Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lesson 4, this morning, beginning to skate backwards

This morning's lesson seemed like more of a challenge to my princess, and she was frustrated with it. She was very capable of accomplishing everything that was asked of her during the lesson, but she seemed tired, frustrated. Of course, I'm trying to figure out the source of her frustration, and I can think of a few reasons.

Maybe lessons two days in a row is too much too soon?

Sometimes frustration is an early sign of a virus, and with the runny nose she has today, I suspect she may be coming down with something. Maybe she has an ear ache that she can't identify, or a sore throat. Sometimes, she doesn't recognize an ear ache or sore throat until the pain is really strong.

Learning how to skate backwards:

video

A part of today's lesson involved working on the fundamentals that are necessary to skate backwards. (My princess was frustated w/ more than just this particular part of today's lesson, though.) Moving backwards has always been frustrating for my princess. Occupational therapists have worked with her on walking backwards on the ground or walking backwards on a balance beam, and that particular task has always been frustrating. A friend of mine who is an occupational therapist told me that one step backwards for some children feels like they're backing into the Grand Canyon. That feels scary to them.

Here's something I learned from the late Judith Bluestone, founder of the HANDLE Program:

Children with a poor sense of where they are in space, a poor sense of propriception, often use their vision to compensate. They let their eyes tell them where they are in space. The majority of us use several systems in combination with one another to tell us where we are in space, but individuals with autism often over-rely on their EYES to give them information that should also becoming from propriception, vestibular and hearing. Thinking about that makes me understand why my daughter may be frustrated with learning to skate backwards, when she can't use her eyes to tell her where she's going.

I want her to recognize the super job she did today, despite the source of her frustration.

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