Saturday, 15 January 2011

Autism, communication - and a breakthrough

Using effective behavioural strategies are all very well but it's demanding & exhausting caring one:one for an adult with autism. Then sometimes, you get a small breakthrough that lights up your whole day.

This weekend, still treading cautiously after our difficult Xmas, I painstakingly used symbols & planned every word I said. It worked reasonably well until today over breakfast when Chrissy demanded her favourite dessert. I told her that we have 'puddings' at dinner time, not breakfast time but she grew increasingly insistent & agitated. I ran out of diversions & strategies, but didn't believe that giving in was the answer in this situation. As I prepared myself for the inevitable outburst, to my amazement, Chrissy paused for thought & came up with her own ingenious solution - a massive step forward. "Can I take my pudding to Linton?" (the ward she lives on) "Yes," I replied, removing it from the fridge. "Can I have a bag?" she asked, then asked for a spoon, which she insisted on selecting. "Make a bow" she ordered. I tied the bag up, gave it to her & the immediate storm passed....

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