Matthew is a very warm and affectionate child and the verbs "hugging" and "kissing" were very easily mastered. Other actions such as "waving" seemed to be harder for him.
Once Matthew learned a number of action commands in the discrete trial setting we have been trying hard to ensure generaliksation by asking him to do the actions randomly all around the house, in the car, at the table etc. We are also trying now to generalise the language by no longer strictly keeping to the phrase "Show me" but also using phrases like "Let me see you jump" or "Clap hands" or "Turn Around"
Using music throughout has been very positive and reinforcing for Matthew. He really enjoys doing actions to the song "If you're happy and you know it ". A tape in the car has also been useful as we can do actions together.
During this Actions Command programme we taught Matthew nodding. He did at first with the help of a fairly strong prompt ie both hands of the therapist to move his head up and down. This faded to a light touch (two fingers on the top of his head) and shortly thereafter no physical prompt at all. In order to make this functional, we have required him to nod his head in the affirmative if he wants something eg "do you want a biscuit" (soft verbal prompt "nod yes" which is faded).
This then led into doing a yes / no programme with preferred and non preferred foods offered randomly with the question "Do you want this?"
It was interesting to note that when Matthew was offered a food he didnt like (raisins) his starting score was 100% correct ! He shook his head promptly on each occasion, thus avoiding the raisins !
A further step in action commands will be to get pictures of people carrying out the various actions and ask matthew to point to these after he has completed the action himself eg "Show me clapping" (Matthew claps hands) and "point to clapping" (Matthew picks out and points to a picture of someone clapping)
PEAT Newswire Issue 3
- Robots built to help autistic children
- £140k investment helps tech firm take first steps with teaching site
- Eight autistic children still waiting for a school place after 10 weeks
- I saw the writing on the wall
- Technology on autism : a ray of hope and possibility
- Scientists engineer mice that have autism
- Coventry autism facility Corley School facing closure
- Young autistic adults get help navigating the stress of air travel
- My six-year-old son has autism
- Monmouth County 911 operators step into the forefront on autism awareness