This is how it goes. First, I will follow the ABA model of asking him to come sit down at the table. He says nothing but obediently comes and sits down with me. If that was the end of the exercise, that would be great. Of course, we all know, it’s just the beginning.
Homework inevitably involves drawing and writing. These are his most hated tasks. If, instead, he was asked to type and use a mouse or trackpad to draw, I’m confident the results would be vastly improved.
Here’s an example of homework:
The assignment was to draw three things that “we” use at school and write the word for them. When I asked, the first response I got was “playground” and I thought, well, yes, that is technically correct. We’ll draw a picture of a swing.
I could not get two other things out of him despite repeated requests, so I asked questions to solicit the ideas of glue and crayon. Yeah, basically, I gave him those answers. Then, I drew a sample of each and he copied them onto this paper.
As you can see, I’ve drawn reasonable rectangles to simulate the original paper on which the homework was contained. This is because the original homework paper received a huge scribbled line across the entirety of it. Hmmm… just a little lack of motivation.
Next, I drew a swing-set for him and asked him to copy it. That’s the first rectangle. The thing is that when he copies a drawing, he does not look at his own drawing. He glances at what he is supposed to copy and then, like Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles, he does not use his eyes and feels his way through the drawing. Lest you think this photo is the actual result, paper number 2 was destroyed.
Third try? Yes, it was a charm, or as close to it as we were going to get. That third try is what you are looking at. Spelling the word, not bad at all compared to drawing or coloring as long as I sat with him, monitored his every move and prompted him through.
Next, we practiced some letters. Often, he looks in another direction. He continues to make the letter while looking away. When I try to explain how he should make the letter within the lines, he does not look at what I am showing him unless I repeat it about ten times. It is near impossible for him to focus and this is just a tad bit frustrating for me.
First, I need advice on how much help is too much. Should I be prompting him with “glue” and “crayon” and giving him an example to copy draw as he does? I think so. After all, isn’t this just another way to learn? If I let him do as he wished, he’d have something resembling what we might call “abstract”.
Second, how much patience do I need here? Because I’m quickly running out. Does anyone know where I can find some?
On the bright side, who could ever read their doctor’s handwriting? Clearly, he prepping for that day he writes me a prescription for that de-aging, skin smoothing, fat dissolving medication he is going to invent! With handwriting like that, how can we miss? (uh- don’t answer that…)