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?