Obviously I haven't gotten the chance to do all those fancy things to the blog that I alluded to in the last post. What can I say? My children are anti-sleep. I promise it's coming...eventually...
Anyway, so I wanted to talk about a very exciting development: the Boog is starting to communicate. No, he's not talking or signing. He's handing us pictures.
Okay, so there's this nifty thing called the picture exchange system. Non-verbal kids get a bunch of cards with pictures of objects and activities on them and they can hand them to a caregiver to request items, answer questions, etc. Cool, right?
As you can imagine, the Boog made this system infinitely more complicated than anyone could have foreseen. He wouldn't be the Boog if it was easy. He threw a wrench into the works by falling in love with the picture cards! He loves to hold small items and feel them all day long (his therapists call them fidgets), and the cards were apparently just the right size for fidgeting. Thus, all early interactions with the picture cards turned into,
"RyRy, give Mommy the card to get block."
"RyRy, give Mommy the card."
So ignoring you, Mom.
"RyRy, look, block!"
Uh huh. Yeah.
"RyRy...don't you want the block?"
No, it seems vitally important to you, though, why don't you keep it?
"Okay fine, keep the darn card, I'll play with the block!"
All of this occurred while my son blissfully turned in circles, rotating the card and staring at it in glee while periodically pausing to give me a look like, "I ain't playin' your game, lady, look how friggin' awesome this card is!"
After much training at therapy, however, we're finally starting to be able to use the system a little bit. I can ask him certain questions and get answers and he occasionally brings me a card to ask for something. It is AMAZING what he knows and hasn't been able to express so far. He knows who Mommy and Daddy and sister and doggy and kitty are. He knows block, book, ball, blanket, TV, etc. Completely independent of the PECS stuff, he also has started responding appropriately to commands and requests like, "Come here", "Give to Mommy", "Show to Mommy", "No touch", "Where's your (insert object here)?", "Point to (a character or object in a book)".
It all seems to have come out of nowhere, but it seems obvious now that he's been in there all along and he's bright and funny and delighted to finally be able to communicate a little. He's still not talking, but it helps to know that he's listening and retaining information. Maybe he can eventually explain to us what the appeal of rotating a small card is...though he probably thinks that should be obvious. Silly parents.