Well, color me surprised!! I had posted at the end of the entry about Austin's RDA 1 that I was anxious to see how she reacted differently to the activities presented to her. Because they are SO different, I was expecting a much different reaction! Well, I couldn't have been more wrong! I think I got a real picture of the meaning of "Core Deficits of Autism". (BTW, this is going to be my interpretation of some RDI concepts, so PLEASE feel free to correct me if you are an RDI expert and I'm misunderstanding! I am taking copies of my posts to the consultant when we have the meeting after the RDI 2, so she'll correct me then, but I want to make sure I don't mislead anyone!).
First of all, Reece doesn't have the maturity/experience to put on a 'brave face'. She is very much a 'what you see is what you get' kind of girl! I knew that part would be different! But most of the rest of the experience was very similar!
There is an activity where we are given a box of dress up hats. Austin showed very little interest in the hats, except to talk about what kind of hats they were. I would put one on and try to get him to 'play along' and he did it a little bit, but he wasn't interested. I assummed Reece (aka 'dress up queen') would be thrilled and go crazy with the chance to play dress up. Instead, I was surprised when she wanted me to label each of the hats, most of which she had never seen that kind of hat before. And when I tried to put some of the hats on and play, she got very disturbed. At one point, I put on a kitty cat mask and started to meow and approach her on my hands and knees. She got very upset and said, "Be mommy again!" By the end of the time with the dress-up stuff, she had put on the kitty cat mask and meowed herself, but it took a LONG time. I seem to remember reading something in the RDI materials about kids with autism not seeking information from novel objects and activities. I really saw that today! My dress-up queen was very disturbed by this novel stuff in this strange place.
The next part that surprised me was when we were given a box of little gizmos and gadgets to 'share together'. She got really wrapped up in the mini Etch-a-Sketch, just like Austin did! Unlike Austin, she would acknowledge me when I asked to see what she was making on the screen, but she really disengaged from me when she had that in her hands.
She also did much better on a 'building the house' (out of paper) activity that I expected! She was very happy with her creation and we had a fun little experience!
She was very big into control, just like I was expecting! During the drumming shared activity, she was very upset when I wanted her to follow MY pattern. At one point, she was so frustrated with me that she turned her body from me and started her OWN pattern and song!
She did not seem to have as noticeable a breaking point as Austin did, but there again, she didn't put on a 'face' for the consultant! She doesn't know to be any different than she is! She wasn't working hard to make herself look good! She did fine on the way home, though she did do alot more verbal stimming (singing) on the way home than she did on the way there.
I am getting very, very excited about starting on the actual RDI work! I am starting to understand more about the core deficits, or at least I think I am! Now I want to get moving on remediating some of these deficits!!