I have to be honest and say that our 'interactions' are not nearly interactive enough .......... YET!
You will see from the following video clips that Nick looks like he is doing a chore BUT take note on how he stays with me and looks to me for information - he is letting me guide him. He knows that I am there for him and that I won't overwhelm him with demands. Five months ago he would refuse to move off the couch and when he did eventually move his butt, he would be stressed and continuously 'signing' for any comfortable distraction (i.e. the computer). Fight or flight!!!
To go back a step;
We have been working on establishing patterns and we are aiming for Nick to be an active participant. My normal reaction to the introduction of a new pattern goes something like this; "Shit, Nick can't do that and this is going to be so hard, how am I going to be able to do that with him, what sort of interactions can I set up which enable us to work on this particular pattern - fret, panic, sigh!! Fight or flight!! ;)
However, to cut a very long story short (and I am very aware that I am not giving you much information!) we are doing great! :) I am learning how to give Nick the time to process information and the opportunity to think for himself, although adding support when I think it is needed. Nick is learning to trust me as his guide - and this evident in all our interactions.
We have just started a new pattern (and this is the hardest one yet!!). I take a turn and then Nick takes a turn. However, we don't take the exact same turn. I want Nick to take note of what I am doing but I also want him stay within his role! Because of the difference in what we are doing - can he stay with me or will he become dis-regulated?
The video clip below shows the first time that I introduced the new pattern using the dishwasher! Nick is unsure of what is expected of him, however, (and this is huge) he stays with me. I am scaffolding the interaction here and there, although he does pick up on the pattern quite quickly! Not enough "wow, interaction" going on - but it's good enough for me today!
Still sticking with the dishwasher theme (in fact it took us all day to unstack it!!). In the next clip you will see that I have made a little change. We still have the same roles, although this time I am putting the dishes on the centre island and Nick is required to put them on the bench above the dishwasher. Bit more scaffolding involved but look........... he gets it! :) AND, he is not bothered that I have made the change (go Nick!).
In this final clip (filmed a couple of hours after the last clip!) I have thrown Nick a huge curve ball. I am now requiring him to help me put the dishes into the dishwasher. Nick has never ever done this before!! OK, I am being a bit too talkative and perhaps I should be giving him more time to figure out what to do, but I LOVE the fact that he is coping really well, and around 1:17 he actually laughs!
I really enjoyed putting this post together. I know that it is a bit rushed and I have only given you a brief explanation of what we are doing. Look, it's not perfect and we both still have a way to go before we 'get it'. However, I am happy with the results because it is our FIRST time trying the new pattern using the dishwasher. I can also see how far Nick has come in a short time and I am chuffed at what we have achieved. Will do a follow up clip in a few weeks! :)