Archive for April, 2010

“Do Nothing” …#1 Video

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

As you remember, my first attempt at our new assignment…”Do Nothing” …was a bust.

Okay, so this time, I checked the camera battery (fully charged), the memory card (in and empty), the children (outside and occupied), Sam (not too hungry, not too tired–hahaha..but just right)!  Even the moon and stars were aligned for this video clip!  I had a great activity, fully framed and waiting for us.  I called him down, and we began.

Let me re-cap…the goal of this lesson is for ME to discover the impact that MY pace has on MY interaction with Sam. If the guide becomes too focused on gaining a specific response from the child the guide may move at a faster pace in an effort to GET it, then the apprentice looses the opportunity for discovery.

In this lesson, I am to monitor my pace closely. I supposed to be providing up to 45 seconds of DOING NOTHING for Sam to make key discoveries during moments of disconnect or uncertainty. During this endless 45 seconds of time, I should not be providing any prompting to him as he needs time to think, plan and respond on his own first. OK–simple to grasp– difficult to implement. I am to begin by focusing on my pace during framed activities. Then, I will generalize this throughout the day once I have mastered it a controlled setting.

There is a moment that I am to wait for…I am hoping for it really.  It is the—(drum roll please….) MPU-Moment of Productive Uncertainty- The MPU for me is going to come when things begin to go off track– (my pace is crucial here–patience is not my virtue). When I begin to feel the uh-oh, I’m losing him feeling — I don’t think he’s getting it–I am to do nothing. Simply wait and give him time to process. The MPU is the KEY in this next step.  If I can push him gently into this moment when he’s off-balance, but NOT far enough to trigger a melt down, he is growing in his connectivity!!!  It is the moments of doing nothing in response to a feeling of tension or anxiety that we are striving for!!

So, we began.  Last time, he just barreled ahead and left me standing.  His goal was not to complete the activity with me, but to finish and get back to his legos.  Then, remember, the camera card was full, and beeping, then one of my kids came inside hollering for me, Sam zipped back to his room — the whole activity imploded is so many ways.  He had NO Moments of Productive Uncertainty!

Today was perfect! The whole videoing went seamlessly and when I downloaded it and observed…I was so pleased that I had 2 MPUs!!!  Twice, he was moving on too fast, so I slowed my pace both times.  He got a little lost and started watching my hands to figure out what he was to do next…so… I did nothing!  After 30 seconds he sighed, fidgeted, then ( oh, I was so happy!)…his eyes swept up too my face…he caught my gaze, and then we smiled at each other and proceeded with the activity  The second time, his MPU was even shorter.  He again, got a little ahead, I slowed down, his eyes went to my hands–I waited–he made eye contact, smiled really big (like he got it!), then we proceded!!!

I cannot wait to hear from Jennifer Perry (RDI consultant) and hear her critique!

So Patiently Yours!

Dr. J

RDI–”Do Nothing”

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Wow!!!  I received our new assignment for this week and it is a hard one!


I am supposed to continue to frame activities–just as before– away from the other kids and general distractions…and Sam and I are supposed to participate together, interactively in this activity AND when he gets distracted or off track…  I am supposed to “DO NOTHING!”

If you recall, in my previous assignment, if Sam got off track, I was to NOT verbally prompt him, but instead, I was to clear my throat or use my facial expressions to bring him back into the activity and to encourage him to coordinate with me.  So, that was pretty hard, but he eventually picked up on the program.  His eye contact really has gotten better!  However, the next step is always waiting for me.  NOW, I must just wait and let him “discover” that he must coordinate with me.  So I have to develop patience!!!  Who knew RDI would be so good for ME?  ..hahaha:-)!

I have already tried the new assignment, and it was a bust…the camera card was out of space and kept beeping and was terribly distracting to Sam …after I had framed the activity and all.  Really, I just wanted to finish the activity and not worry about the camera, BUT Sam is very goal oriented, and did not want to “waste time” doing an activity if we only had to repeat the whole thing for a functioning camera!!!!  It made perfect sense to Spock!  Hahaha!  So, there was NO coordination with me, and there was NO increase in my patience level either!

Do Nothing sounds so simple, doesn’t it?  The problem is…I don’t “DO NOTHING” very well and with Sam, I have always had to “DO MORE.”  So, this is me, trying to “BACK OFF” my spectrum child!

Well, I learned something…I will check the camera card before I frame an activity next time:)

Always in the Trenches,

Dr. Girlfriend!

Baby steps…

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

I know you all must think I have fallen off the face of the earth…and I feel like I have!  Two of my kids had a GI virus (one after the other, of course), then I got the BUG, and then we went on Spring Break, at which time my husband had the GI virus!  Wow, what a rough couple of weeks!  You will be happy to know that my Spectrum child, Sam (who takes loads of probiotics and Curcumin everyday) did NOT get the BUG!  Another added benefit for him:-)!

Needless to say…RDI has been at a standstill, but I fully intend on getting the ball rolling this week.  We are ready for our next assignment!

We do see improvement in Sam’s communication abilities.  We went on spring break with 2 other families in our Supper Club, and we were all surprised by how well Sam interacted with the other kids!  He knows them really well, but usually stays more on the periphery while listening to his favorite i tunes music and humming…his favorite stim (well you know, he likes to do what HE likes to do…haha!).  He really was cooperative and interactive with the other teenagers and hung out with them most of the time.  He did peel off from the group for a few hours every day to read, listen to music and be alone…( to decompress as we say!)  We were happy, because he did the best he has ever done and even our friends commented on his improvement!

So, Recovery is a journey of many thousand steps…sometimes baby steps!  So, NEVER give up!


Dr. Girlfriend