Monday, August 14, 2006

I just thought I'd list some of the early regulation type activities I did with Jacob at the very start of our RDI program. Rocking was a big one, initially with him sitting in my lap facing away from me, and me humming (as he was intolerant of my singing at that point) and rocking him gently back and forth. I would hum an entire song verse while rocking in the same pattern, and then I would vary the pattern ever so slightly the next time (like rock a bit slower or a bit faster). If he got a little distressed but then settled, I'd continue like that for the verse, then make another slight change. If his distress escalated, I'd switch back to the intial regulatory rocking pattern. After a week or two of this, I was able to vary his position as well (sometimes facing towards me, sometimes cradles like a baby, sometimes on my lower legs rather than my lap, sometimes on my back "piggyback"). And then I was able to rock in different directions -- up and down, or back and forth, or around in circles, rather than just side-to-side. Eventually (in about a month) I was able to use typical lap-game songs, like "Trot trot to Boston" or "Ride a cock horse" or "Wheels on the bus" or "Little Red Wagon" that already had variety built in, and that provided opportunities to actually work on the Stage One "Emotion Sharing" RDI objectives.Another good regulatory activity for Jacob was walking. I would hold his hand and make a point of walking at a steady, rhythmic pace. After doing this for a certain distance, I would start adding a slight variation, whether to keep up the variation or drop back to the original pattern depended on his reaction as above. Variations I used were swinging our arms, squeezing his hand to the footsteps, walking a little faster or a little slower, taking larger or smaller steps, adding a sound effect to our walking (or counting, or saying the alphabet, etc), and when we got more advances, skipping or running or bouncing as we walked. This too turned into an activity where we were able to work on Stage One objectives, but I'll talk more about Stage One in another post.Other types of regulatory activities included me handing Jacob objects and him handing them back to me. So passing a buidling block to each other. Rolling a ball back and forth (tho the distance had to be quite close, otherwise there was too much potential for variation).Another form we did of this was to work together to move bigger objects. So he'd grab one side of a pillow while I grabbed the other and we'd put it on the couch, and repeat with an entire pile of pillows. Feeding the cats -- I'd fill the scoop with cat food and hand it to him, he'd dump it in the cat bowl.All of these basic regulatory patterns eventually turned into more sopshticated activities that worked on actual RDI objectives. But until Jacob got comfortable with just the idea of regulation, we weren't going to be able to do any of the more sophisticated stuff. For now, the two of us loading a bin with blocks one at a time was enough of a challenge. We spent the end of October and the beginning of November building his competence with regulatory patterns.


At 2:24 PM, Anonymous kyra said...

it's so nice to read about the regulatory things you did with jacob at first and how important it was to build that foundation slowly AND to see how far he's come in, really, such a short time!


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