Monday, February 7, 2011

The Alien who Does Chores Pt.1

...or working on Expressive Verbal Tools Cognitive Function

Today I decided to give my kids a treat.
I offered to do their bathroom chores. They were thrilled.
Of course, I had something in mind.

I told them that I was an alien from outer space and new to the customs of planet Earth.
I was willing to do their task for them but they would have to tell me exactly how to do it as I had no idea how to go about cleaning a toilet or washing out a sink.

First up was my youngest daughter, who giggled profusely at the thought of me being an alien.
I made a weird face and that helped her visualize it.

"First," she said, "you get the spray bottle."
"Where is it?" I asked.
"Oh, it's under the kitchen sink."
She's right. I fetch it and bring it back. "What's next?"
"You need to get a cloth."
"Where is it?"
"Under the kitchen sink?"
I sigh dramatically. "I was just there." I return with the cloth.
"Ok, now spray the sink."
So I do....even though there are some items on the sink that should be removed. But I am an alien and only following orders. I don't know anything about asking to remove the items.
"Wait! Wait!" she bellows. "You have to remove the soap container and my toothbrush."
I ask her where they go. She tells me and I follow my orders.
"Now, what do I do?"
She smiles, "Now, you spray."
I spray willy-nilly and get a little creative with my spraying.
"Stop! You need to spray here and here, like this."
I tell my commander that I don't understand demonstrated actions. I only understand words and she has to tell me exactly how to do the job.
"Oh." She thinks for a moment, then proceeds to give me a step by step instruction of how to spray the sink. She exchanges the word "here" for the correct label of "faucets" and "the outside of the sink" (we have a stand alone sink with no counter around it).
Once the spraying is done she informs me that I am to start the scrubbing of the sink.
"Pick up the cloth." Check.
"Wipe it." No Check.
"What's 'it'?" I ask.
She laughs, "Mom!"
"Whose this Mom? I am an alien. I don't know any Mom."
She giggles some more and then explains exactly how I am supposed to wipe out the sink using words and directions that this alien can understand.
"Good job," she pronounces. "now you are done."
"Yay!" I drop the cloth on the floor and head out the door.
"Wait! Come back."
I return.
"You have to put it away."
" 'I't what?" I ask
"It. The cloth! It goes in the laundry room when you are done with it."
I am looking for meaning, so I ask, "Why?"
"Because you are done cleaning with it. It has become dirty and germy and needs to get clean."
I put the cloth in the laundry room and return. I am informed that I must return the spray bottle to it's home under the kitchen sink.
I do.
Then my daughter gives me a hug and tells me that I clean pretty well for an alien.


Some thoughts:
When pursuing this activity, I was wanting to see if my daughter could give me the correct labels for words that she commonly called "this", "it" and "here".
*I didn't follow any actions that she tried to do in showing me how to clean the sink. I wanted her to verbally direct me on how to do the task.
*I was also looking to see how much she retained from the times I have taught her how to clean the sink. Did she remember all that I taught her? If not, was it because my training was poorly done or her ability to grab all the information is impaired?
*Could she provide me with HER meaning on why certain tasks were important to this job
*I wanted her to have fun as we looked at this cognitive function, and being a space alien made for a lot of laughs.

1 comment:

Therese said...

I love it!