Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Video: Almost 5 Years Old - Cooking with Andy

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

Video: Almost 5 Yrs. - Working through a Tantrum

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.

Video: Almost 5 Years Old - "Reading" to Noah

This video shows Lizzie "reading" a book to Noah before bed. I love how she has really taken on the big sister role with him. She "reads" to him, asks him questions and looks at him. It is very cute!!

Video: Almost 5 years old - Basketball with Noah

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

Video: Lizzie at almost 5 years old - Dollhouse

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.