Ava and I are like two halves of a communication whole. When it comes to common routine things I almost always know what she wants and what she’s trying to communicate. I know that she wants a snack when she gets up from nap. Usually we go through a question and answer routine. Do you want a banana…some yogurt…some milk…etc? She’s remarkably eloquent with intonation and vowels. I wonder if my ability to read her and to facilitate her communication is a mixed blessing. I’m pretty sure she’s less frustrated than other kids with her level of verbal skills because I’m so good at helping her. However, she’s reluctant to spend time with anyone but me. Also, she may not try as hard to verbalize because she doesn’t have to.
Recently we’ve begun teaching her sign. We also put up a communication board with the most common things she wants from the kitchen on the wall in the kitchen. I’m expecting her to actually ask for what she wants in one of those two ways (usually accompanied by a verbalization) instead of just guessing until I get it right. I think she likes it. She’s excited about being able to ask for what she wants using the communication board. She’s spontaneously using the signs for milk, please, and help. It’s really a lot of progress for only about a week of using these interventions.
There’s just so much more locked in that little head. She’s almost two. She should have at least 50 words and be using 2-3 word phrases. I don’t know that many signs, and our communication board only has 8 pictures. You can just tell that she’s wanting to communicate more complex thoughts and just doesn’t have the tools to do it. I wish I were fluent in sign so that I could open up a whole different method of communication for her. I want to hear what she has to say. I don’t care right now how she says it.