Last year this scenario happened daily or even several times a day until we (home and school) used video modeling. We used video modeling to instruct Tristan how to stand in line without touching the other kids. First, Tristan was video taped in line touching the other children (not the desired behavior). Then the other kids lined-up slowly, one at a time, placing their arms down, and hands by their sides (desired behavior).
Tristan watched the video at home and within weeks the behavior switched from undesired to desired behavior. Since, we have used video modeling to help Tristan understand social situations like how to negotiate when he wants a toy that another child has. We have even used video modeling to teach Tristan the ABCs. Letters held no importance to Tristan until we placed them with a person or object that had meaning for him, like M for mommy (picture of me).
I think it is time to revive video modeling to teach Tristan some complex social situations like creating friendships. Often Tristan will suggest a play scenario like let’s build with Legos and his friend says no let’s play soccer and Tristan says “no, I don’t like soccer”, then he walks away. Instead of Tristan saying:
“How about playing Star Wars?”
“Ok, soccer now, Legos later.”
Tristan’s IEP goals and our parenting goals reflect social development; however sometimes they can become overshadowed by academic objectives like learning to read. I find myself reminding his school team that Tristan will be a successful read and writer, but right now, his peers are willing to practice social skills with him and as they grow older they will probably lose interest.
Tristan will need more time decode and navigate the social scene, so giving him as much time now when he and his peers are young to practice will help not only Tristan, but probably the entire class.