I was fortunate enough to be able to share some about our experience with Lizzie on the Autismspot.com
Here are the links:
Combining Floortime and ABA
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
In this video, you will see Andy and Lizzie playing really nicely together. Andy has always been wonderful at trying to play with Lizzie, but recently Lizzie has been really listening to him, joining in on his ideas and using them to create her own. You will also see her referencing him and what he is doing throughout the whole video. I would like to send this to the psychologist that told me referencing was not something that could be learned! Lizzie had NO referencing ability when she was about three years old and look at her now.
I know this is a little long but if you stick with it, it gets even better toward the end. They move from location to location playing together and Lizzie never looses engagement with Andy (except maybe one or two times for a few seconds). This is purely spontaneous play. I love to sit back and feel the pure joy of two of my children interacting together - something only a parent of a child with autism understands.
Monday, November 19, 2007
This video shows Betsy working through a tantrum when Lizzie does not want to do the required activity. Betsy does a great job of staying calm and not backing down. She helps Lizzie through the tantrum by giving her the words to express her feelings, and giving her two choices that both end in the result Betsy wants. Sometimes the choice is "do you want to do it yourself or do you want me to help you?" and other times the choice is "do you want to do the bear crawl or crab crawl?" Lizzie watched this video, and the next time she saw Betsy, she asked to do the bear crawl. She did it perfectly. Most of the time, the tantrums have nothing to do with her ability and everything to do with her stubbornness and lack of desire to do the activity. Taking control and not backing down once a request is made (even if the request isn't something important) helps us to keep control over her behavior because she knows we will follow through.
Lizzie plays basketball with Noah. She initiates this play with him all on her own. I almost didn't put this one on here because she is kinda mean to him a few times, but then I realized that that is real life. She is really engaged with Noah, and they are having a lot of fun!
Thursday, November 1, 2007
This video shows Cristina playing with Lizzie. Keep in mind this is all spontaneous play. We do not teach play chains or script play. She is encouraged to keep the figures playing together and to come up with her own ideas. This video also shows Cristina working on Lizzie's rigidity. By having her work through problems that come up during play, she is learning to let go of the rigidity which so often controls kids with autism. Six months ago if Lizzie would have had this same "seat belt problem", she would have lost it and it would have turned into a complete meltdown. We work everyday on making her more and more flexible because real life requires flexibility.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
The three little pigs is an activity that Lizzie would much rather act out all on her own. She gets her own little routine down and wants to stick with it. We work everyday to help her become more flexible, so others can join in on her play and she can tolerate it when they change things up. Allison does a great job of not allowing her to be rigid in her play by herself by giving Lizzie two options that both end in Lizzie sharing in play with Allison.
Lizzie loves to act out scenes from movies and books. Angela is reading one of Lizzie's favorite books, "Froggy goes to Bed". Lizzie acts out the book with the girl and mommy in the dollhouse. When she is done, she decided the girl needs to have a birthday party. In the past, Lizzie used to just script (say the words to herself) from movies and books. Once she became engaged (through lots of Floortime play), we began to be able to use those scripts by turning them into interactive play.
This is Lizzie and me playing Old MacDonald. To appreciate this, you need to know that background. About a month ago, Lizzie would throw a complete fit if anyone got near her animals. She had them all in a specific order, she wanted to sing it alone, and she DID NOT want to share the experience in any way. We worked on this, her rigidity with this activity is gone and now she is free to just enjoy play with me...look how much fun we are having! :)
Saturday, October 27, 2007
When I looked in the playroom to find Andy, instead I found Lizzie and Noah sitting at the little table together. I went to see their drawings, and I could not believe what was in front of Lizzie. I asked her what she drew, and she said, "It's water!" Water it is! Water, a boat, two people and even a little fish! I could hardly control my excitement that Lizzie had drawn out such a complete thought. Usually we are lucky to get one object, and the fact that she did it all on her own (I confirmed this with Andy) while sitting together with her brothers just made my day! We immediately put it up on the refrigerator for all to admire!