J, like many toddlers, has the attention span of a flea. I may infact be insulting fleas here as its probably not even be that long!
Funnily enough if J has vehicles or buttons…or a cupboard door then he can focus and be perfectly entertained for forever (recorded him playing with the toilet doors at church for over 8minutes and then I ran out of memory on my phone).
But, when it comes to getting him to do anything else, or focus on his pecs and IEP (Individual Education Plan) targets then its pot luck as to how long he’ll stay. Today one of his preschool practitioners said his IEP target lasted 45 seconds. The target was for J to stay focused at an adult chosen activity for 2 minutes so we are way off that at the moment.
I’m trying to help J at home by playing games that I have chosen (and not vehicle, button or door related) for just a couple of minutes every day. I am starting with activities that have a clear beginning and end. This will help J to feel a sense of completion and understanding that if he stays then he gets praise for finishing a task. It is also more visually recognisable that the activity does have an end and when we are reaching it.
So…today was played the Twirlywoos puzzle. It has chunky pieces and obvious images making it simpler for a two year old to recoignise where the pieces go. I helped J with positioning and reminders to rotate the pieces. I encouraged J to look for pieces based on colour. He did really well and could find pieces with blue for Great Big Hoo for example.
J wanted to leave after two pieces but I had him between my legs and the coffee table in front of us so it wasn’t easy for him to leave. This meant I didn’t have to chase him, I just gained his attention back by asking where the eyes were.
I gave little prompts to regain focus a few times but we did manage to finish the puzzle (with a bit of ‘Mummy help’ as I could see he was very near the end of his tolerance). When it was finished J had a big smile and then immediately handed me the box and said “done” to let me know that he was finished and wanted to go.
It was lovely to share this time with J. He spends so much time in his bubble world, laying on the carpet with his small metal cars and his wooden trains or his lining up his Thomas Minis into perfect rows. Anytime I can be part of J’s play makes me happy.
I will be post a quick ‘update’ blog entry in the next few days as I know I’ve been a bit quiet on what’s been going on behind the scenes lately. There’s lot happening and soooo many professionals to remember the names of that it makes my head spin.