'Diversity in abilities forces us to define our own “normal” and allows us to choose what we celebrate.' Anchel Krishna Today's Parent
I made note of a few language related things that Carter has demonstrated over the past few months. These are things that made me smile, laugh, or say, 'Yes!' They are things that made me realize how far Carter has come with his communication skills, both receptively and expressively.
Take a look...
Taylor came to the dinner table one night, after everyone else. We'd already said grace and had begun eating. As she sat down she apologized, "Sorry I missed grace," she said. Carter responded by pushing the button on his talker that was programmed with our version of grace, 'For our daily food, we are thankful. Amen.' We laughed and thanked him for the recap. He made sure that grace was said for Taylor, too.
Kids would not be kids if they didn't go through the potty humour stage. Jack and Taylor have been laughing, for what seems like years now, about the word 'underwear' and all things related. Carter is right there with them. He's found the 'underwear' button on his talker and just loves making his brother and sister laugh by repeatedly pairing underwear with someone's name.
Observing and commenting
Back in the heat of the summer we were sitting at the table eating lunch. Carter was doing his usual thing with his talker which is to converse a bit with us and then divert to exploring and playing around with his device (this basically consists of him randomly hitting buttons so that what he is saying doesn't make much sense - much like a toddler babbling and experimenting with new sounds and words).
So, when I heard him say mountain I didn't think much of it - probably just more exploration on his part. But then he paired mountain with beer and spoke both words together. That got my attention. Mountain Beer? Sounds cold and clear, like great tasting beer. I looked over and there was Carter pointing to my husband's can of Coor's Light. But of course, Mountain Beer!
|note the mtn graphic above the label|
Pushing the limits to get a reaction
Carter has the names of several people programmed into his talker. For my husband and I he has Mom and Dad (of course). I've added and deleted people's names over time as needed; classmates move away, teachers change, etc. Carter recently got a new therapist at school whose name is Stacey, so I programmed her name into his device.
One night during dinner, Jack and Taylor were talking about going for a swim after they finished eating. That's when Carter interjected with, 'Swimming Stacey.' I was pretty sure he meant me but I wanted to make sure he wasn't referring to his therapist - perhaps they'd talked about swimming at school. I asked him, 'Do you mean Stacey at school?' A big grin spread across his face and he pointed directly at me. He laughed and laughed and I couldn't help but laugh, too.
Jack and Taylor play around with calling my husband and I by our first names and it started a while back. But, this was the first opportunity Carter had to try it out and he loved it, giggling away - just like my other two. It was awesome.
Although some days it seems that Carter's language development and competency with his talker is advancing at a painstaking rate, he is definitely progressing - and it's often when I stop to take note of the little things that I recognize this.
Carter has demonstrated that he can show consideration toward others, he can make observations, he can get a reaction, and he can be a big goofball. These are the things that most parents take for granted with their children.
One of the greatest things I've learned from Carter is not to take anything for granted and to appreciate and be grateful for the little things.
I'm not alone in this feeling. Take a look at some of the milestones my fellow bloggers are celebrating with their kids:
Max Walks Up the Stairs for the First Time