There are so many stories from this past weekend that I could tell. There were a few good stories and one really bad one.
There is no way to tell everything on this blog – nor would I want to. Sometimes it’s easy to decide whether to tell a story or not. Sometimes it’s a harder decision. I’ll do the no-brainer one today.
Everyone who sees Jay sporadically comments on how much more he is talking than the last time they saw him. And it’s true. He is learning more and more words everyday, but his language pragmatics is still very limited. He understands way more than his ability to talk would have you believe. He tends to stick to the same scripts that he has learned – changing up one or two of the words to fit the situation. Pretty much, he only uses words mostly to satisfy his own needs.
“Can I have, (pause) juice please?”
“Can I have, (pause) i-Pad please?
“Can I have, (pause) eat please?”
“Can I have, (pause) come mummy please?”
He also will answer yes or no questions or things like “What is your name?” or “What do you want ?”
Questions that only call for a one word response.
He will take a stand with sentences like:
“No brush teeth” and “All done. Ready to go.”
What he will NOT do, is answer questions like “How was your day?” or “What is your favourite toy?” or “What did you eat for breakfast?”
He does not ask many questions. In fact, I think the only question he asks is “What is that ?”
The kid did not talk AT ALL until he was almost 4 years old so I am thrilled with where Jay is at now in terms of his talking. It has made a HUGE difference in our household. The number of tantrums are way down and we are in a better position to make him happy and/or comfortable because he can tell us when he wants something or does not want to do something.
Because of his communication difficulties, I have spent a lot of time complaining to his schools staff that one of the most important things to me is that they communicate with me about what’s going on. I want to know what he’s doing in class. I want to know what skills his therapists are working on day to day. I want to know if he had a bad day or a good day and why. I want to know how he is getting along with the other children in his class. I tell them that he cannot tell me for himself so I need them to do it.
It’s been a battle. He does not have a daily communication log like I’ve read so many other parents have for their children. I do get e-mails from one of his therapists because I have asked her to keep in touch with me and she’s been pretty good about it. Also we see his home-room teacher daily at drop off and pick up so she keeps us in the loop about his school life. It’s not a formal process and I only get as much info as I do because these women are just naturally nice/awesome/understanding people.
On Friday, Jay’s class had their end of year school trip to the Bronx Zoo. They couldn’t have picked a more perfect place for my boy. I tell you all the time how much he loves animals. The Bronx Zoo is one of Jay’s most favourite places to go. If I didn’t know better, I’d say his teacher chose this place for the trip because of her “teachers pet”. 🙂
When I got home from work on Friday evening Jay came running to me and said:
“I saw animals at the zoo.”
I almost had a heart attack. He has NEVER spoken to me before just for the sake of sharing something about his day.
I asked him what animals he saw but he didn’t tell me about any of them without prompting. That’s OK though. Baby steps are still steps forward.
That one sentence would have been enough to fuel me for a while but he didn’t stop there.
The next day we were at the park for a BBQ/Fun Day with Ace’s Boy Scout pack. When we 1st got there, Jay didn’t want to stay with the group so he and CC took a walk.
After some time, they rejoined us and when Jay saw me he said:
“I fish in the water.”
(That’s Jay fishing)
2 times in one weekend. 2 times he told me about what he had been doing. 2 times he volunteered information for no other reason than because he wanted to share his experience with me.
This is amazing and makes me feel so much better about sending him out into the world (aka kindergarten). I may be getting ahead of myself but it’s scary when you have a kid who is a prime target for bullying and/or abuse and they cannot tell you about their day. This may be a small step toward him being able to stand up for himself or at the very least, tell someone if something bad happens.