At the autism remediation email list, we discussed the question of chores. Many parents doing RDI turn to chores as activities to frame objectives. For example, right now, I am working on RCR cycles with Pamela and we have been focusing on reciprocal (think turn-taking) patterns. So, I included getting hangars, hanging clothes, and putting away folded clothes for my list of patterns. Choosing chores means they actually get done (you should see my lovely hampers) and frees up more of my time. Pamela can learn valuable life skills that will serve her well whether or not she is ever able to live independently because she will always be a blessing to the people who care for her. You can see a wide variety of activities, some more fun than others, for Thursday's list.
|Getting hangars||Basket||Reverse Assembly|
|Hanging clothes||Closet||Reverse Assembly|
|Putting away clothes||Drawer||Reverse Assembly|
|Putting away dishes||Cabinet||Reverse Assembly|
|Picking strawberries||Basket||Reverse Assembly|
|Washing strawberries||Collander||Reverse Assembly|
|Cutting strawberries||Bowl||Reverse Assembly|
|Eating ice cream||Spoon||Sharing|
|Scooping seeds in feeder||1/4-cup||Sharing|
The turn-taking styles we used were reverse assembly line and sharing an object. The first is alternating between Me-You-Place and You-Me-Place. Pamela and I are so used to other forms of turn-taking we found this one tricky! Sharing an object came more naturally to us.
One of my problems as a "get on with it" kind of person is I have a hard time slowing down for the sake of the interaction. I go checkmark crazy with a list in my hand! In my mind, I do not always separate the efficiency of doing a chore on my own from the objective of framing chores, slowing down enough to give Pamela time to process and express her thoughts and feelings. If you watch the video clips, you will see how the quality of Pamela's expressions shot up when we played catch and Frisbee. Why? Dropping and retrieving the tossed object stops the action long enough for Pamela to process and react.
Picking/Washing/Cutting Strawberries/Putting Away Laundry
Filling Birdfeeder/Playing Catch/Tossing Frisbee/Making Ice Cream
Pamela has not done a major coloring project in years. I have not bought coloring books in years because they end up in the toy box with a couple of sporadic scribbles. The other day Pamela picked up Diego Color Pencil By Number. Since she has not colored something like this in years, I thought it might make a great lifestyle activity. I figured it would take at least a week to finish! When I pulled her out of school in 1995, she cried at the sight of things like this because she hated drawing, coloring, and writing. Imagine my surprise when it took us only two days to finish it! Rather than use the pencils provided, Pamela choose from her 64-crayon collection. She would color one spot, and then I would touch it up before going onto the next spot. When we did the frame, she colored the paw prints and I colored the frame, going back and forth.
When Steve saw the finished product, his jaw dropped. He blurted out, "I can't believe how well she stays in the lines!" Yep! She has come a long way in her years as a homeschooler!