Well, in our case, Nick's need for lovely comforting static patterns means that he hauls books all over the house. We have books on cupboards, beds, couches, the floor, in the car. He wants to take books to school, the shopping centre and the coffee shop. He knows exactly where each book is. Quite often he will place the books 'just so' and then cover them with a cushion/pillow.
Awww, bless, it is so lovely that he adores books!
Our house is a mess and my car looks like a shopping basket. The more Nick disappears into his books, the more he retreats from the people in his life. I don't have a problem with him having some *me time* and I certainly don't want to take away his pleasure of books. However, I am concerned about Nick's static patterns and his craving for sameness. I am thinking long term obstacles here!
Anyhow, I decided to approach the issue (and mess) from an RDI angle.
I felt that the best way forward would be to plan an activity around cleaning up the mess. We are slowly going through the books and deciding what to do with them. Needless to say, there is a lot of reading going on which Nick is really enjoying. We have two designated spots (see pictures below) and after reading a book or skimming through a mag (my role), Nick chooses where to put it (his role). At this stage Nick is finding the activity challenging and I am providing some scaffolding to help him decide where to put the book/mag. This activity is going to keep us going for a few days (weeks!!) and as Nick starts feeling more competent I will vary our roles and add in further changes/patterns.
Note to self:
Only choose a few books/mags to work with (5/6).
Pause a LOT so that Nick has plenty of time to *think* about what he would like to do.
REMEMBER: The activity is not about the task, it is about the engagement between us.
Vary our roles and patterns in future planned engagements.
Write down any future activities that come to mind. i.e. Fixing the ripped pages with sellotape. Cleaning a bookshelf. Stacking books. Carrying books. Choosing pictures from magazines. Go to the Library. Throw away the rubbish!
We got sidetracked!