"He is reading the cue cards upside down" laughs E at our ABA therapy team meeting
She is referring to the set of index cards that they use to cue R to do things
They have these set of 100 cards or so which have instructions on them like "Clap your hands"
Quick tutorial on VB/ABA -spoken language does not come naturally to many Autistic kids - the idea is to teach language through repetition you say "Clap your hands" And then you put your hands over his hands to demonstrate the action clapping them and then reward him ( called Errorless teaching ) Ultimately the child starts associating the words with the action and also with the pleasurable feeling of being rewarded
Anyway - E and S shuffle the cards at the beginning of each session and were wondering how R seemed able to anticipate and do the actions even before they said the words
They finally figured out that he is reading the cards upside down !!!
That combined with Julie's post on visual schedules is the final impetus I needed to definitely do it this weekend
So this weekend I plan on the following:
1. Visual Schedule 2. I want to do a pretend play game 3. I also want to write a story for R about R
The story idea is also something I have been thinking about for a while but have done nothing about .You see the true tragedy of Apraxia is in its secondary effect - without spoken language the child does not develop the - crucial - ability to ask why, what type questions and therefore is does not practice reflecting about things
Example a typical child will listen to a story about Red Riding Hood and feel angry at the wolf, scared for RRH etc
Now a child like R clearly comprehends the meaning of written words - but his mind processes them by picturing them written rather than sounding them out
Is it possible that a child who cannot speak very much could think about these things if they were presented in writing ?
And so perhaps a written story ( really I am aiming for something very simple ) would help R think about events of his life in a way that will promote higher level thinking