This guest blog post was written by RDI veteran parent Di Maitland. You can read the original post here.
Righto, I am putting my RDI parent hat back on….
Our lovely RDI Consultant has set us some goals and objectives; part of which includes the following.
‘Motivation and Experience sharing- Nick will demonstrate the ability to manage temporary uncertainty associated with different activities. Responds to feelings of uncertainty that leads to maintaining engagement and not as a cue for avoidance, withdrawal or premature closure…. Here we are watching for Nick to not see the activity as a task to complete. He already loves novelty and is going places…so this is working on some novelty in the home, the day to day, he has certain expectations in the home and struggles with being in the moment in activities. This is why we are going to do some games and food activities…Open ending activities’
Here I sit, pondering over a framework sheet, thinking about where to start. I need an activity that is familiar to Nick, yet one that I can add in a little challenge. Hmmm, food activities would work!
Aha, I have the perfect solution. Nick has discovered chocolate Nesquik. (He found it hidden in the back of the food cupboard!). I can set up a framework around the making of a basic milkshake.
Nick’s role would be to bring me the items needed to make the chocolate milkshake. He is familiar with this, although needs a few declarative comments to find the right spoon to use (teaspoon).
My role will be to add one teaspoon of the powder into the glass. I would then invite Nick to add one teaspoon. He will need to pick up on my declarative clues/body language to hand me the spoon so that I can add the third and last spoonful to the glass. Hopefully this will be a lovely back and forth experience, with Nick understanding the reciprocal pattern.
For the remainder of this activity, we could use a contingency pattern. Nick can pour the milk while I stir.
Nick’s ‘plus 1’ (challenge) will be to use the teaspoon to collect some powder from the container and place it into the glass. This sounds relatively easy, however, if you take into account his motor planning problems, it is difficult for him to judge how much powder to collect. Another challenge for him will be to pour the milk slowly into the glass at the same time as I am stirring.
Feedback from the activity
The activity went well and there were no great surprises for me. As I predicted, Nick overloaded his teaspoon. I need to think of a way to scaffold this for him. Perhaps use a measuring spoon and show him how to level the powder by using a knife ~ a new experience and an extra little challenge for him. Nick referenced me for information and was able to read my non verbal clues. Was our interaction a wow? No, not really. Although Nick coped well with moments of uncertainty, it was a bit task mode. I put this down to the fact that Nick was dead keen to have his milkshake and he was more interested in the end goal and not all the interactive stuff in between. Such is life!
What would you do next time?