Friday, December 14, 2012

Thinking about thinking!

Its school holiday time and the weeks stretch before us. 

Think....  S.t.r.e.t.c.h.i.n.g   and   G.o.  S.l.o.w.


For sure, the thought of filling the days with meaningful content is a bit daunting to say the least, especially when my child DOES NOT PLAY! However, having the time to just go with the flow and take advantage of moments to make them meaningful is great. Stress free great....


I also like the fact that I can plan some productive engagements with Nick and then have the whole day to play around with my plans.

It takes some time to think about choosing an activity to do with Nick. In reality it is not the activity per se, it is the thinking that is required behind the activity. It is the thinking that takes the time. I am constantly assessing and then reassessing: What is my goal for the engagement? Where is Nick at? Are his motor planning issues going to hamper the engagement? What is his level of competence within the activity? What is the next step that I can take with him? When he is competent with that step, what is the next step? 


I am always thinking about that *edge plus one* concept. This is been a big AHA for me! What is Nick's edge? What is the next step? I am not talking a big step. I am talking a tiny wee step; and when that step has been achieved, then I think about the next tiny wee step. It is a continuous process... but, hey... it works. It has worked for Nick. For the last two years he has moved forward. Mr Joe Blogg on the street may not be able to see the progress but I can, as can all the people who know Nick personally.

I am also thinking about my parenting: How am I going to guide Nick? What type of regulatory pattern should I choose? I need to decide on our roles. What type of language should I use? Should I be completely non verbal? Perhaps I should throw in some declarative comments? Do I need to self talk in order to help scaffold the engagement. How long should I pause in order to give him processing time? How long should I spend on the planned engagement? I need to remind myself that what we are doing together is not about the activity but about the engagement.

Moving right along....

Now that I have my plan in place and I know where Nick is at and what our next step will be. Now that I know how I am going to approach our engagement and how I am going to be an effective guide for my boy. 

NOW I need to think about my thinking! 

Phew, sounds a bit hectic..... right? Thinking about my thinking! I must admit to feeling a little overwhelmed and I have pondered over the reasons for the 'why bother' thinking about my thinking! It all sounds a bit deep and a lot of hard work (which is so not me!). However, in order to help my son, I need to fine tune my thoughts and decisions and also appraise them as I go along!

Anyhow, here is a little example of my appraisal of a situation that I had with Allan and the decisions that I made within the situation.

Allan and I had just walked through the most beautiful park, the weather was cold yet the sky a brilliant blue. We were wrapped up warmly in our winter coats, although I remember my hands feeling so cold and I had them jammed into my coat pockets. We left the park and started walking in the general direction of the local high street... or where we thought the high street might be! We reached the junction of the street and pondered over which way to turn.. to the left or to the right. I looked to the right and didn't see much happened. I looked to the left and there were two people walking towards us, both carrying shopping bags. Aha, I thought... we need to turn left. But, hang on, wait a minute... Allan interrupted my thoughts and said that we need to turn right, as he is fairly sure that is where the high street is! Of course I then offered my opinion of turning left. However, my husband was adamant that we needed to turn right! I appraised the situation and thought to myself.... let it go, let the man think he is right (even though I know that I am!!). I then saw a man walking towards us (from the left!!!), so I quickly reappraised the situation and decided to get another opinion. Sure enough, he confirmed that we should turn left. I, of course couldn't refrain from reminding my husband that he should always listen to his wife!!  Wink  

On that note, I am going to end with this blog post. However, I am thinking that I have so much more to write about. My thinking about thinking is only just beginning.......                                                                                                                                                                 




4 comments:

  1. Ahhhh Meta thinking - the highest of all forms of thinking
    Di I love the way you share the inner life of being a therapist mum

    For us its just essential to have some outside therapists to engage him for some part of the day
    Do you have this option in Australia ?

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  2. Hi K, We do have the option of outside therapists, although we paid for the privilege! Nick used to get a lot of therapy, however, at the end of the day I found that he would work well with the therapists BUT he refused to do anything with me... My role was that of being his carer! We didn't really have a proactive relationship and he certainly didn't look to me for guidance. It's funny, I have never thought of myself as his therapist, I am just being his mum... although am learning how to be a more mindful mum to help him.
    I love how you think I am from Australia. I am actually from New Zealand and live in South Africa!
    Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you. xx

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  3. Ha Our husbands always get to be our test cases!! Our thinking about thinking, well we need to start somewhere and husbands are a likely target hee hee..Good for you for refraining! :) I also love that you talk so empowered being Nicks Mom! Floortime Mama calling you a therapist mum was so telling to me :) because you are in a sense but so much more that no therapists could ever touch. You are Nicks MUM the mostpowerful thing about this in Autism remediation is being empowered in that fact. For me, of course there is help but.most importantly that MY guiding relationship with my kids was actually something that my kids started to trust more then anything else! Loved my therapists..but loved more being empowered

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  4. Kathy, my poor long suffering husband!!! :-)
    I have been *thinking* about the words 'therapist mum'. Thank you, Floortime Lite Mama, for highlighting this for me. xx
    I am going to put some more thought into this and turn it into a blog post!

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