Yesterday, Pamela and I made fruit smoothies, gluten-free casein-free that the whole family enjoyed! Besides making and slurping down a yummy treat, we worked on joint attention (both of us looking at the same thing at the same time). To help her become more competent in sharing her perspective, Pamela must monitor how well her partner is paying attention and then use more elaborate language to redirect her partner.
First, we looked through a recipe book with kid's snacks. Pamela thoughtfully picked fruit smoothies after discarding recipes with forbidden ingredients. Yesterday, this activity did not go well because too many distractions diverted Pamela's interest, so I eased into my role of acting like a ditz. While some autism therapies focus on rapid response, RDI focuses on letting a person with autism process, appraise, and think of a reaction. At one point, I waited for forty seconds while she was thinking through something. We checked our supplies and made a shopping list. I talked more and acted obviously clueless for this clip.
We headed to the Pig (Piggly Wiggly, all you Greenbax lovers) to pick up fresh fruit and other essentials. You may notice that the photos in today's blog are crisper and framed well. My mother, who majored in photography in college, was kind enough to take pictures! I loved the shot of us at the meat counter because it captured the critical moment beautifully. Pamela is pointing to the direction where she wants me to head and I am pointing and looking in that direction. However, she is looking at me to make sure I am looking in the right place. That is what we call a critical moment in RDI and my goal is to create think space around that moment.
After we got home, Pamela and I made the fruit smoothie. I was much quieter in my inattention and basically looked the wrong way. She noticed when I did not pay attention and redirected me both nonverbally and verbally.
Pamela started her first conversation about Blu-ray DVD's with me. This could very well become a static conversation (it has that feel). Since the topic was completely new, I stayed engaged with it. I suspect I will end up having to find creative ways to stay off the Blu-ray express down the road.
My favorite moment was when the yogurt hit me in the neck. Pamela figured out what I meant when I pointed to my neck and said, "Pamela, I got been shot!" She appraised the situation and took appropriate action. However, it did not have the feel of experience sharing because it was more like Monk reacting to something out of place. She giggled, but it sounded strained to me. I probably should have slowed down and put think space around that funny moment. My mind was on the objective!
When we actually turned on the blender, Pamela became a tad hyper-focused with the grinding noise or the spinning of the smoothie. I tried to do subtle things to see how long it would take for her to realize the smoothie was finished and take action. We had a nice smell test and taste test to preview for our lesson on comparing perspectives down the road. We also transitioned to me serving her French fries and a burger.
Oh, the recipe:
1 8 oz container of vanilla soy yogurt
2 1/2 cups strawberries
Put the banana, strawberries, and yogurt in a blender. Squeeze the juice out of the tangerines and add enough water to make 1/2 cup of juice. Pour the juice in the blender. Run the blender until it looks like a smoothie! Yum!