Sunday, 12 June 2016

The 'What Next?' Box

So, today I have been working on my idea I had the other day.

Being an autism house - DS confirmed, DD unconfirmed but highly likely - we have enormous struggles with transitions of any kind.  Particular high points (low points!!) are

- finishing a meal, and then transiting to the next thing, either because they have been sitting still, or because they have high energy levels due to the intake of food, or both!

- coming home from somewhere - anywhere. As soon as they leave/ stop/ finishing ANYTHING their minds are already on what's next?  (Although they will rarely have an ordered thought about what to do next)

- finishing a set activity. Again, either because they have been sitting still/ concentrating, delaying processing, the desire for physical stimulus, or a combination of all this and more.

- a television programme finishing.  Again, probably the need for physical stimulus combined with the fact they have been 'lost' in concentration and now have to transist back to reality and independent thought.  This can occur just from watching one half an hour of television.

You see the pattern?  

It can be exhausting to manage as they are constantly having these difficult transitions.  They usually involve a lot of rolling around, eye rolling and then general 'silly beggars' - ie. winding each other up as much as possible.  

While I agree with the theory of allowing children to get bored, in fact it's something we embrace :-) , I'm also aware that for children with different neurological pathways and sensory integration difficulties, it can be an insurmountable task to transist.  

So, I had this idea of a What Next? box.  

I have filled it with a bunch of simple, self-manageable ideas.  The theory being, that when we are experiencing these difficult transitions from simple situations, the kids can pick a slip from the What Next? box. 

Beyond this, it really doesn't matter if they decide to run with the activity suggestion they have picked (I strongly suspect they won't, due to their overwhelming need for control!) or chose to do a self-manageable activity they have thought of themselves.  It matters not :-)  As long as they do something constructive and focused and that doesn't need my supervision or intervention.  The ideas are simply a prod in the right direction :-)

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