Friday, March 16, 2007

Reading With Fingers

Adnan is the name of boy from Saudi. He has curly brown hair and deep brown eyes. When we first met he had with him a bag full of animal toys.

The mom and nanny later told me he would throw a tantrum if the animals were not brought with them when they go out.

Slowly I removed this by bringing lesser and lesser number of the animals until finally I told him the animals will stay in the house and he can only play with them in the house. It wasn't easy. He would cry when the animals are not in the car when he looks for them but eventually he got used to the idea and stopped looking for them in the car. Sometimes though he would put animals in his bag when he knows he is going somewhere...Children with Autism can be manipulative and stubborn just like any other kid. I would put away the animals when I see him putting them in his bag. Later on when I see him try bringing toys along with him I would ask him to put them back inthe playroom. He would smile and put the toys where they belong.

Autistic children knows when they can get away with something and knows who they can get away things with and who they will follow. Hats why with them there should be consistency with discipline

When I tried talking to him he avoided my eyes and said hi as coached by the mom. He tried handing over to me a few of the animal toys he had with him in his hands. The mom went down to fetch her 5 year old daughter in the school and Tarek cried out loud. He wanted to go with his mom. But the mom said no. I saw bruises and cuts on Tarek's face. When I asked the mom she could not say where the marks came from. She said when she came home one day it was already after the other.

Autistic children do not know how to tell what happened to them or who hurt them or where they get hurt unless u teaches them how. I taught Tarek how to say how he got hurt. How? On one occasion he was running inside the house fast from one room to another without looking where he was going...he was looking on his side and looking back. He did not see the door going to another room and hit his cheek on the door. He cried. I went up to him and asked him what happened. He was crying and couldn't say what happened.

This is one problem of children with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) have...Communication.

I held his face with my two hands and made him look at me. I said u hit your face in the door because you're not looking where you're going. I showed him by pointing where he hit his face. (Be specific and clear...shorten sentence)Then I said next time look where you re going. And then I said...say “I hit my face on the door.".He did not follow me right away. I had to repeat it 3 times... (Sometimes more on different occassions) until he follows and says what I'm saying. Then I said look where you're going okay? He answered with "okay".

(I observed that when any of my students says "OK" or "YES"...they mean it...they would not do the action or behavior again or the behavior will be minimized until its gone).

I repeat asking 3 times and wait for him to answer then I stop. After a few minutes I asked him while pointing to his cheek...What happened to your cheek? I kept asking until he answered me. Then I tell mom or dad to ask him what happened to his cheek. And coach them to keep asking until he answers back. This is Expressive and Receptive Language.

Receptive language refers to the process of understanding what is said to us. Expressive language refers to the use of words and sentences to communicate what we think, need, and want.


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