Thursday, December 15, 2011

Setting up for success

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Seattle Autism/Asperger’s conference and it was amazing. First off I got to hear Temple Grandin speak which was absolutely amazing. I also got to meet her in person and get a copy of her book, “Thinking in Pictures” signed.

Another person that I got to hear speak was Jennifer McIlwee Meyers. She was so engaging as a speaker and I took away one big thing that I am about to start implementing with Alvin. That is setting him up for success. She used a few example of how her parents used baby steps to prepare her for things and by the time she needed to use them all together it was a manageable task. Once she succeeded at one thing that gave her confidence to go and begin to tackle other things one by one.

Alvin’s overall new goal is working on gaining independence. Now that we have finally begun to really unlock his verbal abilities its time to focus on needing less re-direction and working more independently. This applies to what he does in gymnastics, music therapy, the preschool classroom and especially at home. We are working on this in baby steps very hard in the gym and music therapy. Making independent choices, verbalizing what he wants and doing a skill/task when asked to or saying no thank you if he doesn’t want to. This has gone pretty well and each week we push a little more.

We have also been using this schedule to help him when we go out to do multiple errands and we have had pretty good success with him. He loves knowing what is coming up next and loves reading and moving the stickers off when we are done with something.
Alvin's schedule. This is an example of what we do on his music therapy days.
I say all of this because next week Alvin is going to do a camp at The Little Gym. Does this make me nervous? YES! But is it time that we give him a chance to work on independence, yes.

What I am going to do is attempt is help him by making up a basic schedule that shows the order of activities that will be done during camp. This isn’t going to be detailed but just a high level. I’ve talked to a program director at the gym and she has agreed to help me out with this.

The whole goal here is for the camp experience to be very positive for him and the staff working with him. I want to do what I can so his first camp experience is a success. Its 3 hours around normal kids. Some of the kids he will know and some he won’t. He will know the instructors thankfully and that should make things easier.

I'll do another update after the camp is finished but right now all we can do is try and hope for the best.

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