Despite our best efforts, Ronan’s world is like living with Harry Potter. People appear and disappear rather randomly. When something is required, he asks for it and it appears. Equally, if he drops something, it is gone forever. While I can imagine quite a few children who would find living with Harry Potter rather exciting, it leads to endless distress for Ronan. He tries never to put down something he wants, often holding multiple items with his hands, and a few more with his mouth or chin. Full blown tantrums are always waiting in the wings at any time we cannot produce a requested item. He cannot fathom why?
Recently, we’ve been trying to help Ronan fill in the gaps, so that he knows how things come to be. While resistant at first, we found the hook (as usual) to be food. We’ve started to make fresh squeezed orange juice with Ronan. He goes and gets the orange from the fruit bowl and climbs up onto his chair to put the orange on the counter. We slice it together before the graceful challenge of picking up a half orange with his small three year old hand. He usually pokes a few fingers in to the orange, playing with the material, before aligning it to the juicer and pressing. And so it goes on, until we have a cup of orange juice.
Now – when Ronan discovers that the fruit bowl is empty, he gets less upset as he understands that there really are no more. We then get dressed and head off to the store to buy some. While we had lots of screaming at first, he now understands that there are quite a lot of steps to get some orange juice made. In the process of making orange juice, we sneak in all of those things we are supposed to be working on – tactile distinction, finding objects, and so forth.
Little by little we try to make Ronan’s world picture complete.