Thursday, September 6, 2012

Some Say, Talk is Cheap

Little A is 5. He babbles, he gestures clearly, he spells and puts words together on a board logically, and verbalizes certain phrases that his caregivers understand, but as far as his annual psychoeducational assessment maintains, he still does not have fuctional speech.

According to the specialist who conducts the assessment, this is the main hindrance to Little A's "blooming" into what essentially can take him, if not off the autism spectrum, then certainly well into the high-functioning end. Naturally, any parent whose child has handicaps wishes those handicaps to be as manageable as possible, but when we consider how far Little A has come, it is a rather long way and we are incredibly glad.

These days he prefers to type. There is an app on the iPad, or he will  use Google, and as a last resort, simply type on a keyboard with the computer switched off, making sure someone stands over him to read what he spells out. He communicates efficiently this way, allowing us precious glimpses of what goes on in his very busy mind.

I've been keeping a log, and it delights me to read it over and see how he is learning to express himself better as each day passes. Here are some snippets, just as he types or spells them, with my interpretations in brackets. He hasn't yet mastered the art of leaving spaces between words:

July 20 -
ithappykownit (if you're happy and you know it, or simply, I am happy)
huging (hugging, I assume)
gigllebeellies (I have no idea where he picked this up, but there are characters known as the Gigglebellies, apparently.)

July23 - cikkacikkaboomboom (a favourite book at the time, and videos he enjoyed on youTube)

July25 - ifyouarehappyandyoukonwit (only two letters reversed, with no help from us)

July26 -
focus (no idea how he knows this word. Maybe his teachers or therapists ask him to do so, but none have spelled it out)
eachone (apparently, he gave his teacher at school several books, and spelled for him to read each one)
roudn (round)
logn (long)

Aug2 -

Aug4 -
cartrainbuswalk (yes, he knows how to get from Point A to Point B)

Aug8 -
fuuldownohno (fall down, after rereading Jack and Jill for the nth time, as he loves the falling down the hill bit)

Aug9 -
soory / srroy (an apology after a tantrum, first time ever without being told to make amends)

Aug14 - (these entries inspired by a current favourite book about jazz music and animals)

Aug15 -
swwmng askday (I want to swim, but I need to ask Daddy)

Aug22 -
pianobigbig (possibly referring to the baby grand at my parents' house)

Aug27 -
borcken (broken)
supermario (I had to ask his teacher about this as we've got nothing at home relating to Super Mario. Apparently, several classmates were talking about it and he was playing with them and listening to their conversation, even if he didn't join in)
keycar (We need a key to ride the car)
carbooks (Let's take the car and go to the bookstore)

Aug29 -
washbut (when asked if he was done on the toilet and needed help to clean up)

Sep5 -
washbut borcken (telling his teacher that the bidet we use to wash up after using the toilet was broken)
teacherfocus (teacher wasn't paying attention to his previous statement, so he wanted her to know he noticed)

The past two days, when on the way to school, Little A's been getting my Kindle and typing "carduck" or "carschoolduck" or "carseaduck." The duck pond near my shop is nearby, so I promised him that tomorrow, when there is no school that is the first place we'll visit. He deserves a reward for communicating, after all.


ChichaJo said...

That's amazing! Maybe he will be a writer when he grows up!

Peter S. said...

You got a nice picture of Little A, Stepford Mum! He's so adorable!

Stepford Mum said...

Jo, maybe!! I can cross my fingers :)

Peter, Big A took that photo! We got Little A to sit still because if not, he'd have fallen off that cement ball.