This one boggled my mind. I’ve always said that one of the most important skills a parent of an autistic child can have is that of pattern recognition. There is usually a reason why your child does something, and I’m becoming more and more convinced that if you study the pattern of what’s going on with and around your child and what they do or create within that, you may begin to figure out the why behind what he or she does. I have slowly developed this skill at least to some degree either through experience, knack, or outright necessity. I was really glad for it today.
Not surprisingly, it’s hard to evaluate the math skills of a non or minimally-verbal autistic child. That difficulty may easily span much further along the spectrum, but I can only speak from our own personal experience. It didn’t dawn on me until the J-Man built the following – and I figured out at least part of what he was doing – that he might be more able to express the math skills he does have visually. I think he gave us his first big clue today that this is indeed a real possibility.
The J-Man constructed the following two towers out of Duplos. He actually built two more along these lines, but I didn’t get pictures of them. See if you see what the relationships are. (Answers included at the end.)
[Hint – We actually found two ‘answers’ to this first one.]
[Hint – I think there’s only one for this one.]
OK. Figured them out yet? Scroll down for what I saw at least. If you see something I didn’t, please post in the comments! And while you’re at it, how do we expand on this discovery?
Tower 1: It’s 9 blocks tall to the top of the shorter side and 9 more blocks up from there to the top of the long side. Also, the color pattern of the first 9 blocks repeats with the last 9. That’s some serious patterning.
Tower 2: The shorter side is 14 blocks tall and then it is 7 more blocks up to the top of the longer side. Nice way of showing how to double a number, show 2/3 and 1/3, or just generally show an appreciation for something like the Rule of Thirds for Lego building. The color pattern this time doesn’t repeat obviously (dawned on me just now that he didn’t have the necessary color blocks to do that if he wanted to). However, it’s possible there is a color pattern to this that I didn’t figure out. That’s happened before.