Tuesday, January 09, 2007

learning process/learning style

I have been trying to teach Thor ASL. Signlanguage would give him a reliable, non-verbal way to communicate with me, or snub me, depending on his mood. I was becoming very frustrated because it didn't seem to be 'taking'. Also, as bad as this sounds, during the hours I would be trying to get him to make the sign for 'more' I would be staring at my messy messy house thinking the time could be used to clean. I feel really bad for thinking it, but better for admitting it. Sunday, as always, was bath day. In the tub, communicating with Thor is near impossible. He is happy in the tub, genuinely happy, he likes to splash, he likes to fill up the water cup and dump it back out, he likes to squeeze the spunges. The bath is a highly textile, but safe, environment for him. Oftentimes we don't know when he is done until he tries to bolt out of the tub, we still don't know how he hasn't fallen. About halfway into his normal tub-time, I asked if he wanted more, or was all-done-using the signs for both. He watched me intently, then took my hands IN his, and made me make the 'more'sign. I was pleased. We did this about every three minutes, untill he made me sign 'all-done'.
I was very pleased, but still frustrated. It is great that he will make me sign, but still not HIM signing.
Last night we are eating dinner. He starts to fuss when there are only three noddles (an odd number) left on his plate, so I ask, while signing, "All-done or more?" and HE SIGNED BACK!!! He looked at me and signed 'more' I was so pleased! I would have liked more, please, but I'll take more on it's own!!
This morning, it was nearing naptime, and I asked if he was ready for bed (with sign), no response, so I went to him and asked if he was ready to NAP(with sign-slightly different than bed), or if he wanted 'more' awake time, and used his hands (mine covering his) to make the signs. I could see the light click. He looked at me, made the sign for 'nap', grabbed his cup, and lifted his arms for up! Once again I was so pleased, as was he!

It's looking like I will save alot of time and energy on both our parts if I say something, sign it, let him 'feel' me sign it, and then 'help' him sign it. That seems to be how he gets it. I cannot wait to tell his therapists on thursday! Maybe we have something here!

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