Sunday, October 3, 2010

What Do You Do?

I've got two questions for you today. Neither of these issues are huge, just things that occupy my mind from time to time - like this past weekend!

First, how do you teach your children with special needs manners? I find myself having to prompt for a 'please' and 'thank you' from some of my children all the time. Ashley has gotten both of those things down, but not my other children.

I want their please and thank you to be spontaneous. I don't want to have to prompt.

And, how about other things? How do you teach your child with significant special needs to chew with their mouth closed, for instance - or teach your son that it is polite to hold the door for a woman, if indeed he can hold the door - or to say 'excuse me' after a burp.

Again, as with the please and thank you, I don't want to always have to prompt for good manners.

So, if anyone has some tips or things that have worked in your family, please share!

Secondly, if you have a child or children who use(s) lots of adaptive equipment - wheelchairs, walkers, braces, canes, standers, etc. - how do you keep your home from looking like an equipment showroom? Does it bother you to have all the equipment taking up lots of space in your home?

This doesn't bother me greatly - I'm not going to lose sleep over it because it means my children have the equipment they need. But just every so often, I would like my home to look a little less crowded with aluminum and plastic. I hope that doesn't make me a bad mother, maybe just an obsessive/compulsive cleaner! Or maybe, I just need to stop watching HGTV so much.

Any ideas on either of these two subjects would be greatly appreciated!


Queenbuv3 said...

I have to prompt my son all the time and he just isn't capable given his Autism, lack of processing/social/verbal skills so I don't get upset. He just isn't capable of doing it without prompting and may never be. But I still try to teach him. He does hold the door open for me though when I follow behind him after getting home from school. I didn't teach him that, he just knows he should somehow :D

Cheryl said...

I'm just getting my please/thank you down & I'm in my 20s. I'm also an open mouth chewer, open mouth breather, but figured out that you get more oxygen to your lungs per breath through mouth breathing & my body due to my disability needs that extra oxygen. So open mouth chewing is just an extension of that I suppose...

Janet said...

I too am dealing with with autism - 8-year-old, non-verbal. Often (very!) it is hard to get a child with autism to WANT to communicate, be it ASL, PECS, aug dev, or verbal.

Luke doesn't say please or thank-you without a prompt. At home when he wants a snack I will give it to him piece by piece to get the "pleases" (usually after first time he remembers) About 50% of the time he will wave hi/bye AND look at someone who has first said hi/bye.

My big thing is to not allow him to "yell" no at me when he doesn't want what I offerred. (He gets up in my face and snaps no's in my face! I don't mind being yelled at - it's a developmental step, but not when I have offered him something)

We don't have lots of medical equipment. We do have lots of locks on cabinets and doors; colored walls when pencils/pens/crayons/markers weren't kept out of the way. The house is also a mess just because I have 2nd, 4ht and 6th graders, work full time, etc., etc., etc...

I used to let all of this stuff really get me down; not near as much lately - I just try to do my best.

Azaera said...

We teach by example, every time C or I hand each other something, make food for each other, etc we say our pleases and thank-you's. We hold doors for the elderly, and others who need assistance, and we generally try to set a good example. Skyler picked up the "thank you" all on his own without any prompting. Of course it helps that there are two of us working together on it.

I'm not sure about the equipment thing, I have a tendancy to throw all of his phsyio/OT stuff (big exercise ball, etc) into a closet or whatever room is available whenever we have guests coming over.. Not because I'm ashamed of his special needs or anything, but it does take up a lot of space.

Unknown said...

I'm 15 and still working on my pleases and thank yous, lol, but I remember them most of the time. I was a counselor at a day camp this summer and if a child was very rude I'd ignore them or give them one of "those looks." And then if they remembered to say please/thank you, I let them know I appreciate their manners.

It's so nice to know I'm turning in to my mother. Joy... XD

I think when I was ten or so, my mom started charging me dimes/quarters for every time I did something rude! That got me in the habit quickly, lol!!

Good luck. :)

Karen said...

For many kids its just consistency and leading by example. Good luck!

Michelle Morgan-Coole said...

Mia, I like the idea of charging a small amount of money for every occurence of rude behaviour. Something tells me that would work well with the Blue Jay - she has a real interest in money and would NOT want any of it taken away. LOL

Ashley said...


I have a Kaye walker which reminds me of the one Ronnie uses- Does his fold? Mine does, and we hang it on the wall with hooks like an odd kind of art when it's not in use. I think we might just roll with it as my better half and I are in our early 20s.

Terri said...

I know what you mean. We want our kids to be good, not directed. For me teaching the action is separate teaching than teaching independence at the action... With my daughter it takes many things like pointing the behavior out when someone else does it--in life and in movies, etc. And it requires a social story with videos that points out that I am not part of the equation (she gets the idea that my prompt is just part of the activity), then some random reward/consequences (which are not random at all). My daughter's disability is significant, but there are many things she does independently now that she didn't before... but not everything!