As I mentioned in my post about RPM, Soma started James on the letter board right away and skipped the phase with choices on pieces of paper that you might see featured on her website. A big help for us in getting up and running with RPM was buying and studying her three books which you can find here. I recommend buying the books and giving them to the very best therapist or teacher in your child’s life. Ask them to learn this method with you and to commit to it. It is not an overnight thing and there are times when you think your child will never get fluent. And then one day there is a breakthrough and you realize all that is going on in their head. For us the big breakthrough occurred because we decided to home school James and let him use the letter board for all his school work. His home school teacher and his SLP were committed to practicing it every day with him and it did not take long for him to take off. He has a whole different out look on school now because he can show how much he knows and help guide the studies. Soma told us in April that we should start slow with two 45 minute sessions a day of a 4th grade curriculum. (James is 14 and had been doing first and second grade work with life skills). Well by the end of October he was flying through all the 4th grade books and we asked him what he would like to study for November and December. He spelled “The American Classics”. We had NO idea that he even knew what that was. We weren’t sure we did! But his SLP who writes his curriculum went seriously creative with it and designed lessons on the great American poets, writers, artists, musicians and inventors. You have never seen a more engaged and happy person than James! I cannot imagine the boredom that he and so many of his peers with autism have lived through because we have not been able to give them a way to express what they know and think. No wonder they have so many behaviours at school. James is now doing a smattering of 6th to 9th grade work depending on the subject. His unit after the Christmas break is at his request “the history of the world”. A bit daunting for his SLP so she is starting with ancient civilizations.
If you’d like to read more about James’ program you can go to his Speech Pathologist’s blog at http://growingkidstherapy.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/forever-changed/.