Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rewards


I know I've been a little scarce lately. Chalk it up to moving followed by RSV, I guess... Just one of those little gifts our toddlers so generously bestow on us.

But while those kinds of gifts are the negatives of this job, it certainly has its rewards too. And wow, this week was just full of them.

Take for example, the little girl who has been imitating any one-syllable word I say to her for about four months now... but can't get out two syllables or two words to save her life. I was so excited this week when I picked up a puzzle and said, "Say puzzle," and she said it, with both syllables. But not half as excited as when I then reached to open the bag the puzzle was in, and said, "Say "open puzzle"", fully expecting her to simply say, "Ope." as she typically will, hoping against hope that she might actually say "Open." "Open puzzle," she repeats with perfect clarity. I about fell over, I was so shocked.

Or how about the little boy who has been working on the word "milk" for no joke, six months. Has NEVER been able to say it. Always calls it "buck". He asked for "buck", I said, "Say milk. mmmmmiiiiiillllllkkkk." He drags it out just like me, "bbbbbuuuuuucccckkkk." I sigh. "Mmmmiiiillllkkkk," I repeat, handing it to him. "Mmmiiilllk," he says. "YOU SAID IT!" I gasp in astonishment. And that little boy, I tell you -- his entire face lit up, he leaped up from the floor and ran across the room to his mother, who was on the phone and not paying a bit of attention, and shrieked, "MOMMY, MOMMY, I SAID MILK!!!!!" And he did indeed say milk. Perfectly. EVERY SINGLE TIME after that. I can't explain it, but I sure am excited. :)

Then there is the severely autistic child that has been working for ALMOST A YEAR, week after week after week, and still the child has yet to communicate ANYTHING. No signs. No words. Nothing. I cannot tell you how many millions of times we have taken that child's hands and made him sign "more" so he could be swung in his blanket more, nor how many millions of times we have taken his hands and made him sign "eat" and given him a fruit snack. Over and over and over. It gets so frustrating after awhile. But yesterday? Yesterday I said, for the three millionth time as he reached for the fruit snacks and tried to grab them from his mother's hand, "No, tell Mommy "eat"" AND HE SIGNED IT!!! And then while swinging him, HE SIGNED MORE. TWO SIGNS in one day!! And then... THEN.... while reading his doggie book that has a dog on every page and we have said doggie to him ten bajillion times, and signed it, and barked, and asked him to point to the doggie and helped him do so.... but he has NEVER appeared to have ANY understanding of even the concept of "doggie", the child SPOKE. He said "doggie". Not once, not even twice, but THREE times the child said doggie, TWICE the child said arf arf, and once he signed dog!! This is mind-blowing.

So. It's been an awesome week in the speech department. Other than that, I have nothing to write about except cough, cough, cough, because cough, cough, cough is all that I've done for the last week or two. RSV. It stinks. :)

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Those are the momoents when we see that we really do make a difference. I had one of those moments several weeks ago and I just wanted to squeeze me students I was so excited.