The Navigator is easily distracted. When I say “easily distracted” I really mean willingly distracted, embracing distraction like someone having fallen overboard might embrace a floating plank in an open sea.
It is a hallmark of Pathological Demand Avoidance, of course — when faced with the anxiety generated by demands, he will find a way to avoid the demand. Sometimes many ways to avoid the demand.
As a rule, I can manage demand avoidance related to general household chores and hygiene routines. But the demands placed on him to do his schoolwork can be more intense for him.
When he was in traditional public school he often would stare into space while in class, or put his head down, and not engage in the lesson. Now that he is in online school from home, he doesn’t get to do that anymore.
So while we have reduced the anxiety related to transitioning from home to school, and related to social issues, we have traded that for anxiety about doing all his schoolwork and not being able to stare away the day.
I do give him breaks from the work, opportunities to rest his mind and soothe his anxieties. When he has to take a test or quiz he is on his own to complete them.
Both of these situations open the doors to distraction opportunities from which I might not be able to pull him back.
Wouldn’t it be great if there were some way to gently remind him to get back on task after a certain amount of time — without me nagging him?
Enter Re-Vibe, a cleverly simple little device designed to get kids back on task when they get distracted. Worn on his wrist, it looks like a watch without a face, and works by vibrating on a set schedule to redirect his focus back to his work.
It has multiple time settings from as short as three minutes to as long as 10 minutes. After some trial and error he decided that he liked it vibrating for him on five minute intervals.
He used it primarily when taking a break or taking a test or quiz, and it did appear to help him stay on task.
I would hear him talking to it now and then.
“Yes, I know, I am doing it,” he would say in a quiet, amused voice after it vibrated on his arm.
Re-Vibe is very easy to use. I was able to charge it using my phone charger and the battery lasted for days. The process for setting the time intervals is very simple and the instructions were clear and easy to follow.
He did express concern that the wristband on the model we were using was rough and stiff and that “kids who are sensitive might not like the feel of it.”
If I were to get another one for him I would choose a softer wristband option.
He also said that the vibration was comfortable for him and was not too overwhelming.
Do I think Re-Vibe is going to work for him all the time? No, probably not. As the Re-Vibe folks wisely acknowledge while it won’t motivate kids who don’t want to stick to their work, it will provide much needed reminders for those who do.
But it will be a useful tool in our toolkit that we can use to help re-direct his willing distraction.
This review is my honest personal opinion. I received compensation for this review and Re-Vibe sample. I am an Amazon Associate which means that if you click the product link and make a purchase, I will receive a small payment from Amazon. It will not change the price of your purchase.
Proceeds generated from this site go to local Autism and special education needs, Autcraft, a Minecraft server for children on the Autism spectrum and their families (Autcraft.com), and to Ride 2 Recovery, a non-profit organization that supports wounded veterans to promote a full and fast rehabilitation (Ride2Recovery.com).
Originally published at Autism Mom.