Monday, August 20, 2012

RDI - we are turning hard into easy!

There is so much that my boy battles to do, even something really simple as making his own juice. The motor planning involved with such a basic every day task is really hard for him.

Don't get me wrong, he is certainly capable of learning, however, the process is long and drawn out. Personally, it is not a problem for me and I am happy to move along at his pace. I don't see the point of trying to fast forward and miss out on any crucial steps of his development. Upon reflection, Nick has certainly plateaued many times over the years, although interestingly, since starting RDI he has made steady progress without any hiccups!

This brings me to our latest objective. We have been working with this one for a few weeks and it is one that I have really enjoyed doing..... in fact, I like it so much that we are just going to keep on doing it!

*Nick is motivated to seek out and engage with challenging decision-making opportunities. Nick experience Himself as being able to "do hard things." When offered the option, he begins to prefer engaging in "Challenging" (subjectively appraised as difficult), over "Easy" situations. NIck learn to differentiate the experience of feeling challenged from the experience of feeling overwhelmed, as well as from activities the Nick has already mastered.  (*This is based on just one objective in the RDI program)

The following is my latest video footage and feedback that I sent to our RDI consultant.

Assignment: Easy and Hard

I decided to re-visit our old dishwasher activity. We haven't done it for ages and I thought if would be a great opportunity to guide Nick and really emphasis the difference between easy and hard. I chose to work with a reciprocal pattern. Due to Nick battling with motor planning, I felt that this pattern would be beneficial for engagement. I decided that I would take my turn first and through observation and the use of declaratives I hoped that Nick would understand what we were doing and how we were going about it.
I was very specific on my framework sheet that we would each use three of each item that was to be stacked into the dishwasher..... thus preventing me from spending too much time on the interaction. My mantra was *keep pausing* so I was very mindful of stopping/pausing and also slowing my pace down. I had planned to cut back on the amount of language that could be used and only make comments when I thought necessary. I also planned to *think aloud*.
  • What did you observe in terms of the challenge? Nick was happy to join me at the dishwasher, although I did notice that he was keen to rush through our engagement. I had to really ensure that I slowed right down in order for him to pay attention to me. If I had left him to carry on, he would have quickly put the items into the dishwasher and then leave. Kudos to him though, he was aware of my actions and he adjusted himself accordingly to regulate with me and to reference me for information. 
  • Did anything surprise you? Oh yes, I was amazed that he quickly realised how the cups were to be placed. My self talk and demonstration must have been spot on! Our hard turned into easy... so I had to quickly improvise in order to spotlight the next hard! Big Smile. I took him to his edge plus one.... and because it was so easy, I just had to do it again!!
  • Site one or two (or more if you like!) time codes that you feel are important and state WHY they are important:  
0.16: Nick was keen to get to the sink and get an item, and I remember thinking (fleetingly) that I needed to slow him now. Thus, I put my hand on him to make him stop and wait. I am not sure if this was important... although making that physical connection with Nick made him aware of the need to stop.

0.45: I emphasised that what we had just completed was *so easy*. This was important because in order for Nick to hear and remember the difference within our engagement, I needed to spotlight the moment.

0.54: Nick was pushing in the top tray but I hadn't finished with our engagement. I didn't tell him that we hadn't finished.... I just gently pulled out the tray and held it in place when Nick tried to push it in again. I purposely kept a big smile on my face to let him know that it was okay but we were going to keep going.

1.31: I laughed because I had realised that our *hard* had become our *easy*. This is very important to highlight here because I am aware that I took Nick to the edge plus one and he aced it. Immediately I started thinking that I need to spotlight *hard* therefore, I will have to give Nick an extra challenge. This was not on my framework sheet but I decided to wing it! I made sure to spotlight that what we had done was too easy.  

1.47: OMW, I nearly missed this! Nick watched me rinse the bowl and then make a move towards the dishwasher. Nick went to open the dishwasher!!!!!!!!!!  
2.02: Nick is rushing, therefore I slow him down a bit by giving him a little explanation of what is going on and I emphasis *slow*.  This is important to make note of because it shows that I am understanding the need to take it slow in order for Nick to regulate with me and be aware that he can learn from me, from observation and body language and the words that I use.

2.24: Nick is asking for help.... which is pretty consistent of him when he is feeling incompetent. I don't want him to give up, so I tell him that I know he can do it. I like that I can encourage him naturally and spontaneously without putting any thought into it.

2.28 - end. I spotlight that what Nick is doing is a bit *hard*..... and you can see him persevering. I make sure to spotlight that he *did it* when he finished. After this plate, we then stopped as I didn't want to push Nick any further. I realised that he was at his *plus one* and that he had done enough. 
  • What did you do well in this frame?  I liked that I really made a point of slowing everything down. I am very happy that I didn't go overboard with the language used and also that I am very comfortable with the use of declaratives! It may not look like it but I was constantly assessing and thinking about my next step. I feel that I was paying more attention to our actual engagement than the activity itself.
  • Is there anything you would change? Upon reflection, I feel that I need to put a little bit more time into thinking about each engagement and make any needed amendments before I actually do the next engagement. I must continually reassess my frameworks to ensure that I am taking into account the edge plus one concept. I also need to remind myself to only take Nick plus one and then no more.

CONCLUSION:  I really enjoy this objective. Working with easy and hard has really highlighted to me that *edge plus one concept*. I find that I am continually looking at what we are doing and then planning for the next *hard* step. From another perspective, the same objective has turned into a learning experience for Nick. He knows that he has done something easy and he feels competent. He is aware when something is hard, however, he perseveres with a little guidance and he learns from that experience. We can only but move forward!


  1. Great Di! For both of you. I know how hard is to slow down, but you did it very good. You managed to slow your pace to his... LIKE IT VERY MUCH!


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