Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Can Body Language Be Taught to an Autistic Person?
With RDI therapy, a person progresses through stages that they have missed. Much of it has to do with non-verbal communication. Our son, Alan, does get some body language. If I stare at something, he will look (reference) to see what it is that I am "pointing out."

I am also wondering if some body language can be taught by directing him to observe it in someone else or in a photograph. I have a book called The Body Language Phrase Book: 500 Ways to Read the Signs. I am going to try to introduce some of these to Alan. I'm not at all sure that by showing the gestures and postures to him that he will then know when he is faced with them in another person. I want to try, at least for some of them.

Alan is taking a public speaking class. There are many opportunities for him to observe others more closely than he would otherwise as he is not occupied in any other activity except listening. I go to the class and sit beside him. I need to be within touching range and whispering range still. He has done some loud yawns with stretching, for example. I have been able to cut it off after just one. If I sat at the back of the room, moving toward him would be disruptive to the others and noticed. So, for now, I sit right next to him at the table for the hour and a half of the class. The fact that he is interested throughout the time and can be engaged in what the class is doing is heartening, since he does want to go to college. I am hopeful that he can realize this dream.


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