Monday, June 11, 2007

Velcro, Cutting, Laminating

I love when I write a post, finish it, and decide I have other things I should have written.

When we had Thane diagnosed in Waterville last year, the team suggested that we should try using picture schedules with Thane. Getting guidance on how to do it with him has been a big stumbling block.

I downloaded a program off Do2Learn to make the schedules, but the therapists at CDS keep telling me that I need removable cards and with Velcro backs, rather than just having a solid card – so that he can remove things as he does them. I have spent a lot of time trying to do things their way, but honestly the software doesn’t make it that much easier because if you cut and laminate the pictures, they are slightly too big for the grid on the background page and it drives me insane. I also hate having things cut crooked. And the pictures provided with the program aren’t always that good . . . I tried making a tooth-brushing guide and the up-and-down, back-and-forth, etc., drawings are of different people. No one is going to dye their hair, perm it, and get a sex-change operation between steps of brushing their teeth!

I admit my own my obsessive-compulsive stuff has been bad lately and I am wondering a bit if Thane and I are being triggered by the same thing.

When I did a haircutting schedule I just made cards using tear-apart printer postcards. I think it would have worked well if I had punched a hole in the top corner and added a string just to keep them in order – like flip cards. When I left them out on the couch, we spent much of the next day repeating the steps of the haircut. The implication was that I hadn’t really done it right. I think the problem was that I didn’t pick the cards up!

So back to the Velcro – it is very time-consuming, especially if I follow the recommendation to use photographs. Dave and I decided last night to buck the system. We laminated a guide for brushing teeth and will put smiley faces for each step completed and then wipe them off. Now I get to find out whether they will follow my method at school or not. I think they under-estimate his ability to understand things and that they are making the pictures schedule too difficult to do.

For most things, we don’t seem to need the schedule for as long as it takes us to finally get one from CDS, even if we provide the images, text, etc. I am much more likely to use them if I can do it relatively quickly, shove it through the laminator, and go . . . It won’t work for a daily schedule with changes in routine, but I don’t see the problem with doing it for bedtime routines and brushing teeth. This is one of the guides I made yesterday:

It can be seen larger by clicking the photo.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

That sounds like an awful lot of work. It seems to me (who is admittedly uneducated about autism) that "they" make things harder and more complicated than they need to be. I think the teeth brushing schedule you came up with is great.