Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Ben's progress

Hellooooo.  It’s been a while.  Mad busy at school, lots going on.  All good stuff, which I may blog about in the near future.  For now, here are some clips of some work I have done with Ben, one of our newer pupils at school.  There are three clips: the first prior to any guiding inputs, the second was the start of us working on joint attentional learning and the third is the latest clip, where you can see Ben has mastered the initial stages of this objective….Go Ben!!  We will now be moving on to elaborate on this objective – Ben will be working in different settings with different people.  The footage is 16 mins 24 and the explanatory commentary is provided here for anyone who wants to look at the detail but I hope you'll agree that the footage is very powerful on its own.
First clip
0.00 – 1 min 54
February 2012, with the white table in shot.  Ben is hardly looking to me at all (social referencing) for the information in my facial expression that will help him to understand my thoughts and intentions. 
I am having to talk a lot to ensure that he understands.  It doesn’t feel like there is much reciprocity in this clip and neither of us seems very comfortable.
Second clip
1 min 55 - Is a series of clips from one session of cooking at school.
Mid September 2012.  This is my first attempt at ‘joint attentional learning’ where I support Ben to reference me for information.  I am scaffolding heavily by saying ‘I’ve got some eye clues for you’ so he knows to look at the information in my face to help him to make his decisions about what to do next.
2.19 I bend down (information in my body language) to help him to realise that where he needs to look is on a lower level.
2.24 (off camera) He references me and I bob down more and look to where he needs to go for the piece of equipment.
2.36 I give him a thumbs up to celebrate his success
2.49 I prompt him to reference by giving the ‘eye clue’ message again
2.50 He references straight away
2.55 I say ‘my eye clue is….’ and he references
3.00 He initiates referencing by looking back to me for reassurance (and I am not looking at him!!  Doh!)
3.01 He glances away and then references again, enabling me to use gesture to indicate what to do next
3.11 A lovely big smile and reference with a turn of his head towards me as he checks in to make sure his last action was on track and look for clues on the next action.  I use gesture and facial expression to convey ‘a really small piece’
3.17 He checks in to see if that does the trick – an even smaller piece is needed
3.22 He checks in mid way through his action with a smile
3.25 Another reference – they are coming thick and fast now without prompting
3.35 We are doing a different part of the measuring, so the eye clues come back in and he references
3.39 He reads the gesture correctly and transfers the butter to the bowl
4.03 He references in response to my next eye clue prompt
4.07 He references again, I shake my head so
4.10 He references in relation to another object.  I nod and smile.  He returns my smile because he got it right.
5.04 He references again in response to my prompt, understands my gesture and references again to check in that he’s right at 5.07
5.40; 5.43;5.46; 5.51  He references in response to my eye clues
6.03 He references me to see what my emotional reaction to his suggestion is
6.04; 6.07; 6.10; 6.12; 6.15 He references in response to the eye clues and looking for my emotional reaction to his suggestion
6.19 I am a bit imperative in my gestures!  But Ben understands and passes me the bowl.
Third clip
6.24 We are sharing a memory of having done this before.  Ben picks up the chocolate and references me with a smile around the shared memory
6.48 I introduce a new challenge for us – trying to break the chocolate up at the same time.
6.57 He has a slight mishap with the chocolate, smiles and references me for my emotional reaction, which I give with facial expression
7.00 He puts a piece to one side (mischievous, as I know he is thinking about eating it) and references for my emotional reaction, which I give by laughing – we are sharing our thinking here (the joke around squirreling the choc away to feast on) without saying anything
7.06 Ben gestures and uses facial expression (eyebrows raised) to see if we should break the choc
7.13 Another reference with facial expression and gesture from Ben (initiating now, no prompts)
7.18 When I spotlight (facial expression and gesture) that Ben may have made a mistake, he references and repairs his mistake, checking in around this at 7.21
7.25 He gives another reference with facial expression and gesture – competent at communicating non-verbally now
7.31 He has gone ahead of me.  I spotlight this, he repairs it with a lovely, confident ‘I can fix this!’ at 7.37 and checks in at 7.45
7.57 I should have scaffolded the breaking of chocolate with a count or something to make it slightly easier for him to co-ordinate.  He makes the repair.
8.21 I think he is a little reluctant to sacrifice the piece that was earmarked for scoffing, but he is able to make another repair so we have equal chocolate
8.28 Again I should have counted here to make it easier to co-ordinate
8.43 We nearly manage to co-ordinate and share a non-verbal  joke about just having missed it
8.54 Ben days ‘re-do’ when we miss again
9.15; 9.18 Ben references me around ‘a reward’.  I nod, he references and we scoff choc with him checking at 9.22 that this is ok (gesture towards mouth)
9.28 Ben mirrors my puzzled gesture
9.35 We have a non verbal conversation about who should get the margarine (Ben is happily and competently ‘conversing’ non verbally here)
9.49 Ben references around the splodge he has on the knife
9.53 He references to see if its enough and reads my facial expression
9.58 He references to see what to do next and reads my facial expression and gesture
10.04 We have an un-scripted accident!  Ben references for my emotional reaction around this and we share a joke about it
10.30 Ben references and reads my gesture for a tiny bit more
10.39 He references again to see if that’s ok
10.46 He plays a joke on me and references for my emotional reaction, which I give with facial expression and gesture
10.53 He knows its probably too much and references around this
11.07 He references and its perfect
11.11 I want us both to carry the butter on the kitchen roll over to the stove.  The carrying will be a co-regulatory pattern that allows me to see whether he will synchronise his pacing with me
11.25 I come in with a verbal scaffold as I can see he’s not understanding my non-verbal communication
11.50 – 12.15 Ben goes straight into referencing around the pouring – no need for prompting
12.18 This is lovely – he initiates non-verbal communication about where the sugar should go…my bowl or his
12.39 I started the ‘excellent’ sign (Mr Burns from the Simpsons).  Since then, we have been using it regularly as a shared non verbal communication
13.03 Ben looks for my emotional reaction to his sharing ‘dump it in then!’
13.07 I share something.  Ben references the object and then me (joint attention)
13.40; 13.43 Ben makes a joke and references for my emotional reaction
13.47 I make a communicative noise to prompt Ben for his attention
13.56 I am trying to coordinate our actions around egg breaking…again I think I should have used a count to make it easier
14.04 I celebrate our achievement at breaking the egg at the same time
14.12 Ben references and co-ordinates the egg cracking
14.22 He references again and we co-ordinate the egg breaking
14.35 He references for my view on the measure
14.37 He checks in to make sure he is on the right track
14.58 Referencing around a question
15.18; 15.19 Checking in again
15.27 Checking to see whether more is needed
15.31; 15.36; 15.41; 15.43; 15.46 Checking for my emotional reaction
16.12; 16.16; 16.18 Checking to see whether more is needed
16.24 I use our new gesture to celebrate his success
Compare the amount of referencing in the final clip to the first clip and you can see how far Ben has come in a very short space of time.  By this time, we had only done 3 sessions on joint attentional learning.  In the last clip, the social reciprocity is really flowing.  We are very co-ordinated and comfortable with each other.  There are lots of successes to celebrate, all around Ben’s competence or the fact that we have achieved things together.

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