"Think of your job now as catching yourself when you are about to do for your child when he needs to do for himself... "
Almost five years ago, we chose RDI(r). RDI(r) was the only developmental program out there for a child my age, I THOUGHT. (I was so wrong! Now, I know that there are others. Communicating Partners is one. Floortime is for younger children, and Son Rise, Gentle Teaching, and Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment all come from that developmental perspective.)
Overdeveloped "Mommy Radar" is necessary, but left unchecked, can create learned helplessness and passivity, a "lazy mode of operating" in a child. One of the things that Dr Gutstein from RDI(r) helped me recognize when we began is the fact that many children with delays in communication and interaction are very passive. He taught me that my daughter needs to physically feel herself taking an action, reaching, stretching, gathering her own information. NON-verbally. WITH me. Combining active participation and interdependence.
For children with delays in communication, those "catch yourself" times include times when the child needs to shift his own gaze and his own attention, insert his own arm into his own coat, or his foot into his sock and shoe, accept his own plate, fork, spoon, cup as you are setting the table, carry his side of a bag of groceries with us, and more.
And, the more I think about it, the more I look at how I am with all of my children. It's not just about kids w/ developmental delays! I think I need to cross stitch Dr. MacDonald's words or print them onto a poster for my wall, because I still recognize that I "do" for all of my children when they need to be "doing" for themselves. And they hate it when I make a new discovery and begin to hand over to them the responsibility that should be theirs. I realized in the last few weeks that I have one child who ASKS me for reminders. That child's experience is, "I don't have to remember because Mom will remember for me."