This week we continued to work on our Gingerbread house. My husband has begun complaining that my office smells like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory with the completion of my chocolate bar “landscape”. This week we addressed: problem solving, planning, flexibility, more executive functioning and brainstorming.
Progress and Problem Solving
We first checked in on each other’s “landscapes” to see how we’d done with our goal for the week. We also discussed unexpected problems that arose. The main issue we both were running into was adhesive. Have you ever tried to use royal icing to make candy stick together? Those cake shows make it look much easier than it is. My client was stuck on how to fix this. Particularly because he was stuck on “edible” answers. I had the answer, but really wanted him to reach it on his own. So we put on our “future glasses”[Sarah Ward] to talk about our plans for the houses once finished. Once we’d both agreed that we would NOT be eating our gingerbread houses, he was able to brainstorm “non-edible” options. Our conclusion? Tacky Glue!
Brainstorming and Flexibility
When we first began this project, we’d “warmed-up” by brainstorming everything Minecraft and organizing it visually (see here). So, we had already practiced brainstorming once. Now we needed to brainstorm candies to use for the next step – the siding. We’d decided ahead of time that we were going with “bricks”. So we used Google Image to look through pictures of red candy. We went down a few rabbit trails until we made our choice – can’t wait to show you next week! My client became a little “stuck” the “mortar” you see between bricks. He wanted to dye icing grey and filling in the spaces between the candies. Oy! After some talk on time limits and flexibility, he decided to eliminate it from our plan and just use “bricks”. *phew*
Because my client had no prior knowledge about some of our choices today, a written shopping list was fraught with danger. Have you been in the candy aisle? Completely overwhelming, even when you know what you are looking for! With executive functioning delays, it can often be difficult to remember what something looks like when transitioning from a 2D picture to a 3D object. This means my client would most likely ended up trying to read EVERY package. Which also means mom probably would lose patience, step in, grab the package and the learning moment would have fallen to the wayside. So, for our shopping list this week, we copied pictures from the web and created a “visual shopping list”. This took less than 5 minutes and helped my client “keep a “mental picture” of what he was searching for.
My client did not have his project finished before group tonight. That resulted in a HUGE meltdown on his part, which I was able to view via webcam. As much as my heart broke for him, it was good for me to see so we could discuss why this happened. I really appreciate his parent’s honesty in saying “It was completely my fault. I dropped the ball and didn’t support his executive functioning skills.” I’m putting together a webinar soon for parents and executive functioning as I’ve discovered a lot of them need help supporting their child. Stay tuned for more information soon!
Here is a picture of the progress:
Join us next week for more lessons and another step closer to our finished gingerbread house!
– Tara Roehl, SpeechyKeenSLP