We’ve gone to bed. All is quiet. Moments later we hear a burst of laughter. Then it erupts into a deep belly laugh. She is now hysterical.
I’ve just gotten myself warm and toasty in bed and don’t want to get up, but my curiosity has gotten the best of me. While wrapping myself in a blanket, I tip toe into Jess’s room to see what all the ruckus is about. She was watching Three’s Company. She looked at me as if to say “Mom, you’ve been holding out on me, this is good stuff!”. The following night, the same thing happened except this time she was watching Newhart.
Week 8 of the AACtion plan had asked us to be more noun specific so they have the ability to say the name of things that they enjoy. Of course, when Jess was younger this would have been easy. Jess was enthralled with Big Bird, Chloe and Elmo and her favorite book was The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig. Many years later her interests are more sophisticated. She likes the story telling in Seabiscuit and she’s enamored with the visual of the recent Cinderella movie. It’s the dress. It’s beautiful and glitters.
Whenever I’m at the cross road of “I don’t know and clueless”, all I need to do is observe. The answers will appear as they did the other night. This morning I added several new(old) TV shows and asked her what her favorite was. My guess was Three’s Company, but I was wrong, it’s Newhart. This is why it is important to have choices. Having choices is very motivating.
As we add words, her thoughts expand. The more fluent I am with SFY, the better communication partner I become. There are things Jess is always asking about; visiting her favorite friend, going to the movies and what she wants to eat. Her phrases aren’t long, but she is expanding her thoughts. A large vocabulary allows you to speak in color. Cinderella’s dress isn’t just blue, it’s Cornflower blue!
It’s obvious now, but I didn’t realize that the more Jess is able to express, the better I get to know her. Being able to connect is what makes communication so powerful.