I started Pamela on her new schedule this week and have struggled to stay on track because of things like unexpected, unplanned disruptions. Today, for example, I ran out of fish food and had to go to Wal-Mart, had to mail a package for my husband, and had to make a two-and-a-half-hour trip to pick him up from work because his logistical plan left that as his only option. With a little bit of thought and flexibility, I managed to stick with the plan of the day. How, you ask? Read on!
* Usually, I do some RDI-like activity with Pamela at eleven o'clock (games, puzzles, etc.). I realized I could knock out my errands by making them RDI like. I had Pamela address the package on folder labels. Then, I positioned the strip and looked up at her for nonverbal approval. Sometimes, I put them in odd places (like my nose), just for fun. At the post office, she became my hands: she handed the package and a letter to the clerk. She handed the money to the clerk. At Wal-Mart, I made a game of her guessing which way to go by following my gaze. Then, she had to figure out what to select on the shelf by referencing me. As always, we did the self-checkout as a team, and she did a terrific job of correcting a mistake. She scanned the sugar twice, immediately caught her error, and maneuvered her way through the touch screen to rectify it.
* I had another problem that I solved creatively. I needed to make up Pamela's speech therapy sheets, which involved manipulating two pictures to make eight pictures. I have been teaching David different tricks for computer science. I realized I could have him do it since this task was new to him. I taught him how to use a SD card reader (uh, because I lost my camera cord awhile back), send pictures from the card reader to My Documents, and rotate a picture by angles and trim in MGI Photosuite. ALL of these tasks were new to him, and he saved me about fifteen minutes of busywork. He was psyched because as much as he formats pictures, he had not figured out how to rotate by angle and trim.
* I rearranged my schedule so that Pamela did tasks requiring interaction in the morning. I brought work for Pamela to do in the car. She spent much of our time on the road doing paperwork independently (speech therapy, language arts, etc.).