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Sunday, February 28, 2010

It's All About Motivation

Teaching a child with autism takes time. Lots of time.

With Tom, the issue isn't compliance. And it isn't behavior. To some degree I could say that it's about comprehension. But most importantly, it's about motivation.

Tom's happy to go out... or stay in. He's perfectly willing to do a project if we sit next to him and give him direction and support. But almost inevitably, when we step away, he's off in his own head - or back on the couch, flipping through picture books and waiting for his next instructions.

The reality is, there's no good reason for him to actively want to complete a project, read a whole book, or think of and execute something on his own. There are no peers he wants to share things with, and the idea of excelling in something for its own sake hasn't really caught on. Competition doesn't interest him. And as soon as he shows himself capable of doing something on his own (making lunch, taking a shower, and so forth), we immediately expect him to do it every time.

From time to time, we offer bribes for independent work (sometimes called "reinforcers," or "motivators."). But we've found that then the process becomes all about the prize. When we withdraw the prize reward, he's still willing to do the work - but only because we insist, support, and nudge.

I keep hearing how people with HFA and Asperger syndrome are passionately involved in their areas of interest. I see kids on the spectrum who fit this mold. But I'm still working on just how best to help my own child discover his own sense of purpose and direction.

And, meanwhile, I'm working on a skill that's eluded me for a lot of years: patience.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

So far, everything you just blogged about fits my life to a "T"...I must keep reading :)

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Cast not the first stone. .........................

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淑惠 said...

It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others. ....................................................

VincenzoJ詩婷 said...

All good things come to an end..............................................

韋于倫成 said...

Hello,這裡真是百看不厭的部落格........................................

靜怡 said...

Learning makes a good man better and ill man worse.............................................................

rl64@yahoo.com.hk said...

想跟你說一聲加油,祝福大家每天開心........................................

孝齊孝齊 said...

想像是什麼並不重要,想像能做什麼才重要......................................................................

禎峰 said...

支持你!!!期待你的更新!!!相信一定會更好!!!! .................................................................

茹順茹順 said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。....................................................................

江婷 said...

Poverty is stranger to industry.................................................................

凱文凱文 said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。.................................................................

佳皓佳皓 said...

人有兩眼一舌,是為了觀察倍於說話的緣故。............................................................

李威昌 said...

Nothing comes from nothing.............................................................

有年 said...

當你真心渴望某一樣東西,整個宇宙都會聯合起來幫助你。..................................................

芳容222許林堅林芳容儀 said...

脾氣與嘴巴不好,就算心地再好,也不算好人~~~..................................................

楊儀卉 said...

工作,是愛的具體化~~~~努力吧!............................................................

水慧 said...

u are so kind to post so good artical! i like it!............................................................

吳婷婷 said...

這麼用心的經營你的文章, 當然值得我們留連拜訪的!...............................................................

dawsonfelicia張君dawsonfelicia均 said...

愛情是一種發明,需要不斷改良。只是,這種發明和其他發明不一樣,它沒有專利權,隨時會被人搶走。.................................................................

RicoLisi0802志竹 said...

河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

謝文新v謝文新 said...

當最困難的時候,也就是離成功不遠的時候。..................................................

治冠霖士 said...

快樂,是享受工作過程的結果..................................................

家唐銘 said...

Necessity is the mother of invention..................................................................

群育航學 said...

最偉大的天才如果終日躺在草地上,讓微風吹拂,眼望天空,那麼溫柔的 靈感也不會光顧他的。............................................................

陳雅吳水以竹 said...

正點喔 多謝大大無私的分享 感恩拉( ̄∀ ̄)............................................................

智柏林婉林亞 said...

朋友是一面鏡子......................................................................

阿袁袁袁袁華 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
316 said...

你的部落內容真棒,一定要持續下去! .................................[/url]...............

幸平平平平杰 said...

男女互悅,未必廝守終生,相愛就是美的。......................................... ........................

Casdok said...

Im sure he will discover it one day :)

Kim Pomares said...

About Motivation, have you looked into olfactory activities? Motivation and attention span can go a lot farther with more brain dopamine, which can be increased through smell. We've had a lot of success in that area. I thought I would share that with you.

Have a look at these articles.

- Dopamine, learning and motivation. Roy A. Wise
- Imaging the Effects of Methylphenidate on Brain Dopamine: New Model on Its Therapeutic Actions for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Nora D. Volkow, Gene-Jack Wang, Joanna S. Fowler, Yu-Shin Ding. Biological psychiatry 1 June 2005 (volume 57 issue 11 Pages 1410-1415 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2004.11.006)
- Volkow, N. D., Wang, G.-J., Fowler, J. S., Logan, J., Jayne, M., Franceschi, D., Wong, C., Gatley, S. J., Gifford, A. N., Ding, Y.-S. and Pappas, N. (2002), “Nonhedonic” food motivation in humans involves dopamine in the dorsal striatum and methylphenidate amplifies this effect. Synapse, 44: 175–180. doi: 10.1002/syn.10075