Monday, May 28, 2007


Here's a photo of Jacob on the trails this weekend. You can read more about our adventures this weekend over at my other blog by clicking here or here.

I was reading yet another comment on my post from a few weeks ago about using sticker charts for potty training. I can't believe I'm still getting comments on that one entry. In fact, it's the entry that's generated the most comments from any of my blogging history (which is only about a year long, so I supposed not THAT long). And it got me thinking about the whole blogging and commenting thing.

I don't get a lot of comments compared to other blogs that I've peeked in on. I think that has a lot to do with what I'm writing about, and the way it's presented. I'm not here spilling my guts or asking opinions. I don't provide any thought-provoking fodder, and I don't try to open discussions on controversial topics. I'm not trying to get anyone to think deeper about issues, or probe their hearts and souls for their own inner truths. In fact, I'd be really surprised if my entries promoted more than an "oh, that's interesting" or "maybe I'll try that" type of response. Bascially I'm just writing about what we're doing about remediating Autism for our particular son -- not making suggestions about what other should do (though I'm thrilled when people tell me I've given them ideas for their own RDI programs), not stimulating discussions, not trying to be particularly entertaining. I don't think it's a place that anyone who's not specifically interested in Jacob (as in, some of our relatives) or in RDI is going to bother to read.

So what was it about that sticker chart post that made so many people respond? I'm not talking about overwhelming numbers, by the way -- you've got to understand that most of my posts get NO feedback -- I'm sure there are people reading, as I'm told all the time by other RDIing familes and consultants that they read my blog -- these folks just don't have the time to respond! They're too busy with their own remediation programs or helping other families. Heck, I totally GET that -- there's only a couple other blogs I read with any regularity, and another one or two I drop in on occassionally, and that's it -- I just don't have time for any more than that. If I read my blog (well, you know what I mean), I wouldn't leave comments either.

But, regardless, of the one (if that) responses I've gotten on my other posts, the sticker chart post generated 6 comments. That's a large number for my blog. Are people searching around for potty training or sticker chart posts specifically? Is there something particularly stirring about that post? (I'm joking -- believe me, there's not!) Or is it that potty training posts rally the troops, since so many of us parents of ASD kids are fighting the bathroom battle?

In any case, I have to say that it bugs me a little bit. Of all the things I've written about over the last year, that is one of the things I'm least proud of. Not the post itself (which reads pretty much like any other post of mine), but reverting to using a sticker chart. I think a lot of the stuff I've tried with Jacob has been highly successful and potentially helpful for other families to read. The sticker chart, tho, is something I'm somewhat ashamed of. To the point that I considered removing the post from the blog. But in the spirit of sharing both the good and the bad (I do try to keep the ugly private, however!), I decided to leave it. But of all the things I've done to work on remediating Jacob's autism, this was the least RDI-ish, and the most behaviorally modifying and manipulative thing I've tried. And the least beneficial to Autism remediation. Oh, yeah, he's using the potty more. (More than he would be without the sticker chart? Maybe.) So I've sort of achieved the goal I wanted to with it (well, it would be nicer if he made it there ALL the time, but all in due time I'm sure). But has it worked even one fraction of an iota to remediate his Autism? Absolutely not.

So I guess I just wanted to officially say that those sorts of things -- the things we do to manage our way through life -- the gimicks -- are not the things we should be taking note of. It's the subtler, more meaningful changes that should be recognized and commented on.

And that's about as deeply insightful as I get.


At 8:59 PM, Blogger Willa said...

" It's the subtler, more meaningful changes that should be recognized and commented on."

I don't think I've ever written a comment on your blog, yet. I found it a couple of months ago when I was googling something else, and I read it regularly. I have a 7yo that has several of the same issues as your Jacob -- he was G-tube fed until he was five because of sensory issues -- and I have been researching RDI recently.

It is the way you make therapy goals part of your childrens' daily lives that keeps me reading. You seem to have a lot of love and caring for your sons and it comes out in your writing.

Just thought I'd speak up! BTW-- My Aidan didn't toilet train completely until last year (around the time he turned seven) It was a long haul -- sticker charts wouldn't have done it for him though I did use incentives for a couple of my other children when they were at that stage.

At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your blog almost everyday! I never comment, because you are right, you definitely don't need MY comment, you guys are doing great! I learn a lot from your blog. Thanks for all the info you provide!

At 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also want to tell you how useful I find your blog. It's really helped me to understand RDI better.Thanks

At 12:15 AM, Blogger Aspergertopia said...

Hi there, I also thought I'd come- out-of-the-closet and shout "I am an avid reader of both of your blogs." You inspire me everyday! Your posts about RDI (the terminology, the stages etc. really helped me make sense of it all! I look forward to reading about what you guys are up to everyday. So I am no longer a quiet lurker. My name is Jenn, I have a wonderful husband and two wonderful boys (Noah, who turned 5 yesterday and Joshua-17 months).

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Cecily said...

I'm a lurker too. But a happy lurker. You've written one of the best helps for us in our RDI program, apart from , well, the program. And you inspired me to start my own RDI blog.

Thanks very much!

At 4:00 PM, Blogger momof3feistykids said...

I mostly enjoy reading about the ebb and flow of other family's days, and "seeing" remediation strategies playing out in real life. :-) Somebody referred me here a while ago (I think it was to read your posts on homeopathy) and you've become one of my regular reads.

At 9:36 PM, Blogger Bea said...

I read your blog everyday. I got most out of your ideas, like the cottonball blowing. I tried that for my dyad last week. I also read your other blogg since I found great ideas as well.I feel I know you guys so welland I like to know how the jouney contunues.

At 9:08 PM, Blogger said...

hey! i'll join the party!! i love reading your blog. your grasp of RDI and the way you've passionately put it into practice in your life is endlessly inspiring!!!

At 6:57 PM, Blogger Theresa said...

You're blog has been a real inspiration to us, especially when we were just getting starting with RDI! So much so that we even started our own blog (we use it mostly for correspondence with our consultant and to post our video reviews). We recommend your blog to anyone who asks us about RDI...we even have a link from our blog to yours (hope you don't mind that - check out Your work has helped many! thank you.


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