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.