You can see this in the clip of us putting butterflies away in an assembly line pattern. The pattern is Me-Pamela-Elephant. She quickly gets into the swing of it, so I start doing little variations for fun.
My consultant assessed Pamela for all three beginner patterns, and Pamela had no problem. The first year we homeschooled Pamela and I did patterning for her fine motor issues. I have never thought of interactions as patterns, but I know we have been doing all three patterns for years and years. I am not surprised Pamela did well with them. Just to be sure that I am on track, the consultant asked me to do two or three days of each pattern (15 to 18 patterns each day). She wants to make sure that, when Pamela struggles, I will remember to fall back on these RCR patterns. If Pamela gets angry at a restaurant, we could do something as simple as empty sugar packets out of the holder one by one and then put them back one by one. Reestablishing a sense of competence is an effective way to prevent meltdowns.
First, I made a list of activities that had patterns. Interaction patterns are in almost any activity. Random on-the-fly thinkers can probably join in what their child is doing. I am not one of them. I need a plan from which I can vary.
Then, I picked a competent role for both of us. Some roles might be too difficult (such as putting clothes already on a hanger in a closet), so I took the harder role. Physical roles help children get regulated. Since Pamela is under-responsive, I made her the active person in some roles (the one who goes first).
I made a list of assembly line patterns I had planned to do today. I tried to spread them out into three batches during the day, all patterns done one after the other. I tried to balance practical things like chores with fun things like toys and crafts.
Pamela is a great apprentice. Some children might fuss, argue, and complain (feel free to ignore them, if you can)! The handouts my consultant gave me talk about doing the pattern first so the child can see the roles. Then physically turn one role over to the child when ready.
Pamela has an acute eye for patterns because her mind is so sequential. She caught on to all of my patterns right away. I always know when the light bulb goes off and she smiles. Once she grew competent in the role, I varied the actions in my role.
Our patterns ended when we placed all of the items in the right place. I usually vary how I acknowledge completion, but some times I just move onto the next pattern. For each batch, I tried to put the most fulfilling, emotionally engaging activity last to end on a positive note.
The high for me was playing the Elefun game for the first time ever! I thought she might enjoy this game which just might inspire her to move. She helped me add the batteries, fix up the nets (first clip), and position the butterflies. Her nonverbal and verbal communication is beautiful when she sees the fake butterflies floating in the air (last clip). They do not inspire her enough to move, but I plan to use a sensory integration approach to address her under-responsivity. If your time is limited, watch the last clip--it is a treasure that will make you smile!
I plan to cover two more patterns on the days in which we will be doing them. The fifth skill covered in the handout is elaboration. I have not talked much about elaborating on my blog because I am not knowledgeable enough to go there. I will quote directly from the handout,
Elaboration is how the parent grows what the child learns and makes it increasingly dynamic. It is a way for the parents to help the child increase areas of competency. Elaboration is how the parents will take a discovery, and help the child develop a deeper meaning to it. Elaboration techniques include use of same-but-different thinking, relative thinking, and retrospective and prospective thinking. Elaboration grows directly with Episodic Memory development.