If you're looking for my Ambleside update, I will post that one late this evening after the kids are in bed!
Today we had an appointment with our RDI consultant. It was a regularly scheduled appointment, and we were discussing Reece's latest DVD. I have mentioned on here previously that we are concerned with her recent behavior, including tantruming and withdrawing. The video prior to this one, Reece spent the entire time screaming. This video, she spent in what our RDI consultant affectionately refers to as "Butterfly Reece World." This is a happy place for Reece, and she's quite content to be there! LOL We feel otherwise, as you can imagine. Also, a fairly recent addition to Reece's repertoire has been "I can't" or "I'm the worst girl ever", usually when faced with a task. It doesn't matter if she can do it, has already done it, or is in the process of doing it --- she says she can't, or she's terrible at it. Nothing we say seems to change that.
Our RDI consultant has been working hard with us to try to figure out what might be going on, and she feels that what we are seeing is actually progression, rather than the regression that Russ and I feel it is. L (our consultant) says that, before we really got into RDI, Reece was in RW (Reece world) and we were allowed into RW as long as we followed her lead and did what she expected us to do. Now, we're wanting her to come into the world and share it with the rest of us, and follow our lead and learn from us. And as she has come out of this, what we are noticing when she seems to withdraw is the indication that she's spending more time with us than in RW. So when she does go into RW, it's much more noticeable.
Also, she now seems to understand that she is her own person. And that out here in this big world things can be scary and difficult. And her brain thinks in black and white, good and bad... so if she perceives (incorrectly) that she is not doing well because of the neurology of autism and the nature of that perfectionism, she will say she is bad and she can't do something.
This is transferring to our RDI videos and into other areas of life because as soon as I sit down with her to 'do an activity' I always seem to pick something where she has to respond in a particular way. Even if that way is just to wipe something the way I am, or building something the same way I am building it, or wiping and rinsing a dish the way I do. When faced with that expectation of performance, she will shut down. She feels such incompetence that she will shut down or go off into RW rather than face that incompentence.
So today we talked about doing activities with her that require only interaction, without demand (her perception) that she react with a particular response. It is called a complementary role, in which her role is required and necessary for the interaction, but she is in charge if her particular response, as long as it's within the framework of the activity. For example, I could draw a line, hand her the crayon and she could draw a circle, a rainbow, another line. She could NOT get up and walk away, eat the crayon, etc. That would not be within the framework.
I feel somewhat of a breakthrough in understanding. I hope that this will take us another step futher along the road of remediation!