One of the most noticeable things about Nick's progress as we continue on our RDI journey, is the increase in his resilience. It never ceases to amaze me that he has gone from being a highly anxious little boy who couldn't cope with any changes, to being a teen who is open to new experiences and willing to go the extra mile.
The following two video clips (four minutes in total) are from a recent planned engagement.
We had two cans of tomatoes, both with pull off lids. Nick has been practicing how to use a can opener and is now feeling quite competent with his role. Note: we are working towards him being able to open a can independently.
The first part of my plan was to work together using the can opener to open the can. I would be the holder and Nick would be the turner. This is a familiar activity that Nick feels comfortable with, therefore this part of the engagement is the *edge*
For the second part of the plan, I wanted to introduce another way of opening the same type of can. Instead of using the can opener, I intended to guide him on how to use the tab to pull the lid off. This is a new experience for Nick and I classify it as his *plus one*
From my perspective, I find that prior planning makes the world of difference to engagements. I always take the time to write down my goals and objectives, keeping in mind the *edge plus one* concept. I am very aware of pacing/slowing down. My style of language is generally declarative and I am mindful of not bombarding Nick with language. I can read Nick and know when he needs me to help scaffold the activity. I also ensure that we end on a positive note and then recap on our activity.
Nick was the bomb. These video clips, especially the 2nd one, highlight Nick's progress. His resilience throughout the whole engagement just blew me away. He handled the first can so well and we worked nicely together. He was hesitant with the second can, which was understandable due to it being a new experience. Nick also struggles with motor planning issues, which make activities like these even harder for him. However, with my guidance, he really took on the challenge of figuring out how to open the can by using the pull tab. I am so proud of him.
P.S. Nick has recently started to sound out the word, "help". Did you hear him? :-)