Tuesday, 24 July 2012
Short Stack and I had an actual conversation over the weekend. I asked him questions, and he answered.
Not an echolalia response either, but an actual response.
One aspect of Autism that many are aware of is the challenge of social skills and communication. It's a huge deal for us atypical folks to have a dialogue with our children with Autism.
Now, his answers were very short and to the point - and if you weren't listening to him - you wouldn't catch it.
The conversation came about when I asked him if he wanted some friends.
His answer was 'friends, please' (his way of saying, 'yes')
To ensure this was not an 'echo' response I asked, 'don't you have any friends at school?'
His answer was 'no'.
Then I shared with him that we need to find him some good friends. One's that will play, have fun, and who we can all trust.
He got very excited and started hand-flapping/stimming, smiling and laughing.
We went on with this back and forth for several more minutes, with me asking questions with follow up questions - trying to find out what his interests are - if he wanted music turned on while riding down the rode.... each time he responded appropriately.
It took some extra work, but the key to it was not just listening to his response - but rather watching how he responded. Like his mother so much can be said with a look, a stare, a smile.
It was a good day of developing dialogue.
Day's like this are always memorable and special. It provides a glimmer of what's to come - when the rest of the world can see what I see everyday, a very smart kid just trying to express himself.