Thursday, January 4, 2007

Smartie Pants

Moosie's adaptive communication ability astounds me. The boy has 3 words and about 50 signs, but what he can concretely communicated is still rather limited. But, he can communicate his wants and needs pretty darn effectively by using what he has accessible in his environment.

This morning we were playing with some puzzle piece flash cards working on colors. He quickly found a card displaying a lollipop, tapped me, and then pointed to himself. I asked if he wanted a lollipop, and upon his adamant "Yeah!" I told him that he could have a lollipop after he was dressed.

An hour or more later after playing more games, eating lunch, packing his bag for school, etc. I stated that it was time to get dressed. Daddy dressed Moosie as I sat down to write a quick note to Moosie's new teacher.

A few moments later Moosie tapped me, then I acknowledged him and asked what he needed. He lifted his leg and pointed down.

"Yes, you have Thomas shoes on!" I went back to writing.

Moosie repeated his gesture and accompanied it with a wide vowel sound "AaaaaaaaH."

"Thomas shoes?" I questioned, and went back to writing.

A second later he brought a pack of flashcards and set them on the table. He pointed to the cards and said "AaaaaaH" again.

I scrutinized his mouth movements and sounds and analyzed the situation as I typically have to do when his communication is unclear. "You want to play cards?"

"Yeah! uh NO!"

He tried again, and then it clicked when I realized the pack of cards was from earlier that morning. "Do you want a lollipop?"


"You were telling me that you got dressed and that now you want your lollipop?" I clarified his actions to enforce that I recognized his attempts to communicate.


It took me awhile to catch on, but his persistence and frustration tolerance really amazes me. Of course the lollipops we have aren't pretty and swirly like the one in the picture, so Moosie wasn't too keen on the lollipop idea after all...

I know Moosie's peers most likely won't take the time to figure out what Moosie is trying to tell them, so I am just waiting for "the behaviors" to emerge at school. I still think an electric communication device would be great for him to communicate effectively and quickly to his peers, but that was one of the things I was talked down on during the IEP meeting. We'll see how the first few weeks go I guess.

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