The Itches of Worms
I am hoping to write up my notes on the Autism JumpStart conference and post them by Wednesday, but the most significant concept that was reinforced for me is factoring in motivation and keeping things predictable yet novel. Very basic examples: Don't ask kids which circle is the red one and then give them a green M&M; ask them which is the green M&M and let them have that one. Don't give kids a reinforcer for opening up a box; let them see you put the reinforcer inside the box and then ask them to open it. Simple, elementary, but for me at least important to review.
I may have mentioned this before, but small tasks do motivate Leelo quite a lot. This is another thing I have to remind myself about. So I have him help me with every little thing I can think of--he is the one to shut doors, turn off lights, pick things up, etc. It is hard to keep this going indefinitely and in all environments, but when the opportunities are there I am trying to remember to take advantage of them. Big praise for every success gets big big smiles from our boy, and usually a drop in aggression. I think a lot, but not all, of his aggression stems from being bored and wanting to be active but having no idea how to do so on his own.
Also, ewwww, I just realized yesterday afternoon that Leelo has pinworms. (I saw one less than two hours after telling Babysitter A, "He can't have pinworms, because if he did we would have seen them in his pullups.")
Pinworms explains much of his recent:
-Restlessness (worms in his pants rather than ants)
-Sleep disturbances (they are most active in the early early morning)
-Aggression (they are very uncomfortable; I can't imagine what an infection must be like for someone with skewed sensory perceptions)
-Inability to keep his hands off his bottom
-Constant putting of himself in the "I'm pooping" position (apparently a nice BM gives temporary relief from the itching)
He will be treated for them today, and will not be communicable when he returns to school tomorrow. However the fact that a non-treated infection is extremely contagious is one more reason why anyone who works with children should practice diligent handwashing. (My hands are very very very clean as I type this.)
Once again, ewwww. Even though most kids get them at some point.