Transferring responsibility is a upper level RDI objective which is part of Logan’s ongoing therapy to remediate his autism . The goal is to start transferring more responsibility to Logan. He has made tremendous gains in approximately 18 months (jumping 4+ years developmentally). We were very blessed and excited to see so much progress in him. This is the first objective in the higher level skills involving executive function.
What does “transferring responsibility” entail?
We are to start shifting the responsibility to Logan, so that he is responsible for his actions . He needs to be responsible in making sure that we are an active participant with him, as well as doing what is necessary to keep us engaged or by re-engaging us in the desired activity. He gets to decide if the activity is over and we need to move on or if he needs to refocus us on the activity. Either way, he is in charge . We do this by pausing A LOT longer than we did before in order to give him time to work it through. Of course, we step in to scaffold it if we clearly see that he needs it.
Transferring responsibility can be hard on the parent.
This is hard for me. I need to slow down more and talk a whole lot less. I need to consciously think to myself, “let him do it.” This can be hard for other people that work with him too. We are all so used to jumping in and compensating for his weaknesses that we must make it a conscious thought not to jump in and take over. One way I have accomplished not doing this is to count in my head to give him time to process as well as come up with a solution. This objective will not work without a ton of patience. Now, if he’s struggling, of course I help. You can see the wheels turning in his brain as he works through it. As he gets better at doing it, it will get faster.
Transferring responsibility can be hard on the child.
Logan easily gets frustrated if he sees people waiting on him. It’s sort of a fight or flight mechanism for him. He feels incompetent thus he shuts down without even trying. The key to getting past this is to verbally reassure him that we can wait as long as he needs. I will sometimes start “self talk” or working through what I would do verbally so he can hear what my thought process entails. As he mastered this “self talk” in his own mind, he eventually got better at it until he could achieve it with little to no help. We called it a success when he could do it at least 80% of the time.
Remember that as you progress through filling in the missing gaps, the objectives get harder. It takes longer because they are harder skills. They aren’t as cut and dry as the earlier skills were so it can be harder not only to teach but for the child to learn. My motto was then and still is today that even slow progress is progress.