Tuesday, November 14, 2006

onward through Stage 3

Stage 3 is "Coordinating Actions". Here's where all that Emotion Sharing from Stage 1 and Referencing from Stage 2 pay off. The child learns to do things WITH you. That you are a team. That he is truly your apprentice. That it is better to do things together than to do things alone. That you are FUN to be with! Hip Hip Hooray for Stage 3!!

There are 4 ways that two people can do things together -- these are those 4 basic RDI frameworks. You can do the same thing at the same time (parallel simultaneous), you can do the same thing while taking turns (parallel sequential), you can do related things at the same time (complimentary simultaneous), or you can do related things while taking turns (complimentary sequential).

In this photo, you can see Zoo Boy and Jacob playing on a see-saw. Great regulation activity! Also a good stage 3 activity with this particular see-saw, as both kids need to be doing their part to get the thing going. So Jacob pushes with his legs on his side, then Zoo Boy pushes with his legs on his side. Nice complimentary sequential activity! Also, they look at each other to see if it's time to do their push (there's that referencing!) and then they smile and laugh and have a generally good time together (yahoo! that's Emotion Sharing!). Stage 3 is where it all starts coming together.

Here's the biggest gain we got from Stage 3:

Before Stage 3, a scene from our house:

(Jacob vegging out in front of a video) Me: "Jacob! Let's go for a walk!" Jacob: (sound of droning silence, flapping hands slighting in direction of TV) Me: "C'mon Jacob, it's time for us to take a walk!" Jacob: (mutters several lines from the video) Me: "Ok, Jacob, I'm leaving on my walk now...." Jacob: "huh?"

After mastering Stage 3, a scene from the same (can you even believe it?) house:

(Jacob vegging out in front of a video) Me: "Jacob, I'm going to go unload the dishwasher". Jacob "Dishes? Hooray! I can help!" (running from video, left blaring by itself in the other room).

Other gains during Stage 3: Jacob really started getting curious about things. Curious enough to finally start asking simple questions like "what is that?" and "where are we going?" Still no "why" questions (that didn't come until we closed in on mastery of Stage 4), but new connections were definitely being made in his brain as a result of those new developmental pathways being forged. His overall awareness of his environment also increased, as did his connectedness with us (his family).

He still was a ways away from connecting with other kids on their level, but he was starting to take notice of what other kids were doing. Certainly a big step forward from where he was at during his RDA, when a video tape was taken of him in his Pre-K classroom, sitting in the middle of a group of boys who were pretending to be construction workers building a house. One of the boys gave Jacob a hammer. One of the boys pushed a couple blocks in front of him. Jacob absently hit a couple blocks with a hammer, while the other boys swarmed around busily constructing their building and chatting with each other. One of the boys came over and put a hard hat on Jacob's head. He looked up, expressionless, then went back to hitting his block with his hammer. This was the school's example of how great Jacob was doing playing with other kids. Grumble....

Flash ahead to mastery of Stage 3, and Jacob was actually participating in games of chase, and readily taking a passive but coordinated role in pretend games (so the other kid would be the doctor while Jacob was the patient, and Jacob would make appropriate comments like "oh, I feel so sick!"), so long as the other kid initiated the game and assigned him his role. It would take a fair distance through the next stage to progress further than that, and to expand to games that were less predictable and static. But still, it was an exciting social start!!


At 9:17 AM, Anonymous kyra said...

yes! a VERY exciting start! we are still in stage 3, as you know. i see the shift happening yet fluffy doesn't ever jump up to help with the dishwasher (!!) but that may well be a difference in style. tee hee. let's hope! the BIG thing for us is when i toss him a ball, he catches it and tosses it back! that, for us, is HUGE.

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Harvest Mom said...

LOL, Kyra! If it makes you feel any better, Jacob doesn't get excited about unloading the dishwasher anymore -- now he whines "aw, do I HAVE to, I'm playing with Gabe!" :-)


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