Saturday, April 24, 2010

Setting Sail...

We have been attempting to find a way to motivate the boys to remember the rules and expectations at home. These have been particularly difficult for Rye. I attended an informative session on Token Economy systems at the Autism Conference and I figured why not give it a try.

I learned that sticking to particular "liked" or "favorite" themes was the way to go so of course we decided to stick with the Pirate theme that Rye and Wyatt are obsessed with at the moment. It is pretty simple. I set up "Ship Rules" that the boys need to follow. Some are easy like take your shoes off when you come in the house, others are harder and geared toward Rye like don't bring sticks in the house (which he is wanting to do like crazy!).

Rye and Wyatt earn gold coins when we "catch them" being good and following the rules. When they earn 10 gold coins they get to pick a "prize" out of the treasure chest. They are loving it!!

I think it is also great that we are using this with Wyatt who I worry feels "left out" a lot.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

OMG I think I found the front of the tunnel- I just can't see if there is a light at the end!

Well we have had a "good" week in the Autism Services arena. Rye's evaluation was completed at school, it looks like he will have a paraprofessional with him at school as part of his IEP as well as additional therapies. We will meet in two weeks to look at and approve the IEP goals. He was accepted into the PDI (Plan for Developmental Intervention) at the Thompson Center for Autism and we have our first meeting with the consultant in a few weeks. We have signed up for adapted gymnastics and we will begin that on Friday. Rye and Wyatt continue to participate in swimming at Mizzou Rec 2 days a week. We are still on the wait list for speech services so that is a little discouraging but hopefully in the coming months.

The boys had a great Easter and Rye sneaked into the communion line at church before I could get to him, so I guess Rye also celebrated his first communion. Rye getting to do it of course upset Wyatt so he got to do it too!

Practical solutions that continue to work for our family:

Prediction of any changes as far in advance as possible and right before the change is scheduled to take place. Learning what triggers meltdowns is essential to successfully supporting Rye. We have to predict, talk about what the right thing to is, practice, then use in real life settings.

Remembering the difference between receptive and expressive language and that it isn't always that Rye is "not listening" but that he doesn't understand what we want. Clarify before getting upset about a child not doing something make sure and clarify that they know and understand what they should be doing.

Rye is a concrete thinker, he does interpret language very literally.

Language is hard so visual cues and prompts help Rye to understand.

Playing with Rye in "his world" is fun for him, it allows him to be in control and it is good for parents to "visit" the autism world every now and again. I feel like if I want Rye to understand and communicate with me and others the way I want him to then it is only fair that I try to see where he is coming from too.