Ellen loves Easter. Despite being on an almost exclusively dairy/gluten free diet, she knows that on the Easter egg hunt she can almost certainly cram in a bit of illicit chocolate and so she whizzes round the garden with her bag, picking up her ‘named’ items but also as many creme eggs as possible. The easter egg hunt is pretty much the highlight of Ellen’s year, so as you can imagine she is really looking forward to the coming weekend.
I tried to harness this enthusiasm when planning this week’s RDI activity. Following on from our annual assessment, we have moved onto a new goal which is to get Ellen to co-ordinate her movements with ours. This means she has to watch and wait and be aware of what we are doing and actively seek to co-ordinate with us – not something she is used to doing! Our RDI consultant had managed to do complete a few successful co-ordination activities with Ellen – so the challenge was on, most particularly for my brain which often finds it difficult to come up with interesting ideas- if you have any please let me know :-).
Every year I create a rustic Easter display in the kitchen. I say rustic because although aiming for artistic it almost always falls a bit short. I walk out along the lane to find a suitable branch and then randomly decorate it with some Easter-related objects (although the mini ice cream might be stretching it a bit far). The plan was for Ellen and I to hang the decorations on at the same time – simple I naively thought. The first attempt was a disaster. The branch I had found was not brilliant and was unstable from the beginning. Ellen wanted to get back to her video and so tried to hang the decorations on as quickly as possible – ignoring my ‘you’re going to fast’ and ‘wait for me’ verbal prompts. Decorations fell on the floor, the branch broke and I was left trying to hold the branch up with one hand, a decoration in the other and watching Ellen’s receding back as she headed out the door.
Determined not to give up, I went out and found a better branch. I trimmed the branches so that it was easier for Ellen to get the decorations on and I waited for a time later in the day when Ellen was relaxed. This time round went much better, there was even a moment of social referencing when Ellen looked at me to make sure I was ready to hang my decoration. The result is perhaps not quite as ‘Ideal Home’ as I would like, but I’m keeping it just as it is. Happy Easter everyone!