We have a saying in our house, don’t state the obvious. However, sometimes what is obvious is easily overlooked. As I was falling asleep last night, I replayed the day’s events and realized I had missed an opportunity.
Because Jess isn’t as chatty at home as she is when we are out, the ice cream social was created. I don’t know which is more exciting for her, having ice cream or seeing Heidi, however, the combination is a magical combination.
I wish I could say Jess had a bevy of friends, she doesn’t. It’s easy to assume that this is because she has Angelman Syndrome (AS) but on closer scrutiny, Jess is particular about who she wants to be with. She does gravitate towards other AS people but she has only met a few. Fortunately, Jess is content with quality, not quantity, and doesn’t need to be part of a crowd. One thing I know for sure is that Heidi is on her A-list.
The staff at It’s Nutt’s know Jessie. Like all their patrons, they never rush her when she’s ordering. On this day, the restaurant was quieter than usual which makes it easier to hear Jessie’s Talker.
While waiting for the ice cream to be served (with all the toppings that she ordered), Jess saw Heidi’s new phone and didn’t hesitate to pick it up (only good friends allow others to touch their phone much less explore). Jess wasn’t interested in the apps but instead opened the photos. Somehow, she figured out how to create slideshows (I think they were of Heidi’s kids). After that, she started taking pictures and saw that she could change the filters (our phone doesn’t have this feature). Then she and Heidi played with Snapchat. All in all, it was a fun afternoon and we needed a winter distraction.
One of the biggest challenges being an AAC user is not being able to talk to other people who use a Talker. In this sense, Jess is always the odd man out. This is when I realized that we missed an obvious opportunity. There is no reason why I can’t bring my Talker and Heidi is always packing. As important as modeling language is, it’s just as important for us all to converse with our Talkers because we can. Next time, we will.
Just one more…I don’t like this photo of me but I do like the photos Jessie takes. Of course, these are just some of the unedited photos. At home, Jess uses her old iPad and an iPod. The larger iPhone 10 was easier for her to manipulate.