If you are just joining us on this Blog, and missed Teo’s last blog (not too active), this is a recap of our first 3 days doing RPM. Mind you, this is the first time I’ve heard original thoughts from my son!! I was a puddle in the corner of the room!!! Can you imagine?
DAY 1, Session 2 30 minutes
Teo was given a choice of learning about History or Poetry. He chose History. Ancient Greece it is!
Since I hadn’t taught Teo about our world geography before, Lanae did a quick intro to it.
“Our world is made up of 7 continents and 4 oceans.” She named the 7 continents then asked Teo to name them all. He spelled all 7 of them! Same with the oceans!
She then started to teach about ancient Greece.
“Teo, what do you think of when you hear the word Ancient?” OLD, GRANDMA, DINOSAUR
“Give me a sentence using the words Grandma and ancient.”
GRANDMA MIGHT BE ANCIENT, BUT HAPPILY ALIVE.
“Give me a sentence using the word dinosaur.”
THE DINOSAUR ROAMED THE EARTH.
Onward with the “teach-ask” technique…
“A peninsula is surrounded on 3 sides by water. What’s on it’s 4th side?” LAND
She talked about the first civilization was the Phoenicians. A few minutes later she asked,
“Who are we talking about?” PHOENICIANS (spelled perfectly!)
“They were Maritime people who relied on water for a living. They worked by or on a river. What do you think about when you hear the word river?” WATER, ROARING
“What about when you hear mountain? “ ROCKS, GARDEN
“What triggered the word garden? It’s kind of neat but it doesn’t connect.”
MY GARDENS ARE LIKE MOUNTAINS
“Is this for real or symbolic? (she asked me. I said “symbol, I think…”) Matteo, tell me more about that.”
MY LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL IN THE UP CLIMB
He learned about the Minoans (spelled it correctly) and remembered Ancient Greece was destroyed by a volcano.
Day 2, Session 1 30 minutes Saturday, April 25, 2015
On the way to our session w/ Lanae, I asked Teo if he would mind if I asked him some questions during the session today and he could choose to answer them or not. He said, “Yes.”
“Why do you cover your ears?
I JUST DO SO MY HEAD DOESN’T SPIN. (Mom is crying at this point…Teo continues) I AM ALWAYS SPINNING. I CAN’T STOP. HOW IS NOT SPINNING?
“Is that a question for your mom to answer?” YES (I didn’t have an answer for him)
“Are you dizzy when you spin?” NO, IT IS MY REALITY.
“How does covering your ears help?” IT CALMS ME DOWN.
“This is good information because if people see you covering your ears they might think you don’t like sound. Does sound bother you?” NO
“Why are you covering your ears more lately? Are you spinning more now?” YES
“Do you know why?” NO. I CHANGE INSIDE THOUGH, I FEEL.
I ask…“Is there anything I can do to help?” THANKS FOR ASKING
(Mom is crying now…) NO GOOD CRYING. I AM FINE.
I said, “I can’t help it. I’m so happy that’s all I can do!” SO I’M PLEASING YOU THEN?
“Yes Sweetie! You please me every minute!”
“What’s your favorite subject to learn about?”
I DON’T KNOW YET. I NEED AN EDUCATION. (He said, “DOCTOR…”then continued spelling the following….) I DON’T WANT TO SHARE MY THOUGHTS (again he verbally said, “Dr. Stalker”, then continued spelling ) ON SCHOOL IN MY CURRENT STATE.
(Teo verbally said, “Mom…Dr. Stalker”. I asked him if he wanted to see Dr. Stalker after this session.)
He said “yes” but typed…NO. I JUST CAN’T STOP SAYING HIS NAME.
“So that’s why you say the same words over and over?” YES. I DON’T NEED AN ANSWER. JUST MAKE ME STOP.
“How? What would make you stop?” ( Teo picked his nose and I said, “I’d like to make you stop that!”)
NOTHING. I DON’T KNOW.
(He picked his nose again. Lanea gives him a Kleenex and says, “Use this so you won’t get embarrassed.” We all laughed and I said, “I don’t think he gets embarrassed.”)
I DO…YOU CAN’T IMAGINE IT.
“What do you think about all the current therapies and activities we are doing?”
I AM INTO RPM. I HATE THE ANXIETY OF THE ONE CALLED SPEECH. IT DRIVES ME CRAZY.
“Why?” TOO MUCH PRESSURE.
“How do you feel when you are at church?” CHURCH IS GOOD. I LIKE YOUR LESSONS.
Day 2, Session 2 30 minutes
I NEED MY HEAD DOWN NOW.
“You have 23 minutes. I think you should answer questions. Are you spinning a lot?”
- I AM INTO SLEEP
“Tell us more about church ( I wanted to know if it’s too loud or crowded for him.)” I AM HAPPY THERE.
“Is there anything you want Mom and Dad to know? Or anyone else?”
TONS. I HAVE NO PATIENCE WITH SONRISE (program) BECAUSE I AM AWARE OF SKILLS. I NEED RPM ONLY. I KNOW MY SOCIAL SKILLS GIVE THE IMPRESSION I DON’T, BUT I GET IT.
“Why do you need the tv turned off immediately after a movie ends?”
I HAVE NO MORE TO WATCH SO I NEED IT OFF. IT IS OCD.
“Why do you stare at the wall or ceiling sometimes?”
MY MOM, I AM AUTISTIC.
I asked, “What does that mean to you?”
SO I AM STUCK OFTEN. AUTISM IS NOT MY FAVORITE THING BUT I CAN SAY I’VE GOT SKILLS. I AM INTELLIGENT.
I asked him, “Do you want me to continue to help you talk?”
NOT NOW. RPM PLEASE. STILL I CAN’T TALK. IT IS ALL JUST WORDS, NOT MEANING.
Day 3, Session 1 April 27, 2015
Today is poetry day. Lanae taught Teo about “Terse Verse.” It’s a style of poetry that has a long title and a short verse consisting of 2 words that rhyme. Ex: WHAT DOES A FOX CALL FIFTEEN RABBITS? a beast feast! She explained about rhyming words and that sometimes they may sound the same at the end of the word, but they are spelled differently like high/die . Ex: WHAT DO YOU CALL A KENNEL WHEN THE SPRINKLER TURNS ON? A soggy doggy.
“Teo, give me some words that rhyme with each other.” HIDE/SIDE, RITE/FIGHT, MOM/BOMB
“Can you make a Terse-Verse using Mom/bomb?” WHAT DO YOU CALL A FAST LADY? A mom bomb!
“Awesome! “ EATING/MEETING
“Oh, ok. Make one using those words!” WHAT DO YOU CALL A MIGHTY SHARING OF FOOD? A eating meeting!
“Wow! You’re really good at these! How about another one?” WHAT DO YOU CALL A FISH IN A DISH? Hiding siding.
“I think you really need to submit these to Laffy Taffy so they can print them on the back of their wrappers. What do you think about when I say Laffy Taffy?” SWEET, MINI, CHRISTMAS
Then Lanae told The Ant and the Grasshopper fable.
“What was the ant doing?” WORKING
“What about the grasshopper?” DANCING AND SINGING
“What do you think the moral of this fable is?” DON’T PROCRASTINATE
Day 3, Session 2
This time it was my turn to teach Matteo the lesson and get feedback from Lanae. It went quite well, I thought. I have a long way to go but am off to a good start. Teo would answer my questions and was not using language (a good thing as it’s getting in the way right now).
After my feedback from Lanae, I asked him how he heard about OCD (he mentioned that he has it the other day). I HEAR IT OFTEN. I GET STUCK IN RITUAL.
Then Teo gave me feedback. NOW I THINK SHE DID WELL, BUT NO CHEERING.
(In RPM we are supposed to keep our voice matched to his excitement level. We don’t “blow it up big” as we did in SonRise.) I AM CONFIDENT SHE WILL DO WELL.
“Kim’s going to do well, too, don’t you think?” YES. GO KIM GO. (Kim often says, “Go Teo, Go!” It’s their “thing. Now he just said it to her!”)
Then we did more “teach-ask” and pre-verbal.
“Which board to you like better, stencil or letter board?” (he verbalized letter, but spelled stencil). Lanae asked “Why?” IT IS SOLID AND I POKE IT.
He had one minute left in the session and Lanae started the sentence…
“Dear World, ______”.
I AM SMART. NO MORE BABY TALK. NO MORE SONRISE. HAVE FUN!
Lanae thinks Teo would fit in very well with another boy so we will do a joint session this Wednesday for a social time! I’m so excited! Every day is filled with surprises and miracles!
May 8, 2015
The topic of self-acceptance is a hard one. Who knows their true self? I think autistics do. I am not getting stronger by making myself happy communicating more with words, but I am with spelling. I am just me. I do my best to change. I try to talk, but out comes nonsense. Someday this will change. I got no more problems than you do, but mine are worse. That is why I see Jesus sometimes. He loves us. I know that. I have seen much more but I don’t think its good to tell. So, the thing to know is love God and your neighbor. That way, you have to be one with God. That way you’re yourself.