Ask for It

One of the goals for the coming year on the IEP is to get the Monster to ask for help when he needs it.

Asking for help doesn’t necessarily come naturally to anyone, but the issue here is getting him to verbally request assistance from another person, be it a classmate or an adult.

Now, mind you, the Monster does ask for help – when prompted, he does go into a “Can I have help please?” as a natural request.  If you were to ask me under normal circumstances, this is a perfectly acceptable plea for assistance.  The problem is that this fits into his rote request for anything, which is of the format “Can I have X, please?”.  Banana, hot dog on bread, chicken nuggets, drink… you name it, he knows that it fits in the X box.

The issue is getting him to use more generic and colloquial phrases, such as “Can you help me, please?”

As it was listed on his IEP, it was put out as a goal that was going to be encouraged by scenario, which to us didn’t seem to be ‘workable’ as a mechanism for teaching him to ask for help.  It turns out that the SLP’s idea of ‘scenario’ is to purposely sabotage his environment to put him into situations where he has to verbally communicate a need for help – putting snacks into containers he can’t open, providing him with foods that require opening in some fashion (ie, a banana), or knocking a few stages out of a process he knows well so that he struggles and needs the help (dressing).

He’s doing alright so far with it, just requiring a slight visual cue of the sign-language request for ‘help’ to remember to ask for it, and he’s not really diverging much from “Can I have help, please?”, but it’s a work in progress.

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