Thursday, August 18, 2011

I Can Do It Myself!

I've recommended autismherd before, but  this post is especially good. So often, we do things for our kids just because it's less messy or easier. That's why I make GL take out the trash.  When I told one of the professionals who work with him about his taking out the trash, she commented that verbal prompts are the hardest to fade, so I transitioned him to a written checklist, with each step listed as a one-word instruction. He made the transition well, and began to acquire the skill of working from a written checklist.

Although I try not to, I do fall into the pattern of helping him with tasks he could do himself, at least for certain tasks. For example, one of the few foods he eats is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but he wouldn't eat the crusts. He was a bit messy. He could make his own sandwiches; he just couldn't cut the crusts off. He would take a few bites out of the middle of the sandwich and throw the rest away. Yes, it was every bit as messy as it sounds. If I asked him to pull off the crusts, he pulled off and threw away more than he ate. For a while, I made sandwiches for him. It was less messy, but I seemed to spend all day making sandwiches. If there were a sandwich-making machine, I would have bought it. Then I tried cutting off the crusts for him, and having him make his own sandwiches. That worked. After a couple of years, I got tired of cutting off his crusts. One day, I asked him if he could try eating a sandwich with the crusts on. Apparently he was ready. He tried it, and has been making his own sandwiches ever since. But there is a fossilized layer of peanut butter and jelly on every surface he touches.

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Blogger DeeAnn said...

I do agree. Verbal prompts are the hardest to fade. I wish somebody would have told ME that a long time ago. I kid you not...When it's time for Cody (age 30)to have a bath, my husband and I still have to say, "Get undressed. Go pee and get in."

I think it's awesome that GL will now eat the bread crust. So your house smells like peanut butter. Who cares? I can think of a lot more offensive smells. :) haha

August 18, 2011 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

It's not the smell that bothers me, it's the sticky doorknobs, sticky cupboard door handles, sticky refrigerator door... everywhere he touches is continually sticky. No matter how much I wipe surfaces down, I just can't keep up!

August 18, 2011 at 10:02 PM  

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