My mind wanders during the quiet of the day, sometimes in rhyme…
“She will not talk with too many people around,
she will not talk when I sit her down,
she will not talk if she’s put on the spot,
she will not talk, not, not, not.
She wants to chat when we are in the car,
or on the go, or in an ice cream bar.
She will talk when given more time,
and she likes to joke and likes to rhyme.
She likes to talk when she has something to say,
and wouldn’t it be nice if more people were this way?
She may be quieter than the average girl,
but when she does speak, it’s profound.
I’ve learned to listen and to learn to wait.
The words will come and it doesn’t matter if they are late.”
The best time to process thoughts is when I’m alone. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I’m thinking how to encourage Jessie to express herself more. Most of our conversations, she won’t sit still and would only linger long enough to see where a new word was added before exiting stage right.
I’ve been chided if I dared to compare her to other AAC users and over the years, I’ve learned to not pay heed to people’s expectations. Success only comes when I follow her lead. Jessie has her own voice and it’s her choice as to how and when she wants to use it. She learns on her own terms and I need respect her style.
As much as I would love for her to build long, perfect sentences, Jess tends to use one to three words. Even though I encourage her to be verbose, she prefers to be succinct.
For now, this is who she is and that is fine.
PS- don’t worry, I won’t give up my day job to be a poet…