Monday, June 18, 2007


Joey is learning sequencing. He has a difficult time with sequencing as a general skill. The idea of something happening first, then the next thing happening, and then there being a result or conclusion is something he finds either uninteresting or challenging. Unless...

I had to go to the big IEP for Kindergarten a bit ago. Grandma watched the boys. Joey has been having a lot of trouble with me leaving the house without him, so this was a Big Deal for Grandma to have to watch them. There was nothing else for it. Off I went, and home I came.

Joey spent the couple of hours plotting. When I left, he screamed his head off for 45 minutes. Grandma explained to Joey that I had gone to school to talk with his teacher about kindergarten, and that I would be home soon. The screaming gave way to the plotting. There was a black truck parked across the street; he could see it through his favorite window.

"We get in the black car. We go to school and see Miss Kaila and Mommy."

There we go. Three-step sequencing.

Joey can escape from the house if the key is in reach, and has done it. This requires going to the door, turning the key, then walking out of the house. Three-step sequencing.

But he cannot tell you what he did yesterday, or what will happen tomorrow. Taking three related pictures and put them in order? Forget it. He can pick up random things in a story, but cannot retell it.

He can recite the entire Silly Pizza Song and gets upset if you get the foods out of order, but has trouble completing simple "obstacle courses" for his OT (though he is improving!)

How does one communicate the concept of first- second- third?

Sequencing may not appear to be a "critical life skill." After all, who cares if you know the order of a story, the teacher can read it to you? But sequencing is about learning conclusions and consequences. I get hungry. I eat food. I am not hungry anymore (or, I have energy to go play.) Doesn't seem like a big deal unless the sequencing is a problem, and then connecting eating to staying alive and having energy gets missed. Or how about, I want something across the road, I run out into the road, I get hit by a car?

At our next IEP meeting, I am again going to have goals flagged as "critical life skills." It makes it easier to get ESY if flagged goals are not mastered, and it lets the school folks know what skills I find important. The sequencing goal is definitely getting flagged.


Susan Senator said...

Excellent idea, re the "critical life skills."

And thank you for what you said on my blog, it was crystal clear and very comforting.

Niksmom said...

Wow, I'm catching up on a few days worht of reading. GREAT tip on the "critical life skills" for IEP.

You're right, so many people don't think of sequencing as an important skill...until it's not there.