Monday, July 12, 2010

Hard to Handle

Remember back a couple of months ago, when I posted about the door handles on our cars?

The handle on the Honda Fit, Joy could easily manage. You just hook your fingers or thumb under the handle and exert moderate pressure upward. Piece o' cake.

The one on the CR-V, she was not able to operate. You have to choose the correct half of the handle, wrap your hand all the way around, and pull outward with significant pressure. Didn't come easily.

So we worked on it bit by bit.

First, I wrapped Joy's fingers around the handle for her, and then put my fingers on top and opened the door hand-over-hand.

Then, when she got the hang of grabbing the handle, I pulled on her wrist (so she had to get her grip tight enough to keep hold through the pull).

Then, I moved the pull-help back to her elbow.

Then, I started asking her to make the pull, and only helped a little.

On Thursday, Joy began opening the door on her own.

This process took several months, practicing at least every other day, sometimes every day, sometimes more than once a day. But the resulting increment of independence is a beautiful thing.

(Barbara/TherExtras, here's lookin' at you!)


Mimzy said...


Anonymous said...

You are SO GOOD at (teaching) telling others how to teach a new motor skill! Thanks for teaching me how to tell!

(Casa Blanca is Hubby's all-time favorite movie!)


Anonymous said...

What a great example of how shaping works when teaching a new desired behavior! Thanks for sharing.

tracey (aka rainbowmummy) said...

Patience. Awesome. Yay Joy!

Anonymous said...

Way to go Mommy!! Good old fashioned patience and persistence paid off.
Now, is she able to turn the key?

JoyMama said...

Barbara - at least I didn't call you "kid"! (Play it, Sam.)

blackknightsbrood - She loves keys. In fact, I'll have to post about keys. But so far, no -- may I say -- Joy-rides. (heh)

tracey (aka rainbowmummy) said...

Egg used to really love keys, he still likes them, but he used to adore them.

If you haven't already done it and Joy has the strength to do it so it's not frustrating you should buy three padlocks in all different sizes, with different sized keys for a size matching activity. I have also seen coloured padlocks with keys with a matching colour on it, which would be good if you could get say five of them and use it for colour matching.

Casdok said...

Things others take for granted. Wonderful :)

Elizabeth Channel said...

I think those handles are very, very hard and I have popped I don't know how many fingernails off on those things. Congrats to a great success!

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

This is such a good example of how our kids learn - a bit at a time, with lots (and lots) of repetition. So well done!

Anonymous said...