Thursday, September 13, 2007

Making the Most of Moments

Trying to engage Alan in RDI activities during the day is sometimes reduced to only a moment. Let me give a few examples. I am always working on getting Alan to reference me. I wanted him to return to grocery cart to the cart corral after we put the groceries into the back of the van together. I simply tilted my head toward it, and he ran off with it to return it. When we got home, I parked the van inside the garage. Alan was in front of me, going toward the inner garage door. He asked me aloud, "Mom, can I close the (big) garage door?" I didn't answer him. I waited a few seconds. He took another couple of steps. Then he turned to look at me. I nodded, and he did it. Waiting is the hardest thing for me. I have to remind myself often not to "help" Alan or "solve" things for him. Rushing him means that he does not figure the thing at hand out for himself. We are building competencies, so I need to wait even more and see if he figures out what is needed. One thing that helps is that we are together so much every day. I don't have to find time to be with him like some parents do. He depends on interacting with me because we are alone together. Of course, he is like a typical fifteen-year-old and in the evening closets himself in his room. Same thing in the morning before we begin our work together and after he has made and eaten his breakfast. The next thing I am planning is to hand him something inconguous...for example, giving him a spoon when the task calls for a knife since we are often making our lunch at the same time, or I could hand him a tissue when he clearly wants to have my keys to open the mailbox. If I let myself be less competent, less in charge, he may rise to the occasion and be more competent. I am confident nowadays that this sort of thing will not cause a melt-down as I am sure it would have a couple of years ago. I think he is more trusting that things will work out, even if they aren't working or a solution isn't clear at the moment. Get him thinking. That's the goal.



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