For the last month or so I have been receiving notes in Adrian’s back pack. When I received the first one I thought it might be about Adrian not sharing playground equipment again. His school has just put in a fantastic new attraction. A spinning seat he calls the bucket. I had know idea the new playground even had one until I started receiving notes about Adrian’s inability to share the spinning seat. Adrian has the most severe case of Autism at his school from what I have been told. That being said he also has SPD. He could spin in a chair all day long and not get dizzy. One of the many reasons why we no longer own a spinning computer chair. Playground equipment like this will be a favorite for him. Spinning is one of his favorite things and always calms him down.
Upon receiving these notes I started discussing with Adrian reasons why we need to share. I told my son that if he left other children out and did not give them a turn he would make them sad. We discussed, as much as you can with a child who has Autism, how to make friends and that bad decisions have consequences. He would lose a recess privilege because not only was he not sharing he was also refusing to come inside when the bell had rung. That he needed to make a good decision. He does not like to lose privileges and caught on quickly. He also moved to a different playground obsession…
The merry go round. He lost a baby tooth last week when he got ran over by it. Now he has an odd smile. These notes were about neither of the play ground equipment though. They were notes that every mother who has had a non verbal child dreams of or at least I have. Adrian has been talking in class. Oh yeah his speech has grown by leaps and bounds since September. Believe me both the husband and I have noticed. Apparently so have Adrian’s teachers. I have received several messages that Adrian is talking in class so much that he is disrupting himself and others. I have been happy. Although I can see how his teachers would not be. We have seen him talk more than he ever has here at home too. Yesterday I took a nap and when I woke up 1.5 hours later my husband was excited! Adrian did something he had not done before. He said excuse me dad I am hungry. He does not ask to eat. He simply goes to the cupboard and grabs what he wants or if he needs help he will start shrieking. Even at 7 with three years of ECSE and Kindergarten speech therapy he shrieks until I come to him then he will say a word usually it’s pretzels sometimes he says gluten free pretzels. He is a kid that does not know how to use the words he has to speak. Lately he has been telling me about how to create a sentence and what he thinks a sentence is. He will use partial sentences sometimes and whole sentences other times. He has the language but there is often a disconnect.
When the husband started to tell me this I immediately started to think about Adrian’s developing speech usage and how we could use the iPad he will get for Christmas to develop his speech further. I am quite excited! We found out he started using an iPad in speech this September. When I took him to the store and he saw an iPad on display he said look mom it’s an iPad. I never knew he has seen one before but he said he uses one with his speech therapist at school.
I think that iPad might be the cause of his recent language and talking skills. He is telling everyone he can about the games he plays at home and how to play them. We do not force him to interact with us in our home. He has a choice to do so. A lot of the time he chooses video or computer games. They make sense to him. Still I don’t want him to get lost in his own world so we try to join him in his. We listen to him tell us about what game he is playing and how he plays it. When he asks his dad to play with him the husband does so willingly. We have to connect with him in the ways he shows us to as well as trying to get him to connect with us in our ways. I think it is wonderful that he wants to talk at school. I am sure I will be having another discussion with him about when he can talk during school and when he should not talk. Goodness I hope there are other kids in his class who love computer and other types of games as much as he does and can tell him about their interests.