During this process of learning how to set up a blog, I am being humbled. In essence, I am learning a new language. Now I know how my daughter feels when we show her something that we are proficient in and expect her to just “get it” right away. Now I realize how unrealistic my expectations have been!
Repetition is important when learning a new skill. Just seeing it “once” or doing it “once” does not automatically build memory. We either learn by repetition, or we learn because there is an emotional attachment to the process. Maybe this is why Jess has certain words that she likes because she felt how powerful they were?
There needs to be an emotional connection when we model words using AAC. Maybe this is why we start with words that catch a child’s attention. In our case, ice cream is one of those words. It isn’t just the word I’m using, but all the ways to describe the word that make it come alive. Words have a job. They don’t just convey information, they connect us to each other. When Jess says ice cream, we then talk about what kind, do we have any, do we have to go to the store, is it the right time of day and the ever popular “can I meet Heidi for ice cream”? Ice cream is more fun when shared with friends. This word creates an emotional response. When I say no to ice cream, Jess found a new word on babble to describe how she felt my response was, “rude”.
I wish I could say that this was a brilliant observation that I came up with on my own, however, I’m pretty sure that this has been told to me in so many different ways over the years. It took building this blog to give me that ah-ha moment and connect the dots. It makes me realize how important it is to be patient with others that don’t come up to speed as quickly as you would like. Just all around patience is necessary in all areas of my life!
Every thing I write about has been through my eyes. I can’t speak for Jess. I can’t guess what she is thinking or necessarily know what she is feeling. However, I think blogging is putting us on the same side of the playing field. We need this camaraderie in order to help each other learn. I’m sure Jess is amused watching me struggle. Maybe she is saying “yeah, now you know how I feel?”. Obviously I have been oblivious to some fundamental truths. Hopefully, she will also see how struggling while learning something new is part of the process. I may have been bucked off the bronco, but I am going to get back on. This is what I want Jess to learn, to dust yourself off and try again. 8 seconds is a blip in time to those watching, but it is an eternity for those living the experience.