Here's a story from some time ago, when I had just begun working with 7-year-old Rhythm, a nonverbal autistic boy. On one of my earliest visits with the family, Rhythm held his hands up in front of him and began slapping them loosely one over the other-- a type of flapping I had never seen… Continue reading The Evolution of an Appropriate Response
The day after my last post, I brought my pair of woodshop headphones with me when I went over to babysit Rhythm. And when he started to fall apart, I said "I'd like to try something for you" and put them on him. He loved them. He wore them for the majority of the afternoon.… Continue reading Coda
One of the hardest things for me to get used to when working with Rhythm is that he doesn't like me to talk much. He gets overwhelmed by either processing language or the sound of human voices (especially female/higher pitched voices, it seems), or both. I don't know the specifics, just that he often gets… Continue reading Complicated Thoughts About Words
I need to remember how often, when a child doesn't seem to understand what I am telling them, the real issue is that they are simply focused on something else, something they consider more important. This is true of all children-- they focus on what matters to them, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else… Continue reading Communication, Attention, and Priority
Working with Rhythm today, I came to the realization that there's a significant time lag in a lot of his responses that I suspect is common for autistic people (children and adults) and often gets read as uncooperativeness, inconsistency, or other negative traits. Simplest example. I asked Rhythm if he needed a potty break and… Continue reading Processing, communication, and cooperation
I wish I had the time and brain-focus to write about every single time I take care of “my” kiddos. It’s a wonderful experience and I get so much from them. Sadly, I’ve been realizing just how temporary a pleasure it is. Not only do children grow up so quickly, but this job isn’t exactly… Continue reading Appreciating my job
Tangles and I had a wonderful moment of communication today. I was hanging out with her this morning while her mother came and went running errands. Tangles and I were both pretty tired, so we curled up together on the couch, just relaxing, doing her special fist-bump. She likes touch, so I started rubbing her… Continue reading Tangles is making communication progress!