Thursday, January 25, 2007

fishin' for favorites

Here's a photo of an activity I came up with to help us work on a couple of our current RDI objectives we're working on, "Catalog personal preferences in relative degrees" and "Catalog likes and dislikes of family members".

I clipped a paper clip onto each of a set of 20 index cards with categories, such as "movie", "book", "food". Then I distributed the cards, face down, in the ball pit. We each got on our "moon bounce" toys (for a little OT work while we were at it -- I often combine RDI and OT, because they combine so nicely!) and bounced around the outside of the ball pit until we got into a position we wanted to "fish" from (changing position with each turn). We then used a magnetic fishing pole (part of a magnetic fishing puzzle set) to "fish" out the cards, each taking a turn. After retreiving a card, the person who "caught" it reads the category, then tells his/her favorite thing from that category, then passes the pole on to the next person for them to have a turn.

This works on our first objective, because Jacob has to select his FAVORITE item from the category. (This builds on the work we've done previously, just listing items he likes from these types of categories.) It works on our second category as he gets a chance to hear what other family members' preferences are.

Although for the past year and a half I've been focused almost entirely on RDI lifestyle, with this set of objectives I'm working on (the "new" Stage 7) , I've decided to block out a half hour or so of each day to work on our objectives in a focused manner, through games and activities that I set up to target our objectives. This doesn't mean that we don't still practice RDI lifestyle all day long. MUCH of our day is spent giving Jacob the opportunity to practice making choices in real-life situations, and allowing him to listen to OUR reasons for making choices.

For instance, I'll announce that we need to go to the grocery store, and then as we're pulling out of our driveway, I'll say "I think we'll go to the Big Y today, because it's the closest grocery store and we need to get home in time for music class", or "Today we'll shop at the Stop and Shop, because we need the crackers you like, and that's the only store that carries them." What I'm spotlighting here is my system of Appraisal -- the thing that I'm finding important at that moment that I'm basing my decisions on. "I'm getting chocolate icecream, because chocolate is my favorite flavor."

Initially we just provided lots and lots of choices without consequenses for Jacob "which color shirt to wear?", "blue cup or yellow cup for your orange juice?", "shall we turn left or stay on the trail we're on?". Now we're upping the ante, so to speak -- we're giving him choices to make that require some thinking and have consequences. "Do you want to go to the sometown playground, which is closer so we can play longer, or the othertown playground, which is further away but has that slide you like?"

Self Awareness and Appraisal are our big goals for the coming year. Along with that, I think his Theory of Mind will begin developing, and the ability to think conceptually. Like I've said before, it's going to be a big year for us!


At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, great post. Keep my fingers crossed for ya. How was your evening AFTER the dentist visit? Thanks for your insights into RDI. Sincerely, Diane

At 3:37 PM, Blogger Harvest Mom said...

Diane, everything after about an hour out from the visit has been great. He's talked about going to the dentist (mostly in regards to getting that really cool glider toy he got there), and I mentioned casually that we have one more dentist visit coming up, and he didn't freak out. So here's hoping....


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