Autism : From the Inside – post-Chapter 18 extras

I include here two more video snippets (slightly longer this time) which will, I hope, give you more insight into how we worked together and what we did.

In this fun task, Ian would engage in appropriate turn-taking and
come up with words beginning with the correct letter, then write them
down. He also had to read the word I wrote. He frequently came up with
words I hadn’t known he knew, which was always a surprise.

In my endless quest to improve Ian’s speech, I decided to provide him with
responses – in answer to set questions – which he could learn
and use as necessary. He had different sets of sentences for different
activities in various rooms in the house. As so often happens, doing the
task once was easy; doing it again was more of a challenge.

I think it is important to stress again that I wasn’t working from a textbook or following a set programme. I read a great deal, and I did a lot of thinking – usually in the middle of the night.

It was one thing to decide “Oh, I need to teach Ian such-and-such”, but quite another to reduce that task to its barest essentials and formulate a path of progression which would take Ian from nothing to the final goal. And progression was what it was all about. I aimed many tasks at Ian’s strengths (to keep motivation high), and I constantly reviewed his progress. Was he getting it? If not, why not? Could I teach it another way? etc.

I taught Ian things I felt he should know, and because I made up exercises as I went along, I was able to teach them in a way I knew Ian would understand. Because he was so clever, if he didn’t get it, I wasn’t teaching it right. It was pretty obvious.

These snatches of video are only ever a tiny snapshot of one morning’s work, mere seconds of several hours’ concentrated effort, every weekday of every month.

Thankfully, Ian was a wonderful pupil, and I hope that the fun we had together and the joy it gave me to teach him comes across in these video offerings.

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