Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wait Time

We all know we are supposed to give wait time.  It is one of those things drilled into our heads in "teacher school".  We even know how much more important it is for our kids.  Still waiting is one of those things that is hardest to do.

A few examples from our week:
  • a student was being put into a stander and her helpers were preparing to give a boost up because there was a lot of slouching going on, reminded to wait and that the student IS capable of pushing further in to stand independently we waited; it took one minute and forty five seconds, but the student eventually was able to process the verbal command and touch cues and push into stand; impressive stuff
  • we had recently discussed another student's need for long wait times, of up to several minutes to complete complex tasks which involve both intellectual processing and motor planning; an aide therefore cued the student early to go to the appropriate page on an AAC device and get ready to activate the right message, it took nearly four minutes, but the student was ready to answer with the rest of the class when a question was asked of the group
So much goes into what we ask our students to do.  Pushing further into stand for a student with apraxia and significant motor disabilities means understanding the prompts to stand, figuring out what is needed to complete that command and then making a body that is difficult to move purposefully on the best of days do what is being asked.  When you think about it this way just under two minutes to follow such a command is a miracle.

This is a time when we, as adults, caregivers, teachers, parents, therapists, need visual cues and reminders.  We need to hang signs that say wait next to the clock and around the room.  We need to cue each other to "shhh" and "wait".  We need to discuss and agree on how to move through a prompt hierarchy and how much time to leave between cues.  Because waiting is one of our key tools in our toolbox.

1 comment:

  1. So true.

    I saw a nurse just firing questions at a 3yr-old the other day and asked her to give him more time to process what she said.

    And then there's the opposite - learning to wait:



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