Getting children who are on the spectrum to comply with what you ask them to do can be a real challenge for a number of reasons; then couple that with the fact they are also just stubborn children exercising their independence...well, then you can have some real fun! The teachers at Mitchell's Place use The Three-Step to teach these children compliance and it works something like this: 1) tell the child to "sit down"; if he does, praise him, if not 2) say "sit down like this, you do it" while modeling the behavior yourself. If it works, praise him, if not 3) say "sit down" while making him do so, with no praise. This teaches them to comply the first time, and eventually these steps are phased out. They learn it is expected of them to do what they are told. What is so funny is that Aidan does The Three-Step on Andrew; and recently Andrew tries to do it to me!
One of the skills Andrew is quickly learning is building his attention to task (or attention span) while doing his table work. They work on this daily at school, but something we are able to do at home to reinforce this is having Andrew complete his work boxes while sitting at his table for extended periods of time. He loves doing his work! We usually have four or five boxes lined up, and as he completes each one, he puts it in his "all done" basket.
|Each shoebox has a different activity which he completes with no verbal prompting from me. I only point to direct him if necessary.|
|Mom's old laundry basket is the "all done" basket.|
It's amazing how well he concentrates (15 minutes in one sitting-completing all boxes). Andrew is so motivated merely by his sense of accomplishment and pride. It is so hard to believe that not too long ago, I couldn't get him to sit still long enough to "read" a short board book, and now he is sitting through an entire one hour (or longer) worship service every Sunday!!!
Of course, none of the things we do would accomplish much without the abundant praise, "good jobs", "thumbs up", "excellent, dudes", and "awesomes" we heap upon them with every accomplishment (big and small) and every positive behavior exhibited. So, "high five!!" to my sweet boys for everything you've learned; mommy and daddy love you and are so proud of you!