Drinking From A Cup Or Drinking From A Straw...
Why Are Such Simple Skills So Hard To Learn For So Many Autistic Kids?
Well, again, this is easily explained based on the role of partiality in the life of the autistic child. The act of drinking from a cup or straw involves taking a "part" from the "whole". Thus, I am not surprised that this would be an issue for many autistic children. Obviously, the gratification that comes from drinking something that tastes good easily reinforces this behavior so that this is an easy one to teach/learn once understood or tried successfully even just once! Again, fractions can help with this as would simply "counting". For example, you could say: "Take 1/2 of the juice" or "take 5 sips" while showing them how to do this and counting "your sips" as you drink and swallow. :o)
Recently, as I sat in church, the pastor gave a sermon on building a memorial… something to leave your children… from a spiritual perspective. As I sat there and listened, he used examples of how children see things so much differently than do adults. One of the examples he gave had to do with the task of “drinking a straw”. Of course, when I heard this, my ears really “perked up”… not that they were not earlier, but now, I was especially interested in what he had to say in terms of how it may relate to this issue in autism.
As he began his story of a child learning how to use a straw, he mentioned how the father had tried and tried to get his little boy to learn how to use a straw, but that for some reason, the child still had a lot of difficulty with this simple task… until his brother chimed in with: “just blow backwards”!
How interesting! I could certainly see how this could tie in with the autistic child’s difficulty in drinking from a straw – especially given what I knew of Zachary’s issues with changes in direction!
Although everyone else in church laughed and found this to be a “cute story”… I, personally, felt like jumping from my pew and yelling: “Eureka”!