Saturday, October 06, 2007

Follow-Up on Videos

I have been more careful to focus mainly on one objective and set up situations to film it. The issue is to be more clear about my signals that I am finished talking so that Pamela does not bolt too soon. I brainstormed this with the help of friends and realized that, when we are seated, Pamela usually does not bolt. If it is almost time for something scheduled or the activity is over, she will suddenly bold.

The plan is to spotlight the end of conversation. For example, I could make a big done gesture and give a breathy sigh. If that is not obvious, I could give a verbal hint paired with the gesture and/or sign. I can learn to watch for her signals of getting ready to bolt and be ready to block her by gently holding her hands. This reminds me of being in musicals in college: I need to practice in front of a mirror and block my part!

On Thursday, David filmed five different segments of Pamela and I talking what a chapter from a book reminds us of. She did extremely well: she referenced me beautifully, made comments, and repeated some of my words as if to help them register better. Sometimes, she reacted with emotion or changed the topic to something related. She tried to bolt a few times, but I let her know I was not finished with me and she stayed with me. I was not as clear as I could have been, so I have objectives for myself, too. I found that asking her a question about the next event worked well, but I need to be less obvious as she improves.

Here is the review I wrote about how these five segments went.

Segment One:
Activity: Talking about The Brendan Voyage Objective: Attention, S1A

Pluses: Pamela makes a reasonable connection between sewing leather and her candlewicking animals. She stayed in control when she was upset.

Issues: Pamela thought I was pressuring her for more communication when I was only telling her more about my memory. She regulated by saying, “Cut it out!”

Tips: I need to introduce the topic with different phrasing when we talk about books. I need to wait a little longer to let her process.

Segment Two:
Activity: Talking about The Winged Watchman Objective: Attention, S1A

Pluses: Pamela makes a reasonable connection between the flood in the story and boats in Sand Point. She smiled, responded with emotion, and showed a strong interest in my narration of the May 1995 flood in Destrehan.

Issues: Pamela stayed focused in spite of the barking dogs and my distracting response to them.

Tips: I need to introduce the topic with different phrasing when we talk about books. I need to wait a little longer to let her process.

Segment Three:
Activity: Talking about The Cones Objectives: Attention, S1A

Pluses: Pamela has an excellent memory. She remembers a Hawaiian ice shaver my sister gave to us when we lived in West Newton. We did make snow cones a couple of times and I am surprised at how much she remembered. She stayed focused on my face even while rocking in the rocking chair. Then we talked about stores that carried gf/cf diet sorbet and soy ice cream. She was ready to end the conversation and stayed with me when I transitioned to another story in her primer book.

Segment Four:
Activity: Talking about The Endless Steppe Objectives: Attention, S1A

Pluses: Pamela makes a reasonable connection between Esther’s days in school and her school and co-op days. Then she went from the bug class in Minnesota to a dead butterfly we found in a parking lot. She was ready to stop, but I continued talking to her about movies because the story mentioned a movie. I told her my favorite movie Chronicles of Narnia and, after much processing time, she told me hers, Amazing Grace. That bowled me over because I thought that movie was stunning and fantastic, but over her head.

Issues: She tried to stim on “Airhawks” but was able to get back on track.

Segment Five:
Activity: Talking about a chapter on Alexander Objective: Attention, S1A

Pluses: Pamela maintains her focus in spite of the hyper-active dog. She makes a reasonable connection between Alexander’s horse Bucephalus and her horse in hippotherapy back in 1995. Then we both thought of Peter Pan after talking about the horse being afraid of its shadow. Pamela remembers reading Peter Pan in Sand Point. Then we transitioned to Wendy and a girl named Wendy, who was a guest at Pamela’s fourteenth birthday party. We talked about her birthday party, too, and the “no puffin” sticker at the Harbor CafĂ©.

Issues: The cameraman was bored and rotated the camera at an awkward angle.


Anonymous said...

Wow Tammy, I just watched your video. Pamela is improving nicely and so are YOU!! I was going to comment to give her more time to process, and to give her thoughts but then I noticed you suggested that yourself. My only other comment is to be mindful of the gasping to gain her attention,
I used to do that a lot too...because we have to do things like that to gain and keep our ASD kids attention. But in our case, one day my daughter said, "Are you going to do all that loud breathing? LOL!! OOPS! Then I realized she didn't need that large of a spotlight anymore to keep her connected with me. I thought Pamela did nicely and was able to process multiples when you were talking and the dog was barking. BTW, I am jealous of the big porch and rocking chair. That is one of our dreams! Rhonda

walking said...

So many habits to cultivate and habits to break (or replace) and so little time . . . It makes me crazy! :-)