Thursday, 13 January 2011

Looking at things from a different perspective

Assignment completed and despatched. 

Now, for this next video, I’m going to be a bit naughty and take a short diversion into the living room, so that you can share one of the adventures we had there.  Actually I’m writing this in the kitchen (as I make the tea) so technically it is coming from the kitchen ;-)
Remember the video clip about joint attention?  Joint attention is one of the pivotal milestones in child development.  Joint attention is about using someone else’s response to an object to inform your own decision-making about what to do.
In the previous clip, the adults had a frightened response to a robot.  Both the typically developing child and the Downs Syndrome child responded to the adults’ expression of fear.  You may recall that the child with Downs Syndrome went so far as to bash the robot – wasn’t he great?  And of course, the child with autism was oblivious to the reactions of the adults to the scary robot.
In RDI, once joint attention is in place, we can go on to further develop perspective-taking.  This is what I am doing in the clip that accompanies this blog.  We want our kids to know that things can sometimes be different when we look at them from a different perspective.  Isn’t that a key competency that we all need in life?  It’s something that helps us to generate a series of options for how to respond to a problem.  If there was only one way to do something because there was only one way to look at the problem, we’d be in trouble for sure!
We start off by working on this literally – so looking at pictures that look like one thing, but when you look again, can look like something different, as in the duck/rabbit picture below.

I don’t do very well with referencing in this clip – although I do reference Philip myself, I forget to pause at relevant points in the interaction so that he can reference me.  In previous blog footage, you’ve seen Philip reference me for approval (when he has taken an action) or for information (when he is unsure about something).  Here, I could have made more of the referencing opportunities so that he could have shared his reactions to what was happening.  It is through sharing reactions with one another that we connect emotionally – one of the payoffs from social interaction.
Hopefully you’ll see what I mean about making more of the referencing opportunities when you read the commentary to the footage, which, hallelujah, is now underneath the footage (I am getting steadily more proficient at blogging). You can now read the commentary and pause the clip at the appropriate time code if you need to, with all the information in the same place.

In the first part if the clip, we are looking at an optical illusion of a bunch of flowers, which also contains hidden profiles.  Neither of us can see anything but flowers to begin with and we share our thoughts on this. 

At 1.25, I see the first profile and point it out to P, who says 'ah!'

Then I see the second profile, point it out to P and he smiles.

P finds the son's profile @ 1.58, and smiles.

In the next picture, P sees two ladies playing chess whilst I see one lady looking in the mirror. 

This is a copy of the picture that we are looking at:

I reiterate that we both saw different things and there is something else in the picture. 

I hold it at a distance and ask P if he can see anything else. 

He sees 'some kind of face', which then takes shape as a skeleton as he looks more intently.

At 2.55 I share that what P thought were chess pieces and I thought were perfumes, are teeth, when the picture is viewed so that the skull can be seen (I hold the book away from us).

When I was pondering during the flowers illusion about where the profiles were, I got lost in the illusion.  I should have shared with Philip my facial expression of confusion.  This would have kept the focus on the collaboration of trying to work it out & getting stuck together.

I was having a conversation that enabled me to share my perspectives, thoughts, ideas & negotiations but I needed to make sure the non-verbal communication was rich in information too.

Note to self -  don’t get carried away with the goal (the activity – here it was finding the illusions), rather than the goal beneath the goal (the interpersonal engagement that leads to flexible thinking).

Right, ironing beckons.............

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