Wednesday 20 January 2016

Alex & Lucy: simultaneous parallel role set

One of three posts featuring Lucy with Alex, who, like Jo, has got her guiding underpants on over her trousers in a very short space of time :)
Sharon (our external guiding moderator) has seen Alex successfully co-regulate with Lucy in other role sets, and has asked her to see whether Lucy can step into her co-regulatory role in the 'simultaneous parallel' role set.  We briefly covered why being able to co-regulate in different role sets is important in this blogpost.
The simultaneous parallel role set is where two people do the same thing at the same time - in this case, they are carrying a box together. 
What does co-regulation look like in this role set?  We would expect each partner to tune in to non-verbal signals from the other (facial expression, prosody, body movements, gesture) and adapt their role to co-ordinate with their for example, if Alex varies her pace (slower, faster), will Lucy pick up on this and correspondingly alter her own pace to match Alex's?  If Alex stops, will Lucy stop?
Here is Alex's footage and own analysis of how she planned for this interaction and what happened.  Alex is in black, Sharon's feedback is in blue and I am in green with any explanatory notes.
Framing Plan for ‘Moving the box’    
What is it about: Working together to complete an activity
Limit Setting: For us to work together – 2 person job
Roles and Responsibilities: Holding the box; lifting the box at the same time (role set is simultaneous parallel - same thing same time.)
Communication for joint referencing points: When encouraging to partake; to lift at the same time; when walking together – acknowledge weight or when to stop; when box is set down in the correct place: to gain attention if Lucy is distracted
Amplifying/Framing in: Sounds – comments as to what has happened whilst doing the activity; to acknowledge success on completion
Framing out: Nothing else in the area other than what we are using; mat set up ready as a goal
Thoroughly thought through 

0.00 - I explain to Lucy that we need to move the box on to the mat so that we can read the ‘Boris’ book. Nice 'authentic reason' here from Alex.
0.05 - I encourage Lucy to help by saying “come on – I need you” and showing Lucy a gesture to encourage her to come over.
0.08 - I scaffold by tapping the box to show Lucy where I want her to be – more scaffolding by saying “ready to lift… 1…2… least direct prompt (only one level down from here) would be to just stand at the box holding your end, possibly making noises to indicate it is heavy
0.13 - Lucy says “3 - then Boris”
0.15 -I try to lift the box showing Lucy my intention – then repeat the above. Indirect prompt
0.21 - I explain to Lucy again what my aim is ‘to lift the box together’
0.25 - Lucy doesn’t appear to understand what I want from her so I added a bigger scaffold and showed Lucy where I wanted her to hold the box.
0.38 - I hold Lucy’s hand and place it onto the box as she seemed unaware of the box most direct prompt – and more interested in the contents
0.41 - As soon as I’d placed Lucy’s hand on the box I showed her my intention by standing and saying “ready”
0.42 - I tried to encourage Lucy by saying “1, 2, 3”
0.43 - Lucy joined in with the counting but was not holding the box – I’m still not entirely sure she knows what I want her to do?
0.46 - Another prompt  Direct prompt
0.49 - Lucy’s hand was resting on the box handle so I took the opportunity to lift the box and she took hold immediately – big “wow” to show her she had done what I wanted slightly less direct prompt
0.55 and onwards - lots of prosody used to try to prompt Lucy to look at me so I could smile   moving together - good 
0.59 - Success!
1.03 - Lucy knows when we are at the mat as she makes a squeal noise and starts putting her end of the box down
1.05 - “Now we can read Boris” indicating that we met the objective.
1.10 - “We did it” just to emphasis a job well done
1.23 - Lucy finds Boris and says “read Boris”
Where to: All that thinking through in your framing plan paid off. You were able to work to your role set by increasingly upping your scaffolding as Lucy really did seem unaware of the role she could take here. 
If you were to do this type of activity again where would you think about starting in terms of prompts?   It would be interesting to try something similar to see what happens, what Lucy has remembered and whether she can engage with the least direct prompt or needs a full-on direct prompt.
What we can see from this footage is that at the moment, Lucy just doesn't 'get' this different role set......possibly because she hasn't had much practice in it to date.  You'll see from subsequent posts that it doesn't take her long to get her own underpants on over her trousers in relation to this role set, thanks to both Jo and Alex who have been giving her plenty of opportunities to practice naturally in activities where there has been an authentic reason to enter this role set together.
More superwoman simultaneous parallel soon!

Friday 15 January 2016

Jo's spontaneous guiding

This is a wonderful piece of footage from Jo, who is Lucy’s key-worker at Bright Futures School.  Jo is a trainee guide at school and only started learning about guiding (using the principles of RDI) in September 2015.  I think you’ll agree that she has made excellent progress as a guide in a very short space of time. 

In relation to the text below that describes Jo’s footage with Lucy, I (Zoe) am in green, Jo is in black and Sharon’s feedback is in blue.  Sharon is the external RDI Consultant who helps to moderate and supervises our RDI-based guiding at school.

What is just brilliant about this piece of footage is that it shows how Jo has absorbed the guiding way of working – it has become instinctive to her, to the point where she is able to use it spontaneously in an unplanned situation. 

She isn’t thinking…. “Ohhhh……role sets/slow down/use pausing/declarative language/limit-setting” 

Instead, she sees the guiding opportunities presented by Lucy’s idea of using the music and is able to spontaneously channel this into a co-regulatory pattern.  We do this (running with a child’s idea but putting it into a co-reg pattern) with our typically developing kids all the time, without even thinking about it, right from birth.

Jo’s feedback

Lucy suggested using music.  I went with this, realising that there would be plenty of opportunities for co-regulation using the simultaneous parallel role set.  Lucy led the song with her imagination, being the first to ‘fall down’.

In terms of ‘framing’ the activity, this is what I had in my head:

What is it about - simultaneous parallel role set (both doing the same thing at the same time)

Roles and responsibilities - To sing and do the actions at the same time 

Communication for joint reference points – around singing together; around any anticipation that I build up; when something funny or surprising happens.

Time codes:

0.05 Dynamic gaze, on the cue of “accidentally fall” we both fall together. This could be social referencing around uncertainty ('should I go now?') or it could be around sharing the emotion of the moment.

0.13 I use a declarative invitation “Meerkats again!” rather than imperatively telling Lucy to sit up again  (imperatives = making a demand, issuing a command)

0.16 I decide to add more simultaneous parallel movements to see what Lucy does…she doesn’t copy

0.21 I pat Lucy’s leg so she can feel the rhythm Nice scaffold

0.27 Lucy pats her own legs

0.30 Lucy looks up at my arms and imitates

0.46 Lucy joins in with the patting straight away this time

0.55 Lucy references when I use pausing and she co-regs by completing with the word “fall”. Great stuff!

1.07 This time I don’t need to pat Lucy’s legs, she pats hers whilst I pat mine

1.34 Lucy uses an alternative rhythm.  I realise this is a ‘just noticeable difference’ (JND) so I roll with her variation – the action is different but we are still in the simultaneous parallel role set.   

In everyday life, we move in and out of different role sets all the time.  To be an effective part of a team and to be socially reciprocal in an interaction, we have to be able to adapt to the different role expectations of our partners/team members that come with each of the ever-changing role sets.  Hence Jo’s practising of different role sets.

1.42 I add anticipation and Lucy social references. This also acts as a JND as you aren't lying down at the same point as you have other times

1.53 We share emotion (dynamic gaze) and I spotlight the celebration of success……that we did it together :)

What you have demonstrated here is what used to be termed 'RDI on the fly'.  Basically you've ingrained what is needed for the role set & have been able to adapt in the moment so that you are able to accept Lucy's suggestion and put it into a co-reg pattern.  This is likely to happen more & more as you & Lucy recognise and play around with the opportunities of 'same but different' in everyday life.

All looking really good, no other feedback needed: pausing, pacing, communication, JND's, spotlighting, role sets, scaffolding all spot on. 

‘Same but different’ (same role set but different action) is one way of adding variety to interactions…..making things interesting, spicing them up. Being in a co-regulatory role set also gives us feelings of competence and experiences of success as we elaborate on each others' ideas and co-create something more exciting than what we started out with.   

These feelings of competence then fuel motivation.  Why bother interacting?  Because it’s fun, we learn things, we get feelings of competence, success and satisfaction from it.  One reason people with autism are sometimes not motivated to engage is because they haven’t experienced these payoffs….it’s easy to understand why someone wouldn’t bother interacting if it’s difficult (because the skill of being able to co-regulate is missing), it always feels like a chore and you don’t get positive feelings from it.

We can really get a feel here for how much Lucy is enjoying interacting with Jo.  She is clearly relaxed, comfortable and having fun......she has got the 'why bother?'  

Well done Jo and Lucy!

Compare this to the footage here of the first time I interacted with Lucy.  

Audience participation required!!  I'm interested to see what people make of the two pieces of footage.  Please leave your observations about the differences you can see in Lucy in the blog comments.  Thanks!