We've made it to the end of our RDA and the end of our RCR blitzing. Yeah!! As it turns out, we are almost into new Stage 2. The last objective we have to work on with Stage 1 has to do with co-regulation. Pooh will have to identify his roles in an activity. What this involves is this. We, the parents, will be thinking of an activity, say baking cookies. Then, before we try to do the activity, we brainstorm all the different roles that go into that. This brainstorming is otherwise known as Framing. It's just basically pre-planning so that you don't start an activity and have it fall apart. You've thought of all that goes into the activity, what your objective is, how to target said objective, where it may breakdown, how you will repair the breakdown, etc. Even with all this Framing you may see breakdowns, but it should help prevent a lot of it.
So in Framing the activity baking cookies, I've thought of: Pan getter, ingredients getter, mixer, measurer, pourer, oven turner on-er, door opener, Pam sprayer, etc etc. Basically, all the roles that would be needed to complete the task. The goal is to then do the activity with Pooh, non-verbally as possible, and allow him to share 50/50 in taking the roles necessary in the activity. As the parent, I need to ensure I'm not having him do all the work with only me directing and also, that I'm not overcompensating by taking most of the roles for myself. It's supposed to be an Even-Steven kind of thing. So how does that work in a mostly non-verbal way?
In comes Scaffolding. I'll be using eye gaze to try to convey what he needs to do next. Say he needs to get the sugar from the pantry. If the eye gazing doesn't work, I can point in the general direction of the pantry. Say something along the lines of , "I like when cookies are sweet". I could go over and point to the pantry door where the sugar is. I could open the door. I want to do the least possible in my scaffolding to allow Pooh to understand what he's supposed to do next. This allows him to think for himself. We're leading him through the thought processes that he hasn't gotten to yet, but that are just the next step. He may need just mild hinting with some things and major hinting with others. (Hinting is my term, not an RDI term. :D)
So do you think that this sounds like an awful lot of work? It is and it isn't to me. It is because, yes, you have to sit and think about what you're going to do, when you're going to do it, for how long and make sure you're relaxed and declarative during the whole process. The "whole process" of baking cookies is going to take a lot longer because of the way we must target the roles in our co-regulation. But then, RDI is all about slowing down your whole life in order to allow for the development necessary for autism remediation. I also need to figure out what I can do about Tigger right now. His brain works faster, of course, than Pooh's does and I'm going to have to do different activities with the two of them. On the other hand, when you see things clicking in their brains and you know it's leading to development of the core deficits of autism, the work is sooooo worth it. And I also can see that what we're doing is really setting up for future learning. All these basic steps that others with typical kids take for granted, are necessary for us to go through. I can't wait to get really going with all of this.
Oh and the other thing that ought to be interesting, is figuring out how to video tape all of this. Hopefully, the good stuff will be in the camera's range. I've already had a couple of things be out of camera range that were soooo good, I wanted our consultant to see them. But, asi es la vida. or C'est la vie. Whichever floats your boat. ;D Besides, she's called me tripod woman. Which I am, I drag that tripod everywhere I can. The only way we've been able to video anything is with that tripod. Necessary RDI ingredient!