Monday, March 19, 2007

appraising appraisal

Here's a photo of my "hula boy" that I'm pretty sure Jacob will be incensed about me posting at some point in the future....

Today I got a good glimpse as to where we're at with Jacob's appraisal at this point, so I wanted to talk about it a bit. I've talked about Jacob's problems with appraisal and how we're working on it here and here and here and here, amongst other places, in the past. It's been a real weak area for him, and we've done a whole lot of modeling and letting him borrow OUR appraisal. It looks like it's finally paying off, though, as the following interaction depicts:

Jacob's OT had set up a bowling game today that allowed me to see where he's at with his appraisal. There were several sizes of heavy balls available for him to roll down a ramp and try to hit 3 "pins" (soda bottles filled with water) set up at the bottom. He adjusted his position so that he was in the right spot to hit the center pin, then picked up a ball and let it go down the ramp. As he was picking up the ball, his OT commented "Oh, you picked the orange ball." He said "Yeah, I picked it because it's the heaviest one". (Great appraisal!!) After knocking down the center pin, he picked up another ball and let it go down the center of the ramp again. Of course, it missed the pins on either side of it. But before the OT had a chance to prompt him to think about what he needed to do to hit one of the side pins, he'd already adjusted his position (more appraisal!) so that the next ball rolled directly at one of the pins and knocked it down. He seemlessly shifted his position to optimize his next roll to knock down the third pin. He made a discovery about how his appraisal and choices affected the outcome, and adjusted as neccessary.

He's certainly made a lot of progress in the appraisal department! Which explains why he's making choices very easily now, and can tell us his reason for making those choices. Understanding his own preferences and the cause-and-effect relationship of the choices he makes has allowed it all to come together for him, and has opened up a whole new world of discoveries and learning for him.

Ain't RDI grand???

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