Examples of autistic wunderkinds who put together complicated jigsaw puzzles practically blindfolded without their backs turned abound. Pamela is not one of them. She still does not completely get standard notions about puzzlemaking like the edges lining up, spotting potential locations on the box, and studying the shapes. We have been working on simple 100-piece puzzles since March in an RDI-like way. One thing I do is to build joint attention and then tell her indirect comments like "This is an edge. All the edges line up." "I wonder where this might be on the box." "Oh, I think I see a match with this piece."
Today, we ran out of time puzzle-building. Pamela stayed behind to finish it while I cooked lunch. Not only did she finish the puzzle, she skipped into the kitchen and announced proudly, "I did it! I finished the puzzle." You can bet I spotlighted that moment with an enthusiastic response.
She had a similar moment yesterday when she was trying to break off the remnants of a branch. She found garden clippers useless, so I suggested we visit my Dad to borrow a saw after dinner. She had other ideas. Pamela grabbed a huge, heavy stone and dropped it on the branch repeatedly until it snapped. She ran it to the house, skipping and telling me, "I broke the branch!" And, of course, I celebrated--Steve did not know the backstory and could not fathom why we were Snoopy Dancing over a stick.
Pamela is becoming much more interested in SHARING exciting moments in her day with me! Before RDI, she only shared the tragedies, not the triumphs.