Tuesday, May 4, 2010

There's a lot more going on in there than we know

My son, F1-2, has special needs. He is completely non-verbal, he makes some sounds, but if they mean anything in particular, I don't understand his language. Over the past year or so he's made tremendous progress in communication by using pictures. Specifically, the PECS system of communication. We have a board with velcro strips on the wall, and the pictures stick to the board. If he wants anything, he gets the appropriate picture and hands it to us. We started out with 1, then 2, and gradually worked our way up to about 8 pictures.

A few months ago he also learned how to open a web browser, and navigate his favorite tv show on Netflix. So it was time to add an additional picture to the board, a computer. By the end of the first day, it was by far his favorite picture. We didn't really have to teach him that one.

A few weeks ago, all of his pictures suddenly disappeared. It was hard to communicate with him without the pictures. I finally found them in a stack underneath the couch. I thought he might have slid them in the crack between the wall and the couch, but why would he do that? Maybe it was F1-3? She's been known to pull pranks. And so has F1-1.

I put all the pictures back on the board. Within a week they all disappeared again. All, except for "computer". Huh? Now I'm certain that he must have done it. He wasn't going to risk losing access to his computer, so he was careful to leave that one out. I still haven't found the pictures. There really is more going on in his little head than we give him credit for. Sneaky little fellow.


EcoGeoFemme said...

That must be so challenging. Still, it must be so good to know the wheels are turning even if it's hard for him to communicate it.

ScienceGirl said...

It's great that you are figuring out ways to communicate; I hope he keeps surprising you!

makita said...

@EGF: It's kind of hard to explain, but F1-2 is challenging in ways that the other "normal," in jargon often called "neuro-typical," kids aren't. At the same time, you'll never hear him complain about wearing certain clothes, or going to bed. He's different.

@SG: I suspect he's got quite a bit in store for us!

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Still waters run deep... and I guess every kid finds their own way to challenge their parents.