Mysteriously, Zip’s clothing sensitivity seems to have decreased. Last year it got so bad, I had to go out and buy all new shirts without anything on them. And he would only wear soft sweatpants. A few days ago, while I sorted through his winter clothes, he agreed to try on several pairs of pants. That was very unusual. I bought him some jeans, just-in-case-he-might-wear-them-someday. Today, he put them on with no protest. He’s still wearing them right now. Yeah!
Here are my notes from another excellent RDI webinar presented by Dr. Steven Gutstein today. I take these notes to help me process the information, and hope that others will find it useful, too.
Dr. Gutstein has been focusing on some core RDI concepts and he is using common words in a specific RDI way. Today’s topic was knowledge with a capital K. While we might typically think of knowledge as things we know — like our home phone, how to drive a car, the capital of Iowa, etc — Dr. Gutstein means something much more fundamental and important to our kids with autism. Continue reading
Actual conversation in our house:
Zip: Mommy! Big poundcake!
Me, gesturing to plate of poundcake leftovers: Sorry, this is all that’s left.
Zip, pulling out saltines: Hello crackers!
Zip will not eat broken food – no half squares of graham crackers, no crushed saltines, and no crumbly bits of leftover poundcake. He will, however, eat food off the floor. Go figure.
We’ve been homeschooling lightly so far since August. And I’ve learned a few things since then. Back in August, I was having a blast picking out homeschool curriculum for Zip. I love looking at curriculum. Don’t tell anyone, but I have a secret addiction for organizers, office supplies, and strollers, so I’m sure I’m at risk for curriculum problem behavior.
What held me back was my constant worries about teaching Zip. Would he learn? Could I teach him? We’re still establishing our RDI Guiding Relationship and it’s a struggle, though much improved. Continue reading
As I don’t meet too many other RDI families in real life, I often find myself explaining what exactly it is and what we do. I wish I had cute little cards with the RDI website address and a few key quotes on them. Seriously. So I love when I find another good description as in this blog, Rainy But Clearing –
It’s a program that aims to re-teach normal child development. It aims to build new pathways in the brain. It aims to teach the thinking skills required in our crazy, messy world.
She quotes an older interview with Dr. Gutstein:
“With mental illness, you’re fixing broken minds; with autism, you’re creating a mind.”
“While many characteristics of ASD seem to improve with time and/or instruction, the conventional wisdom has been that experience-sharing deficits are lifelong and resistant to treatment. We reject that notion.”
“Rather than engaging in repetitive, rote-memory exercises typical of behavioral interventions, children in the RDI program rake leaves, prune trees, buy groceries, fix car engines and otherwise share the simple joys of everyday experiences with their parents.”
I decided to take a step back and work on some self-care and hygiene issues with Zip. To motivate him, we decided, after much thought, to withhold videos and computer time, to keep them as a reward for learning certain essential skills. It’s been a little tough, but Zip understands the idea. I reinforce it by letting him have a video after trying very hard at these skills.
It’s been almost a week. Continue reading