This morning in Gateway there was only one student. Because the two students are so different in abilities, this was a perfect time to work one on one.
Our first exercise was to show him hand signs that Lucy knew. Then asking him to use the hand signal when he wanted Lucy to come, sit and lay down. I would say the words, so Lucy could learn and understand the connection of his way of movement with his hand and his body movement. As I have explained in the past these two students don’t speak or make eye contact. The goal is that he can use the hand signals and I won’t have to say the words to Lucy, that she will know by just his movement, she will know what he wants her to do.
While we were doing these exercises, I also asked him to look right into Lucy’s eyes, so Lucy knew he was telling her, what he wanted her to do. This is a difficult task for him, as he does little eye contact with people, but he did attempt eye contact for brief moments, which I felt gave them a closer bond in communication with each other.
This student has been taught to do many things independently and to communicate what he wants to let others know. This is just another way to express himself, care for a dog and have fun doing it.
The parents of this student are now considering maybe adopting a dog for him. With guidance of what sort of therapy or service dog would best suit their son’s needs. I’ll keep you posted.
Pam & Lucy