My fellow blogger Zoe wrote the following informative post on co-regulation! She couldn't have timed it better because this is what I am working on with Nick!! Zoe forms her blog around RDI (Relationship Development Intervention) both as a mum of a boy with ASD and as an RDI Consultant in training. My blog tell the story of Nick and how ASD affects him and our family life. I will also blog on our involvement with RDI, although it will only be from a parent perspective! For all the 'correct' information, I suggest you look to Zoe! :)
Most parents don't have to think about co-regulation with their children, however, when you have a kid like mine it is a whole chunk of development that he missed out on! This is a tough one for my boy and one we really have to practice. However, because it is a difficult concept for him and I don't want to stress him out, I will (try to!!!) only spend a short time on each interaction (activity) that we do. I also don't want what we are doing to be task driven - it needs to be about 'us'.
The following clip shows Nick giving me an item from the dishwasher which I then put on the counter. He is happy and feeling competent with what he is doing, we have a good thing going on. It took a lot of practice for Nick to understand this pattern - it also took me a lot of time to learn to slow down and guide him!! It is very easy to treat this interaction as a task, which it isn't!!! It is all about setting up a pattern and Nick feeling competent with the pattern. It is also about Nick trusting me and learning that I am there to guide him to his level of competence before adding a 'little bit more' of a challenge! It is about co-regulation!
In this next clip I am still using the dishwasher theme, however, we have changed our pattern. We are now taking turns to remove an item from the dishwasher. I am taking a turn and then Nick is taking a turn! When we first started with this Nick was still stuck on the original pattern of passing me the item, although it didn't take him long to understand the change in pattern. (Next time I am going to make sure that he is wearing his clothes not his pyjamas - that whole boy thing can be rather distracting!!!)
This last clip shows that the pattern has changed again. This time I am trying to get a simultaneous pattern going. Now, this is a brand new concept for Nick and he doesn't have a clue what to do!! You will see that I am holding his bowl and preventing him from putting it on the counter........ I am trying to get him to 'feel and see' that we are both moving the bowls at the same time and placing them on the counter at the same time. What I got from watching this clip was that Nick was happy to be with me and allow me to guide him.......YAY :-D