Monday, December 18, 2006

our RDI program today

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, right now we are concentrating on Appraisal and Self-Awareness. What we're doing currently isn't neccessarily tied to any particular stage, but our general gist is around Stages 6, 7 and 8. The actual stage work isn't so important at the moment. Give Jacob chances to think about Appraisal and his own opinion about thing is.

I wanted to detail one of our recent holiday activities here, to provide a bit of a snapshot of how RDI fits into our day. (I apologize about the photo not matching -- I didn't take any pictures of the below activity, tho I did have the video camera rolling, so I just included another RDI lifestyle moment -- celebrating my birthday a couple months ago.)

The activity was setting up my parent's Christmas train under their tree. When we first arrived at my parent's house, Jacob had expected the train to be set up already for him to play with, as my mother had promised him the last time he visited. I knew already that my father's back had been bothering him and he wasn't able to set the train up, but I saved that info in order to let Jacob appraise and process the fact that it WASN'T set up, and come up with a solution to the problem.

Jacob immediately looked dissapointed that the train wasn't under the tree, but then looked around and saw that it was in it's box on the other side of the room, and he ran to it and began to take out pieces. I told him that Grampy's back was bothering him, so he couldn't set up the tree, and I wondered out loud what we might be able to do about that. Jacob floundered for a response, and I gave him time to think about it. Then I added a bit of scaffolding: I said "Well, one possibility is that we could just pack up the train and put it away and not use it this year." He immediately rejected that idea (no kidding, huh?), still floundering for a better idea. I gave it a bit more time, then added "or maybe someone else could set up the train for Grampy." to which he almost immediately offered "I'm really good at setting up trains!"

We then discussed whether to set up the train first, or the track first. He chose the train. I pointed out that if we set the train up first, there was no place to put it, but if we set up the track first, then we could put the train on the track (modeling appraisal). He changed his mind and decided that we should set up the track first.

Next, we had to decide WHERE we were setting up the track. Jacob said under the tree (well, duh), and I said "oh yeah, but look, there's nothing under the tree to set it up on." We left a pause for Jacob to think about that (working on appraisal), and then my mom chimed in that she had a sheet to spread, but she needed help doing it. Jacob immediately began helping her spread the sheet, coordinating his actions with her, moving out of her way as she moved towards him, referencing her for directions.

Then my dad suggested laying out all the track pieces to see what we had. So Jacob handed me each piece out of the bag, and I laid them all out on the floor. I then had him hand me all of the curved pieces, then I handed him all of the straight pieces, speaking my thought proccess out loud so that he could see/hear how I used appraisal to decide what was going where. I then moved to the other side of the tree, and he brought me the pieces I asked for by saying "Now I need a curved piece" or "Next comes a straight piece". I made many mistakes (most of them legitimately!), which gave him practice in identifying the errors (more appraisal), and watching me model problem solving for him as I talked my way through the problem. When we were all done, the track was too big (more appraisal work), and we had to take it apart and make it smaller (problem solving). My dad instructed Jacob to put the unused pieces away.

Then Jacob and I collaborated on a sneaky scheme. One of the pieces that Grampy wanted to use wasn't one that I wanted to use. When Grampy was called out of the room for a minute, I handed that piece to Jacob and told him to go switch it with one of the pieces he put away. He immediately "got" that we were being "sneaky" and broke into giggles when Grampy came back into the room and saw what we did, exchanging mischevious glances with me, delighting in our "trick".

We then put the train together, Jacob deciding which car to start with and which came next. The train didn't run right at first, and we did a lot of problem solving with the tempermental track. Then the train didn't have enough power, so we changed the batteries. (Appraisal and problem solving.)

When we finally got the whole thing running properly, my mom came out with a bag of town accessories to go around the track, and she offered pieces to the kids. Jacob took pieces from her and decided where to put them under the tree. (Appraisal and Self-awareness.)

This was two hours of RDI lifestyle, and is a pretty good example of how our current RDI objectives are fitting into our lives.


At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Dori said...

Great activity.
Are you using a consultant?
We live in Boston area and I only know of one in Waltham Ma.
I have not done RDI but I would like to try it.

At 3:41 PM, Blogger Harvest Mom said...

Yes, we use Kim Downey, in Brookfield, CT. Lauren in Waltham is great, I've met her and I personally know several of her clients who are making wonderful progress under her guidance. I would highly reccommend her.

At 3:33 PM, Anonymous dori said...

I will call her

At 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son is 7 years old and non-verbal autistic since he was 15 months 1 month after is MMR shot.
He is happy and loving, but has no fear.
Does insurance cover RDI consultant to come to my home..I am a single mother and can't afford much.

Thank you Maria


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