An idea from an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) mom to get her kiddo "going" in the morning.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I got this on an email list I belong to locally and thought I would pass it along.
    I wanted to share a success that might help some of your families who struggle with getting tasks accomplished independently (like a "list" sequence of "getting ready in the morning.")

    My 7-year-old daughter with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) (sensory processing) has a terrible time completing tasks independently, due to the "space off" factor. Reminding her intermittently only makes her more mad and defensive.

    I tried an experiment after seeing a set of colored magnetic LED lights in the "nightlight" aisle at the grocery store (I can't attach the photo, but they are just small round magnets, about the size of a pencil eraser, that can be turned on and off and have an LED light in them)

    We made a magnetic dry erase board list of the usual morning activities - "eat breakfast," "bathroom," "get dressed," etc. Each task is written in a different color and the same color LED light-magnet is next to it.

    As each item is completed, she can press the light "on" to show it's "done." The lights we had were the colors of the rainbow, so we went in the ROYGBIV sequence and we tell her to "make a rainbow" if she needs a reminder.

    All by herself, she was motivated to get each thing "done" to push the light "on."

    For days in a row, we've been ready to go out the door between 20 and 30 minutes AHEAD of schedule (unprecented)!!
  2. xoanan

    xoanan New Member

    Looks pretty cool; we could try something like that! Josh loves pressing buttons!
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    difficult child 3 loves things that drop, roll or whatever. Coin-sorting money boxes were his favourite as a bay. At the moment he likes to build complex "roller-coaster-style" ball races. I'd need to think about it, but I remember when he had his first hearing test (at 2 years old) he was very uncooperative, util they produced one of these marble-rolling boxes and told him to drop a marble into the box when he heard a sound in the headphones. They practiced it until he got the idea, then you could see the concentration on his face as he tried to get it right.

    A variation on this could be - once a task is complete, the child asks the parent for a marble to drop in the box. Marbles are given out moderately freely but only when the next small step is accomplished This oculd be used for complex tasks that have been broken down to a great many much smaller steps.

    All ideas like this can help; the more ideas you have under your belt, the easier it is to find something that will motivate YOUR child.

  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Wow! My kids push my buttons all the time, so this should be a slam dunk! ;)
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Very good!

    I can see that my son is too old for that, though. Sigh. This sounds just like him. What is the "space off" factor?

    My 7-year-old daughter with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) (sensory processing) has a terrible time completing tasks independently, due to the "space off" factor. Reminding her intermittently only makes her more mad and defensive.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    What I interpreted it to mean, was the high level of distractibility, especially by things the child is especially interested in. For example, difficult child 3 and computer games. Also bubbles, leaves blowing in the wind, anything falling, anything in writing... he would be easily distracted by these and lose track of time and what he was supposed to be doing. Still a problem... but it's easier to bring him back on task now he's older.

    I've given the example before of my boys sitting in front of the front-loader ashing machine, just watching it. Totally zoned out and compelled to stay there. To a certain extent these things tend to calm them down, so they gravitate to these things. In more severe autism, the classic sign is the child sitting there staring at their fingers as they flap their hands in front of their faces. It's been described as soothing to the brain, to gaze at that flickering effect. I'm sure that's why difficult child 3 always would stare at the flicker of light through the leaves on the trees, from a week old. It always used to calm him down, and we have a lot of trees in our area.

  7. ML

    ML Guest

    Great idea. I totally get the space out factor because this is the same reason it takes manster forever to get ready. Luckily he doesn't get mad when I bring him back on track vebally though I do think he's come to depend upon it too much and I need to find ways to encourage more independence with these things.