just getting so frustrating watching him spend every free second of his time either stimming out on books or asking to use the computer - anything to avoid interaction with us. especially now that we understand what a form of "escape" it is and how he is doing these things to feel "ok" - why can't he feel ok with us??

in terms of activities, this weekend wasn't so bad. Sat. morning i took Henry to get some paint for the bathroom renovation. i thought he would like to see how they blend the colors and mix the can...unfortunately it wasn't as visible as i'd hoped it'd be. however, we did use the outing for a lot of RDI-like activities - experience sharing, he helped me carry the paint can (we did it together) etc. And I involved him in all the regular weekend activities like laundry and dishes etc. We even played in the pool a bit outside in the front yard and did a game with pouring.

however, i just get so frustrated sometimes. it seems like we're working so hard with him and just making these baby steps. at times, aaron and i just want to box up all his books and unplug the computer and eliminate all his ability to stim and avoid us. but i know that's not only cruel b/c he needs these things to feel ok (for now) but also, he would probably just find some other more inappropriate thing to get lost in. every time i go down this track i feel bad, b/c as hard as it is for us, it's probably about 10x harder for Henry. i mean, it took the poor kid about 15 minutes to try to tell me he wanted to go to the library on friday...and he was so happy when i finally understood him - it literally made his day.

so, sunday i spent most of the day painting, which i couldn't really involve Henry in, so Aaron took the lead for most of the day. we did a few small things together, like walk down to grandmas and drive to aunt shanons together - but not much for formal activities, i was just not into it. anyway, i'm sure tomorrow will bring a new day and a better attitude....and i hope that soon we will see those changes in Henry that will help us (and him) stay motivated to work hard and know that we are doing the right thing here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The First Webinar

Hi Missy - just wanted to let you know we were able to sign on to Gutstein's webinar last night, and i even asked a question! they were definitely still working out the kinks of the system, but i think it should be a good resource for parent training in the future. Dr. G provided us all with an "abridged" version of all the parent goals, so i was able to look through them a bit (not completely though)...i guess we have a long way to go still in our training...let alone Henry's.

In other news, had a nice evening with Henry tonight. For our lab time, we did an activity around the laundry...something really simple and short.....where he helps me put the wash in the washing machine, and we pour the detergent together - he holds the cup, i pour in the cup, and then he pours in the machine...and then he helps me put the clothes in - i hand him the clothes and he dumps em in. he seems to really like this, but i'm going to have to get creative with inserting productive uncertainty.

also, we all had a dance 1/2 hour before bed tonight, where we play music and jump and dance on the bed, hank and rose. it's really fun and henry even made a request for a song he likes. i haven't really incorporated any RDI into that activity yet, but i bet i could - maybe Obj 3...i didn't even think of it! ok, signing off for now.

Aaron's Notes - 8/22

Henry and I worked on objective 4 this morning. I think I got it. We hung out for maybe 4-5 minutes in the activity room. We started out on chairs. Henry immediately pointed out something he wanted on the shelf (i think it was one of his cds) and I just shook my head 'no' and did my best to keep smiling. He eventually gave up on asking and got up and laid down on the bean bags. I followed him over and laid down. He played with my fingers for a little while, but not wanting him to use me as a tool, I would put his hand back toward him, doing my best to maintain a smile. Later, he went to pinch me and said 'don't pinch' and I nodded and place his hands back to him. I think he was trying to connect with me with the pinching - because that's something he knows I'm familiar with him doing. Otherwise, he didn't really make any other eye contact but he knew I was there. After about 5 minutes, I got up and he followed me out. I'll try again tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Videos for phone consult

Hangin Out

Baking Brownies

Monday, August 20, 2007

Aaron's Notes - 8/20

On Sunday we had some time together and I tried objective 4 again. We were on the couch, the tv was off and Henry pretty much just wallowed me to death - rolling around on me, playing with my face, but I put no demands on him. At one point, I played dead for a long time. He continued to roll around on me for the first couple minutes but eventually he grabbed my face then tried to open my eyes with his fingers. I took this as a positive. At least he noticed and, as far as I could tell, wanted me to be alive around him.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Aaron's notes - questions: objective 4

In the evenings, Henry is especially spazzy and it's nearly impossible to connect with him when he's like that. I thought these times would be a good opportunity to use objective 4 - I'm kinda stuck with this one so I have some questions about how it should be implemented.

Henry likes to look at books and usually bounces or rolls around on the couch or bed, visually stemming, turning the took to the side, upside down. So the question is, am I supposed to take the book away and try to get him to calm down, like, physically restrain him, or do I just sit by him and watch him tweak out? He rarely just sits down and chills out unless he's watching tv or doing a puzzle or something... so do I just try to sit with him when he's calm?

This objective is proving to be more difficult that I thought.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

a busy time

these past few days have been quite busy, just the typical weekday schedule, i guess, but i'll try to touch on a few things we've done RDI-related. Tuesday was rough, because when i went to pick up the kids at the sitter's, she told me that Henry cried for an hour when he got off the bus and she couldn't figure out why. He also won't eat any food at her house but apple sauce for the past three days. so....who knows? i have no idea why he is doing this, and of course he can't tell me. so, for now i ignore it. what else can i do...the kid won't starve. that night, Rose was in rare form and basically took all my attention, so my only "activity" was objective four...sitting with henry doing nothing. i think at some point we both fell asleep.

yesterday, we had dinner at my mom's, so that was something a little off schedule. Henry adapted to the change very well, and we did a bit of "walking activity" as we walked to her house. One thing i've been trying to do a lot lately is give indirect prompts. he probably gets them about 20% of the time, which is frustrating, probably for both of us. i try to scaffold them by long pauses and then giving him the direct prompt after a few tries. i really don't think he is "thinking" about what i'm saying most of the time. maybe that's my fault for using too much talking a lot of the time. but i try to incorporate them into for instance the walking activity...when i say "boy, you're walking too fast for me."...Henry, we can't walk that quick...finally, Henry, wait for us.

tonight, our planned activity was making brownies again...this time for his last day of school to give to the teachers. i taped it, and he did pretty well. we had a lot of emotion-sharing and he seemed really into it - knew just what to do - and even stayed with me all the way through his role in part of the "clean-up". he even grabbed the spoon to stir without my prompt! we stirred together for a bit too. we had a few unexpected challenges, like when he accidentally dropped the small bowl into the big one on one of the dumps. I tried very hard to make sure he didn't feel like this was a "mistake" and then want to withdraw from the activity, so i just laughed and said "boy, that was sure heavy." he picked it up and out and we continued on - i felt like it was a good example of some serious "productive uncertainty" that he was able to weather. we'll see how it looks on video, but i was impressed and i think it helped his confidence.

Aaron's Notes - 8/16

This evening, Henry and I unloaded the dishwasher. He handed me dishes and I put them away. I focused on objective 3 with this activity. I put away the dishes on the first 10 or so hand-offs then I would freeze. Henry would try to put the dish in my hand and then grab my arm and push it toward the counter. This was his typical reaction during the 10 or so times I froze. One time I tried to prolong the freeze and eventually he made some noise like "eeehhhhh" and I looked over, we met eyes and continued with the hand-offs. I was surprised he didn't try to pinch me which he does when he's not getting his way. However, I was a little disappointed that he chose to just move my hand or put the dish away himself rather than try to communicate verbally but I guess that'll come.

After unloading the dishwasher, we went upstairs to get him ready for bed. He was really tweaking out once he got to his bedroom. Really stemming hard, bouncing, flapping, squealing. I tried to use objective 4 in this situation but now after I read the objective again, maybe not. He undressed and put his PJs on and I tried to read him a book but he wasn't really into it. When he was really stemming hard I would grab him and have him sit beside me. He tried his best to get away, and he did but I would grab him again. We went back and forth on this for about 5 minutes before lights-out.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Aaron's Notes - 8/14

More of the same in the morning - not asking questions, catching myself if I start to - even if it's something rhetorical because he'll try to answer it if he's paying attention. Trying to keep my interactions with him fresh which is hard considering our mornings are very "routine".

This evening Henry was spazzing a bit, I tried objective 4 for the first time after our home visit. I've done this type of thing many times before but not usually for more than a minute or so. It wasn't much of a challenge but I have some questions...
  • am I supposed to grab him to come back to the couch (or wherever we are) or am I supposed to follow him around but never leave his side? I noticed myself trying to show him that I was happy when I grabbed him to come back. I ask because I was taping a bit and I wasn't able to set up the camera and follow him around because I'd be out of the camera's angle.
  • Also, when I taped, he was reading a book and I was reading it with him or more like reading it to him... at times we were reading it together. We read together all the time so I was wondering if that counts as part of the objective or am I supposed to just be with him when he's doing whatever he does?
  • I also tried to be observant as to make sure he wasn't using me as a tool so when he was leaning against me which could be a minor stem for Henry, I would sit up and make sure were were sitting next each other instead of him in front or to the side leaning. Should I be worrying about minor things like that for this objective?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Finding 5 minutes to Ponder

Well, i'm back to writing on the blog and this time i really mean it! Keeping in mind our first parent objective, both aaron and i have been trying to find 5 minutes a day to ponder what we are working on with Henry. so far, so good for the past two days.

For objective one, i've been trying to be sure we have at least 1 "lab activity" a day. yesterday, we baked brownies, so similar to the activity we did during the home visit, we used a little red bowl and henry knew his role right away. however, the challenge did come in keeping his interest. actually, i think i presented a challenge that was too great - i had us stirring with the spoon with our hands together and i was going to change up speeds, etc. but henry wanted no part of it, so i just let him leave and thanked him for helping me...basically b/c i really needed to get the brownies cooked before we went to a bbq. i know, i know....rushing is the worst thing for rdi, but that's life sometimes. so much for objective 2 this time.

today's lab exercise was to water the flowers (heck we could do it everyday, given how hot it's been) . henry did ok, but was really just going through the motions, so it was hard for me to add a lot of variation. i think we should probably let this activity rest for awhile and maybe do it just once a week or so. anyway, one challenge was that mid-activity, rosie had stepped in mud and i asked him to spray her feet off. well, let's just say she got doused and was not in the mood! so crying ensued, and the activity ended pretty soon after that - though we did get through all the plants, the mood was definitely dampened (no pun intended ;)

objective four has been the easiest for me so far. spending time with Hank just hangin is not hard at all....though what happens is that he inevitably attempts to get me to do read him a book. am i just being a tool for his wants? i don't know if that is really making a "connection" or even if i should be responding to him, though my gut says yes. so we ended up reading a book one time. another time he just ignored me the whole time and then left. but sitting around in his room doing and saying nothing has been fine. i will wait for a moment of "henry freak-out" and see if i can video the outcome on that.

one activity that i am going to add to the repertoire is henry helping me carry the laundry basket - upstairs, downstairs, whatever...i could use the help and i think it helps us with coordination. i'm also trying to get something framed related to putting his clothes i put piles on his bed and then eye reference him for the one to pick up...then i open the drawer...then he drops the clothes in...then i close the drawer...then back to the next pile. hey - i hate to do all the "chore" things, but they've got to get done and that's the type of stuff that takes me away from spending time with Henry, especially in the evenings after work. i'm just trying to get a whole lot more patient and deliberate about all the things i do and including him in them.

ok, that's it for today...that was probably a little more than 5 min, no?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Recent Activities with Dad

I wanted to log a few things I have been working on with Henry in the past few days. On Sunday, we did three short activities.

Unloading laundry from the washer to the dryer - he has done this many time and it's apparent that he's quite confident in his role. I tried just about everything I could think of to create productive uncertainty... I dropped the item in front of him, I put it on his head, I wouldn't let go. He really seemed to go with the flow.

8-7-07 - We unloaded laundry again but this time Henry got the laundry out of the washer and handed it to me to put in the dryer. I threw kinks by not putting the item in the dryer, he would just wait or look at me but he never got upset or appeared uneasy.

Watering the flowers - we typically start from the back, but this time, we started in the front and it didn't phase him. Also, I wanted to see how he would react when I didn't hang the previous basket and he was fine with it. The last time we did the exercise, he wouldn't start watering the next basket until the previous basket was hung.

Unloading the dishwasher - here he handed me dishes and I would put them away. He would space out here and there but when he did, I would clear my throat and if that didn't do it, I'd say "I need a plate" or something to that affect. When we got to the silverware, he didn't want to do it anymore. Not sure if it was because he was bored of the activity or that he didn't feel comfortable doing the silverware after the dishes because he always does the silverware exclusively (OCD issue).

Our morning routing - it's changed up a little since he has been in summer school. We really don't have time to do a whole lot but I do usually pick out his clothes and make sure he gets dressed. He seems to be understanding when he needs to take off his bed clothes when I say "it's time to get dressed" but with the putting on clothes part, he gets very distracted. I guess it's because he likes being naked but unfortunately, they won't let him into school that way. I try not to use too much speech when directing him to put on his clothes and now that I think about it, lately, have been using almost none. I'll hand him his underwear and if he's spacing out and twirling them around like he does, I'll take them from him and lay them out again. Sometimes I'll have to grab his arm and lead him to the floor where the clothes are laid out. If I don't lay out the clothes all at once, at times I'll hand him his shirt before his underwear (which he usually puts on first, who doesn't?) and see how he reacts. He used to always try to put the shirt on his feet but lately, I've noticed that he's putting it over his head so it seems like he's paying better attention as far as that goes. That's progress, right?

8-8-07 - Well... I gave him is shirt first today and he tried put it on his legs. I said 'this is a shirt' and that still didn't register. I guess I should have given him some non-verbal prompts or a more straight-forward verbal prompt because I eventually had to put it over his head.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Watering Flowers with Dad

I did the flower watering activity with Henry this evening. It started out a little rocky. Henry had a hard time understanding that he needed to pull the hose all the way to the first basket. After telling him 20 times I walked down to him and helped him pull the hose out the rest of the way. Once I turned the water on, he wouldn't stop spraying the ground. I think he was messing with me. He would look up while he was spraying, I would shake my head 'no' but he kept spraying. I think I finally took the hose from him and told him 'no' verbally and probably a few other choice words, he got upset but luckily didn't throw him off too bad. Yea, I know... I need to be more patient.

Once we got into it, everything went smooth. He knows the drill at this point. For a kink, after the 3rd or 4th basket, I did the same thing T tried in the video. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 5, 5, 5... It didn't bother him too bad but he definitely didn't think it was funny. The next thing I did was try to go the next basket without putting the previous basket back up on the hook. He took my hand and guided me back to the other basket. I put it up (maybe I shouldn't have???).

There's a pot on a stand that we did at the end. Henry wanted it down on the ground like the baskets so I put it down on the ground (maybe I shouldn't have???). After he watered it, I asked him to put it back up on the stand. He thought it was too heavy so I asked him to help me and he did, then he let go toward the end, then I acted like it was too heavy and asked for his help to get it the rest of the way. It was a nice way to end the activity.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Video Review #3

Watering Flowers

Emptying the Dishwasher

Picking Up Sticks

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Making Time and Framing Worksheets

Well, last week was a killer as i was back to work on full days all week (no more half day friday!), so really little RDI activity happened. This weekend, Aaron and i sat down with the framing worksheets and started to work out the type of activities we wanted to do on the next round of videos. some old, and some new. The framing worksheets are helpful in terms of laying out an activity, but we are hoping they will become obsolete soon as we intuitively learn how to do these things. Zone of proximity has been a huge thing with henry lately, and i find that more often then not i am holding his hand during things we do together, just to keep his attention focused. i also read some interesting things on the listserve about "stopping the action", and i think i might try to incorporate that a bit more too, especially when he loses attention to what i'm saying. Otherwise, i'm also trying to do less talking, which aaron says is my big problem. though, i think my biggest problem is finding more time and energy to do things. The pregnancy is just making me awful tired lately and this new schedule has been miserable. something will have to give at some point i guess, which will probably be my sanity. we are really looking forward to starting on Henry's goals soon...if you could give us one or two to get started with, i think it would really help us get focused on using activities more effectively.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Two Weeks Vacation and RDI

Well, I've been feeling like a complete slacker for not writing on our blog, especially after i said i would during vacation. Tonight we just got home from two weeks of lots of traveling, seeing family, time at the beach and pool, and ending with Aaron and I having a weekend away to ourselves, sans kiddies, which was nice :) Although we didn't do many formal RDI activities with Henry while we were gone, we did try to stay mindful of several things following our home visit and it was also a great chance to educate the rest of the family on the meaning of an "RDI lifestyle". For example, some days we would pick a certain objective for the day, like: "We won't ask any questions to Henry today" or "Today our goal is to only use basic sentences with Henry." We even did a few giver/putter activities and lots of joint walking. For this, we were rewarded with a few great comments from Henry, like "It's windy" while we were walking on the beach...but overall it was a bit stressful for the poor kid, since we didn't have a set schedule and were traveling and sleeping in multiple places. We had a few meltdowns, no surprise. Anyway, now we will be returning to work and the old routine and recommitting ourselves to our RDI parent objectives. Bring on the framing worksheets! I promise to write more.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Video Review #2

Mom and Henry's Plant Project Part I

Mom and Henry's Plant Project Part II

Obstacle Course

Rowing the Boat w/ Mom

Dad and Henry's Morning (Productive Uncertainty)

Dad and Henry Walk

Saturday, June 09, 2007

an amazing moment

just wanted to write a quick note on here to document a truly amazing moment. I've been on a business trip for the last three days and of course missing the kids tremendously. I usually call the kids at night before their bedtime. Tonight, Aaron put Henry on the phone and told him it was Mommy. Usually, Aaron will prompt Henry to say something like "Hi Mommy" or "I love you". Henry got on the phone and after a few seconds said "Mommy, I miss you." Of course, i figured Aaron had told him to say that, until Aaron immediately grabbed the phone back and said.."Holy....., you're not gonna believe this, but i didn't tell him to say that!" wow...well, you can imagine the tears after that. What an amazing thing! Henry seems to be surprising us every day with how he's changing and learning.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Productive Uncertainty

I gave my first real attempt at using productive uncertainty with Henry this morning. Missy suggested I write down Henry's morning activities on little pieces of paper and have Henry pick them out of a hat so that we do them out of order. I wasn't sure this would work because our mornings are filled with uncertainty and Henry seems to handle it pretty well. Sometimes we get dressed in his room, other days downstairs... breakfast can be rushed if the kids slept late, I may forget to have him brush his teeth... lots of uncertainty... or so I thought. So I said what the hay, I'll give it a try. I had Henry pull an activity from the hat and he pulled "get dressed". He didn't like this very much and I was kinda suprised. He did relent after a few "no!s" and got dressed. I was going to have him pick another activity but he said "have breakfast" and I didn't want to push it so I gave him breakfast.

While waiting for the bus we sat on the tailgate of my truck like we do every morning but this morning we practiced "coordination" by swinging our legs and then keeping our legs outstreatched for a second or two, then back to swinging. He did pretty well and seemed to enjoy it.

I also want to note that a lot of people who are around Henry regularly have been noticing big changes. It's nice to hear.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Searching for Opportunities

Haven't had a chance to write in a while...i think we were somewhat burnt out after preparing all those videos. However, we have been trying to incorporate a lot of the changes and suggestions you gave in the feedback. We all headed out to Aaron's parents' place this past weekend for a visit. They haven't seen Henry since Christmas and were really surprised at his progress. We had a lot of opportunities to do the walking activities on our way to and from the park near their house. Henry did well with both his dad and me on those, and seemed to be having fun trying to take funny steps or jump over a crack together.

Henry's referencing during our planned "activities" has been great - as you saw in the video. However, I've been trying to incorporate referencing into more of our day-to-day - like, instead of asking him to pick up his clothes or turn the light off, I will simply say his name to get his attention and then glance at the item he needs to act on. He is doing this pretty well too. The one thing we are not seeing though is "general referencing" us for information when we do not initiate, e.g. when he is doing something on his own and gets perplexed about something, he will either lose interest in the item or maybe present it to us, but he is not referencing with eye contact for information until we say his name. (i hope you're able to understand what i mean) Is this something that we will see develop over time?

Henry's spontaneous commentary is increasing little by little. I'm going to try to write down everything spontaneous he says this week just for my own little "happy" list - and so i know i'm not crazy because when i try to remember specific instances i always seem to forget (must be pregnancy brain!) Tonight, Henry came over to me after dinner and looked at me and said questioningly "build a mountain?" so we went in and all built a mountain together, Henry, Rosie, and me. Rosie loved it because we threw the bean bags on her and it was kinda cool making it a group activity, even if it was just for fun and games. I really hope to see their relationship grow over time and as we make strides with RDI.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Video Review #1

Here it is... the moment of truth!

Building a Mountain w/ Mom

Dinner w/ Mom

Laundry w/ Mom

A Bunch of Stuff w/ Dad

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Blog note from Grandma

Hi from Grandma. Just want to add something else that was so
meaningful this weekend. In the activity of putting away the dishes,
when I showed Henry that a big spoon went in a different place, the
second time I handed him a big spoon, he put it in the right place and
looked right up at me to make sure it was right and when I said "yes,
great"...he gave me the biggest smile. That sort of interaction is a
huge change. It's so wonderful to see his beautiful smile showing he
was pleased with what he did!!! I could see how happy he was.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Weekend at Grandma and Grandad's

This past weekend, Henry and Rosie spent the weekend at their grandparents down the street, while Aaron and I got away for a quick weekend to celebrate his brother's graduation (Vegas would have been better, but we did have fun!) My mom shared with me some great things that she saw from Henry while he was there. It's nice to get her perspective since she doesn't see Henry everyday and can track the changes.

One of the things that stood out was that when my mother started emptying the dishwasher, Henry walked over and started helping her (!!!) this is amazing, since the kid usually just hides out in his toy room until there is some meal to be eaten and then he makes haste back to his hermit existence. Mom said that she would hand him a utensil and he would put it away in the right spot and then return to her. This was great in so many ways because 1. this was an activity that Henry has done in the past with Aaron and so he felt confident in his abilities 2. he actually approached my mom to do this. when we started doing this activity at home, it was more like a "task" and something that daddy was making him do. I really believe that because this was something that he knew he could do, he felt confident in making the approach to my mom. 3. he knew his role right away 4. he impressed my mom :)

We've also been getting a lot of great feedback from Henry's teacher, Megan, who has been wonderful about incorporating RDI into Henry's daily activities at school. I'll send you her email, but he's been making some spontaneous comments and referencing her a whole lot more than he ever used to.

Today was my first try at the video taping. I set the video up to tape us during dinner and i tried to implement a few of the suggestions and activities you suggested. I think our first "video review" will probably contain both lifestyle activities and some specific things in the "activity room." More on the video later when i post it up.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Raisin Bran

I tried the “raisin bran” activity with Henry this morning. Let me just start with saying that between this kid and his sister, they must go through 2 boxes of raisin bran a week. This must explain why the kid is so regular. This is great, except for days like today when he decides he has to go a minute before the school bus is supposed to arrive. I digress…

He was already about half done when I decided to give it a shot. We didn’t have much time, or cereal left in the box so I had maybe 4 or 5 spoons full in my bowl. First I tried to get his attention just through some eye contact but that didn’t work. At one point, he went to take a bite and I make a noise, something like “ah, ah, ahhh” and he paused just as the spoon was entering his mouth. I put the spoon to my mouth and when I closed my mouth, he closed his… first try! We continued, 4 or 5 bits until my bowl was about empty. Each time I had to do the “ah, ah, ahhh” to prevent him from taking the bit but we’ll work on it. I also really tried to ham it up with the “yummy” and “wow, I love raisin bran!”. Not sure if he was really paying attention to that but who knows.

I feel like this was a fairly significant moment. You gotta understand, when we’re at home or our at a fast food joint, the kid does does everything he can to avoid others at the table when he is eating. He will literally turn it body completely around to the opposite side of the person next to him. The maybe one time a week we all have dinner as a family, it’s like pulling teeth to get him to sit at the dinner table with us for more than a couple of minutes so I was really surprised that he was willing to participate in the activity, even if it was only a couple of minutes.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Phone Consult

We have a phone consultation with our RDI consultant this evening and just wanted to jot down a few questions/requests so I don't draw blanks when the time comes:
  • Q: Can I get some suggestions on how to mix up our breakfast routine? Like I said in the previous post, I'll not give him what he asks for all the time and watch how he reacts... that's working but his responses seem like they're becoming rote. A: Switch around tasks (breakfast w/ getting dressed) and throw in surprises along the way.
  • Q: I'd also like to get some suggestions on small activities to do with him while he's eating breakfast or if there are a few minutes between the time he finishes breakfast and when he starts getting dressed... something very quick that might be he may find hard to recognize as a formal activity. I get such little time that I want to make the most of it. A: eat cereal with him and try to scoop together, say "yummm".
  • Q: Is it okay to ask one-word questions or should I try to avoid them all-together? A: Yes, it's fine but also ask him something that he won't like... to get his reaction.
  • Q: He seems to be doing okay getting dressed in his room but do you think the time would be better spent if we did it in the activity room? A: As long as he's not too distracted, it's okay.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Our Morning Routine

I think I need to change up my morning routine. It seems pretty non-eventful but perhaps that's a good thing? I've been doing about the same thing with Henry every morning... putting a bowl and cereal in front of him, we pour it in the bowl hand-over-hand. Once he decides he wants to eat (sometime that can take a few minutes, depending on how distracted he is) he says "I want the milk", then I pour the milk hand-over-hand. Then he says "I want the spoon" and I give him the spoon. He'll sometimes hand the cereal box to me for a refill, we fill the bowl, he asks for the milk... then we pretty much sit there... Henry will recite some book or television show he watched two years ago mixed with squeals and those other strange noises he comes up with, meanwhile Rose will do whatever she can to get my attention. I've mixing it up a little lately, like when he asks for a spoon, I'll give him a knife, he'll say "no" or I may give him something funny like an ice cream scoop and he'll kinda think it's funny.

The getting dressed part of the morning is always rushed so there hasn't been time for "I'll wait". I think he'd be fine with walking around naked all day so there's absolutely no motivation for him to put on his clothes. If it were freezing, he'd rather find a blanket than put on clothes. He has no concept of embarassment, especially when it comes to being naked. I guess we need to work with him on that. He likes in the "No David!" book where David is walking down the street without his pants but I don't think that translates. He does sometimes want privacy when he's using the bathroom, so I guess that's a good sign, but then again, he's almost always wants privacy.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Guys Weekend

T and Rosie were out of town over the weekend so dad and the Hankster had a weekend chock full o' RDI goodness. Henry's grandparents were also out of town so we took care of their dogs. Because their house is in easy waking distance, this gave us quite a few opportunities to do the "walking" activity. I had not done this one with him before. I thought he did pretty well. I would pace for a while, I would top, then he would stop, I would then take a big, slow step forward and he would mimic me... but not every time. He did look up at me a few times but it seemed that most of the time he was staring at my feet so he could tell when it was time to start walking again. Sometimes he would try to pull me but when he did, I wouldn't move.

Theresa suggested that I implement the walking activity into the activities in his gymnastics class so I did that that went really well. There's one thing they do where they have a multi-colored mat and they're supposed to hop onto each color. We did this together, holding hands, like the walking activity and he totally looked at me for guidance... it was like a video right off the RDI website. He would look, I would nod, we would jump... it was VERY cool. The same thing happened when we emptied the dishwasher later that day. He was a little unsure whether what I handed him to put away was a big fork or small fork and he would look to me to make sure he was putting it in the right place, I would nod or shake my head no. He may have been doing this with his mother so he might have had some practice, but whether he had practice or not, it was still great watching him look to me for guidance.

We also built a mountain with bean bags, I think that was on Saturday. He was actually very excited about doing it this time. I didn't want to push my luck so we did it twice and moved on. I've been doing that activity pretty much the same each time, slowing down the swinging of the bean bag, pausing after the "here we....". I need to think of some ways to change it up.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Activity Variety - Theresa

Since I last posted, i've mostly been working with Henry on some variations to the games we've been playing. We cut up a cucumber salad on Sunday, and he did very well with his role. However, he would start to get upset when i did something off the norm, like eat the cuke instead of handing it to him. That caused a guttural groan of disapproval. We rebounded though, and were able to finish off with cutting the cucumber and then cleaning up.

I've tried a few variations on the mountain-building game too. When we run and jump in the mountain together (henry's favorite part of course) i vary it using different speeds - sometimes we run fast and sometimes in slow-mo. When moving slowly, he has to keep pace with me so we can jump in the pile together. I tried this again tonight (Wed) but had a hard time getting him to regulate with me...he was just too excited to jump in that pile.

I also tried to make a game with emptying the dishwasher, though since most stuff is breakable i had his role be handing me the item, and i would put it away. I don't know if it was too late in the evening, maybe i didn't structure it well, or maybe he just didn't like it, but after we finished the top rack he was like, "all done, no more!" yeah kid, i feel the same way sometimes.

anyhow, i keep trying to vary up the activities and thinking of new ones b/c we both get bored pretty quick. I echo Aaron's sentiments about the activity room starting to be associated with "work" for Henry. Henry begrudgingly follows me in there, but i wish there was some way to make it more inviting. I guess once he gets better at dealing with distractions, we won't have to use that room as much anymore.

Otherwise, I've also been trying to incorporate some of the RDI basics into our routine, like slowing down speech, indirect prompts, and declarative statements. I think the statements are really paying off b/c Henry has had quite a bit more spontaneous speech than before (caveat that with before there was none!) So he will occasionally make a very short comment on something, though often this might be a spin-off of a comment i've made (hmm...does this count for spontaneous??) for example, he got a toy elephant from his Nana in the mail today and I made a few comments about its features. A few minutes later i hear him say "elephant has big tusks" hey, it wasn't exactly what i said and at least it didn't come from "Dora the Explorer", I'm taking it as a positive sign. Good to know he's actually listening to me. I'll try to write more later...unfortunately Rose and I will be out of town this weekend for a funeral, so looks like Daddy will be doing most of the activities for the next few days.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Weekend

I did a couple of activities with Henry over the weekend, nothing too exciting. We did the "bean bag mountain" activity Saturday morning. He didn't want to do it initially (shocker) but after 5 minutes of trying to pick him off the floor, he gained some interest and begun to participate. His teachers at school call him "noodle". The name comes from his ability to lose all muscle function when an authority figure is trying to get him to do something he's not wanting to do. Anyway, it seems like he's seeing this whole "going into the activity room" as therapy or a school activity and immediately refuses to participate. Once he decides that this may be something he's interested in, he relents, plays along for 5 or 10 minutes, then proclaimed his classic "okay, no more". Theresa said she could hear me and I was talking too much during the activity so I guess I need to watch that.

Now, I know that I'm supposed to get him to participate, even if he doesn't necessarily want to - but that's easier said than done when it comes to the noodle boy. Even if he's not wanting to do something, I've been working on grabbing his hand or wrist, not taking "no" for an answer. I'm really working hard to take his hand in a nice way... and not being too forceful. I think it's working. So... I have a question - I realize that he will eventually become more and more confident in performing these activities with us and because of that, he will be more motivated to participate -- but what if he is confident performing a particular activity but that activity is just not that interesting to him and that's the reason he's not participating? I guess what I'm trying to get at is, how do we tell the difference? Sometimes that's what I feel is happening though maybe I'm just being impatient.

We did a pretty cool activity outside on Sunday. He helped me pick up the sticks that had fallen off the trees over the winter. We would hold hands, I would motion to a stick on the ground, he would pick up a few sticks, I would pick up a few sticks, then we would walk over to the wheelbarrow, I would say 1, 2, 3, throw and we would throw the sticks in. I would make irregular pauses before the "throw", he would look up at me... it was great. There were a few large branches that we picked up together, walked it over to the wheelbarrow, etc. In between throws, he kept wanting to push the wheelbarrow and I let him... his little reward for participating... hmmm, is that too "ABA"? After 8 or 10 minutes, he was over it, but that was fine... I think it went pretty well.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Small Victories

Yesterday I got back from my trip and the house was a little chaotic. Henry spent most of the afternoon running away from Rosie and me, exiting a room almost as soon as we entered. We did all three play for a little while in his room, though nothing spectacular. After I put Rosie to bed around 7, I tried to tempt Henry down to the activity room to do some mountain building. He was psyched to have a little "alone-time" with Mommy, but very NOT into do anything together. Truthfully, I was too tired to fight about it, so I just quietly left the room and slowly walked outside and sat in the yard. My assumption was that Henry would just hang out inside, stimming off some book or something until I came back in, but little did I know about three minutes later he came outside and slowly made his way to join me on the lawn. It was great to see that he was actually seeking me out, instead of just playing on his own! We proceeded to practice blowing dandelions all over the lawn (I'm sure Aaron will be happy about that), until Henry's uncle, aunt, and cousin showed up for a visit.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

So Far, So Good

I've been spending my time with Henry this week really trying to get down this whole "RDI Language" thing. Not sure if that's a coined term but that's what I'll use to refer to the no questions, no direct commands, abbreviated, slowed down, and likely something else I forgot type of language.

He's seemed to be reacting positively to our interactions. There are a few times where I get stumped on how to phrase something without making it into a question but I'm getting better as the week progresses. I'm not trying to jump the gun here but he has said a few pretty cool appropriate words/phrases this week... asking is grandma for "chicken" while being driven home from the sitters yesterday afternoon (referring to Popeyes) and this evening, being especially OCD, wanting all the lights in the house off, he said "just turn the lights off". Now I know that there's more to communication that just speech, especially when it's to get ones way but still... pretty cool, I must say. Not sure where this lights off thing is coming from. Maybe Theresa has the kids eat in the dark... I'm not sure. Anyway, like I said... don't want to declare an "RDI miracle" but it's been a while since I've been witness to any even moderately significant language from the kid so I thought I'd make note.

Here are some examples of some RDI-ish things that we're doing in our morning routine:


  • instead of "what do you want for breakfast?" it's "I bet you're hungry"... then grabbing the box of raisin bran, getting his attention, and giving him the "how-bout-it eye".
  • variations of... pouring the cereal in a bowl and waiting until he catches my eye and says "milk" and "spoon" or just setting the cereal box on the table and I say "we're missing something" and wait until he says "bowl". Sometimes he just gets the bowl or spoon himself without saying anything.
  • most of the time I'll do a hand-over-hand when pouring the cereal and milk.
Getting Dressed/Brushing Teeth

  • instead of "take your pants off, take your shirt off" I'm making a motion like I'm pulling down my pants, etc.
  • instead of laying out his clothes, I'm throwing each item at him one at a time.
  • to get him to brush his teeth, instead of saying "brush teeth" I say, "your teeth are dirty". He hasn't really caught on to that one yet, perhaps this is because he doesn't literally have any dirt in his teeth (as far as I know).

In other news, I took Henry to a stock car race on Saturday night at the local track. He LOVED it but was stemming his brains out the whole time and I can see why, because it was very cool. But a this point in the process, I wonder if it's advised to expose him to that much stimulation. Just wondering...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tuesday, April 24th - 1/2 hour

Today was a good day for Henry, despite his allergies being terrible. After Rosie went to bed, we were able to do a few activities together. I also tried to facilitate a game with Rosie - though i'm not sure how good of an idea that is at this point. We have this stuffed animal frog who's mouth zips open. Rosie would hand me the frog and i would fill it with some "surprise", then zip it back up and she would carry it to Henry. We would make a big deal about the anticipation, saying "boy, i wonder what the frog ate?" Henry would get really excited and then unzip and exclaim what he ate - i tried to throw in some funny things like the phone and Rosie's bottle. It was kinda a neat game, though not sure how RDIish it was - any suggestions on expanding on it?

Cutting strawberries - we did this in the activity room (i guess that's the name i'll use for the room we cleared out and made distraction-less.) This was cool, b/c it was a revision on the carrot-peeling activity...this time i brought in two bowls - one for the tops and one for the rest of the berries. Henry was great with this, understood his role right away, did a lot of referencing and wasn't thrown off at all when i did something weird, like hand him the strawberry and top in a different order, or hand them to him both at the same time. Once in awhile he threw it in the wrong dish, and i would make a surprised sound and he would immediately know that something was amiss, and he would fix it. This game went well.

Building a mountain - He was really into this game tonight. After we had built the mountain, i did the "jumping on the mountain" part. This became a critical part of the game, because i used this to see how "in sync" we were. After we had jumped once and high-fived for the good job we did together, i walked back over to the other side of the room quietly and put my hands out to see if he would join me. it took about a minute, but he finally got it (without any words from me) and came over. we jumped again. i would pause for effect on the "ready set...go" part and he was right there with me looking in my eyes for the was great! The third time i walked very slowly toward the other side of the room...saying nothing but looking for him out of my peripheral vision. He walked along-side me! we did this about two more times with our motions in was so cool. When we had first started building the mountain, he was rushing ahead of me and still jumping on the bed too soon - but it was amazing with a little patience and his defined role, how he finally fell into sync.

i'll be traveling for work for the next three days so won't be able to write again til the weekend.

First activities post-RDA3

Tried to keep in mind our main objectives during these activities:
  1. What is the pattern?
  2. What is Henry's role?
  3. Keep Henry close, don't let go!
  4. Fewer words
  5. Slow it down!
Sunday, April 22nd (½ hour) - it was a busy Sunday so not much RDI done!
- Worked on activities with Henry for about ½ hour, in 10 minute increments. Henry loves the "building the mountain" game, so it is not hard to motivate him for that. He was very responsive and the connection was good.
- created a new activity moving laundry from washer to dryer. Henry’s defined role is to receive the wet piece of clothing I hand him and then throw it in the dryer. He immediately understood his role and started to reference me for a yes or no nod to throw into the dryer…however, after several items he would get restless and start to lose focus. More than a few times, he would get anxious and throw the piece of clothing in before I gave an affirmative head nod. When I acted surprised and upset, he did NOT retrieve the piece and I had to hand-over-hand retrieve it with him. Once we seemed to get in the flow, I tried to throw a few curve balls and drop a piece on the floor. He became very disturbed by this, so we went back to the familiar pattern. I will try again next time. I also tried in all the activities to use the "we did it!" language, so he understood these were a team effort.

Monday, April 23rd (1/2 hour) - timing wise, i did most of these activities around dinner or in the 1/2 hour after Rosie went to bed. This seems to be a good time for us in the evenings.
- Carrot game: we did the carrot peeling game. Henry understood his role immediately and wasn't thrown off at all when i threw in a few curve balls by throwing the carrot scraping on the ground or holding on to it for awhile. Maybe something about sitting on chairs in a distraction-less room seems to work better.
- However, we did play the mountain game again and he was too excited! Every thrown pillow would cause him to want to run and jump on the pile, so i ended up having to do a lot of holding his hand in this exercise that i hadn't done before. We ending it after one mountain was built.
- hide the chopsticks: Henry ate Chinese noodles last night (aka ramen) so it was the perfect opportunity to hide the chopsticks and ask him "what's missing". When he realized they were not in their usual place though, instead of immediately referencing me, he just seem perplexed and went back to his chair. I had to prompt him with a "Henry, do you want the chopsticks...they're right there" - and then use eye gaze to direct him to the right place. He seems to "get" the eye gaze thing immediately (harking back to our days with the speech therapist and all her scavenger hunt games) but i was hoping that he would reference me right away and that didn't happen. I hope that once he is more confident with me as his guide this will get better.
- laundry game: did this one again, but Henry was somewhat distracted in the laundry room and seemed to look out the window behind me more than at me. I think i will try to keep most of the activities these days in our distraction-free room, until he seems ready to handle it in the rest of the house.

Getting Started....

Just a little intro for anyone who might be perusing this site. This blog was created to act as a journal for Aaron and I to write about the RDI objectives and activities we are working on with our son Henry, who is on the autism spectrum, and share them with our RDI consultant. If it proves helpful to you, all the better!