The joy that the attached video clip gives me is indescribable; and in fact I have been sitting on this post for a few days. It has been difficult to find the words to explain how I feel about the footage.
To be perfectly honest with you, Nick is severely autistic and he has really battled over the years, dealing with anxiety, uncertainty, feelings of incompetence, lack of communication and huge sensory needs. In short, life has not been easy for him and the stress on us as a family has been immense.
Having a child who was unable to go out into the community made our days very restrictive. Dealing with his stress over the slightest change in routine was soul destroying. Being a mum and living with a child who had no desire to *connect* broke my heart.
When we first started with RDI, I took on board that our journey was a 'marathon, not a sprint'. I let go of my desire to rush my way through Nick's development. I accepted that the role I needed to play as Nick's parent was huge. Our journey wasn't just about him; it was also about me and how 'together' we could progress.
This video clip is a culmination of years of working with my son. It shows how we engage with each other in a meaningful way. The actual activity is not important, it is only a prop for our engagement. So much is evident throughout the clip.... joint attention, co-regulation, pausing, referencing, pacing, non verbal communication, edge plus one, experience sharing, trust and enjoyment.
For interest sake; these days, Nick is incredibly flexible (not so much with food!) and he loves going out. As for change, routines, structure and problems with transitioning... what are those? You can see for yourself that the desire to connect is now there! :)
Onward and upward!