Monday, April 13, 2009

Self-Taught

No thanks to his parents, SOMEONE has learned some of his ABC's. I give full credit to the VTECH Write & Learn Letter Pad...




and the Leapfrog Fridge Words Magnetic Word Builder.
The first we keep in the car and Brady pushes the buttons over and over... and over. Just for fun, so we thought. The second is on our fridge and Brady prefers to hit the middle button juuust right so it malfunctions and makes a horrible static sound.


A few nights back Troy and I were discussing how Brady obsessively pushes the same buttons over and over. His stimming has escalated lately and we figured the button pushing was no exception. On a whim I asked Brady to touch certain letters. He did so with 90% accuracy. We have tested him a few more times and, while he doesn't know all of the letters, there are several that he always gets right. I didn't know whether to cry with joy or with sorrow for the extent by which I may have underestimated him.


It's incredibly difficult to understand this boy's capabilities because he is almost 4 years old yet he doesn't speak. Not a word. He used to say "yeah" but he lost his one and only word. I don't know where it went or how to find it. He can say "sssss" when (and only when) he is on the swing. Occasionally he will babble and we may hear a "g" sound or "v" sound. He has lost (or refuses to use) most of his sign language. It's hard to tell if he is willing and unable or able and unwilling to improve his expressive communication.


We have a hugely important meeting tomorrow at the school. Brady's teacher, aids, speech therapists (he has more than one) and a speech device representative will all be there. I am praying that an augmentative communication device will be the answer. I have seen some demos online and they use the same PECS pictures Brady has learned to use and a computer will generate a voice as he chooses a picture. Somehow technology has allowed for sweet-sounding children's voices and not strange, robotic computer sounds. I hope, hope, hope this is the answer for Brady. I would love to hear what's on his mind.

8 comments:

Elisha said...

That's so sweet, Kajsa. Did you know that you're an amazing writer? I love that you can express your thoughts and feelings so eloquently (sp?). I have a feeling that with a little more time and help, Brady will be taking after his mom in that respect. Good luck with the meeting!

jane said...

ohhhh, that is sooo cool. way to go Brady! good luck at the meeting tomorrow, keep us posted!

literally.

happy easter, a day late, we miss you guys!

{{{HUGS}}}

Nate said...

Way to go Brady! Learning your letters is a huge accomplishment. Best of luck on the communication device meeting. I'm sure it'll go well.

Candle Ends said...

I am constantly being reminded that Misha picks up more than he lets on. Like signs that he has picked up just from watching Signing Time. He shows me all the time how smart he really is despite his genetic setbacks.

Candle Ends said...

Oh, yah, I forgot to add. Misha also loses words now and again. He says them for a day or week and then stops for some reason. I am also not sure it's too much work or what the reason, but he does it too.

It's good to know that someone else is seeing these things too.

tonya said...

I hope your meeting today went well. Technology is amazing, I hope that there is something that can help Brady express himself. I bet it is so frustrating for him.

onceapickle said...

How did your meeting go today? I hope well. Let us know what you found out.

I hope you know what a great Mom you are. Please don't dwell on possibly underestimating Brady...as parents, we ALL do it! I could quote you numerous times when I thought a change or challenge would be too much for one of my kids and time and time they prove me wrong. You and Troy are both wonderful, loving parents and you did the very best you can for your sweet son. Hang in there! I too have a feeling that communication with Brady is only a matter of time.

Hope you guys had a great Easter!

onceapickle said...

PS- sorry, I meant to say you "do" the very best you can!