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Posts Tagged ‘humor’

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The natural patterns and rhythms of verbal communication do not come naturally to Nik. Despite the fact that he’s had his speech device for three-plus years now, he still struggles with parts of speech and being able to put words together in a way which is understandable to “outsiders.” It’s just a part of how his brain is wired. Much of Nik’s default method of communication is “telegraphic,” meaning that he will use one word for multiple meanings and that meaning is figured out by the listener who must either be psychic or must elicit more information to determine the context in which Nik means them.

For example, Nik may say “Park Daddy” to mean any of the following:

I want to go to the park with Daddy when he gets home from work.

I went to the park with Daddy this morning.

Will Daddy take me to the park?

I like going to the park with Daddy.

In speech therapy, Nik is working on using “action words” to go with the things he labels. For example, when he says “Park Daddy,” Ms. K will ask what actions he can do at the park– swing, climb, etc. They work on pairing nouns with verbs and reinforcing structure and the relationship between them. It’s a painstaking process which needs to be supported consistently– not just in his twice weekly sessions with Ms. K.

Nik loves to chatter to me as we drive along to the store after school or on the weekends. I try to encourage and coach his language use all the time. Lately, though, I can tell that Nik finds it annoying. I can’t say I blame him; who likes to be grilled all the time, right? Sometimes, he flat-out refuses to participate and changes the subject to avoid the work. Others? He plays me like a fiddle and I don’t even realize it until it’s too late!

* * * * * * * * * *
On the way home from the store yesterday, we shared a small bag of chips. As we drove along, I doled out chips every time Nik asked “more chips.”
“Nik, what actions can we do with chips?”
We’ve done this exercise often enough so I knew, from the silence in the back seat, that he was processing the fact that chips are food and you can eat, bite, or chew food.  Uncertain if I would need to prompt him with possible answers, I asked again.

“Nik, what is an action we can do with chips?”

I heard the quiet beep of Nik activating the screen on his device to answer.

“H-O-L-D bag.”

Well played, son. Well played.

* * * * * * * * * *
I promised Nik we would go to McDonald’s after his therapy this morning. He was extremely excited.  We don’t dine there with any remote degree of regularity; I try to save it for special times (or travel emergencies) and he loves going inside to eat.   On the way to see Ms. K, Nik and I were discussing what he would have for breakfast. He suddenly got stuck in a loop and began to perseverate on eggs.

“Eggs, eggs, eggs, eggs…”

Doing my best to help him break out of it, I tried to expand the language. “Nik, what can you DO with eggs?” I asked.

“Eggs, eggs, eggs, eggs…”

“Nik, there are lots of things we can do with eggs, right? Eggs are food and we can…” I began to sign eat, bite and chew as possible clues for him.

“Eat, eat, eat”  he replied from the back seat.

“Very good! That’s right. We can eat,” I signed. “Or we can Buh…” as I signed the word bite and made the sound of the letter B.

“Eat, B-”

I could tell he was about to spell it out and I started to nod in approval.

“…A-C-O-N. Eat bacon. Eat bacon.”

Yep, I’d say he’s got the important stuff down pat.

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Nik’s school is on a field trip today to see this movie:

Last night, I sat with him to show him the movie trailer on his iPad to prepare him that his school day would be different from his usual routine. As the video began to play, he snuggled against me and put his head on my chest. *cue lump in throat and misty eyes*

When the trailer finished, Nik reached for his speech device and promptly spelled chimp…

T-I-M-P

The plural? CHIPS, of course.

I almost died from the cuteness.

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He really is a badass little dude!

Badass. Total.Badass.

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My Facebook status earlier today:

Trying to figure out how to break the news to my husband —on our tenth anniversary, no less!!— that our son *must* have been switched at birth. Nik, apparently does not care for fresh-from-the-oven-and-gooey GF brownies. I’m distraught. Clearly, this is NOT my child. 😉

I mean, really, I know he likes chocolate. But not brownies?? Highly suspicious.

Thankfully, it seems I’m off the hook for telling my husband about the switcheroo. (WHEW! That would have been more than a tad awkward.)  I now have incontrovertible proof the boy is my husband’s son.

Nik climbed the gate from the playroom into the kitchen, opened the fridge and started “shopping” for a snack—because, you know, the quarter-pound of chicken salad and half-dozen rice crackers he had just consumed not five minutes prior were not enough. CLEARLY.

Curious to see what he was in the mood for, I let him choose whatever he wanted; being the curious child he is, he chose a closed container—which contained half of a Vidalia onion. I opened it and let him smell it, confident he would wrinkle his nose. “Do you want some?”

I was not prepared for him to sign yes. Further, I was even less prepared for him to actually like it!  My little Shrek-boy ate about half a good-sized slice. Swell.

Wonder if I can get him to eat some parsley. Or a breath mint?

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My son is a wise-ass, erm,  comedian.

Overheard in the playroom early this morning…

Me: Good morning, Lovey-bear! Can you tell Mama “Good morning?”
Nik: (using his “talker”) Yes.
Me: Um, honey, can you use your talker to SAY, “Good morning?”
Nik: Yes.

Excitedly, Nik starts to reach for his talker as if he’s going to comply with my request for a greeting.

Nik:  Go swimming please. Swimming cool* please.

I swear, Rodney Dangerfield had nuthin’ on me.

[We think Nik is saying cool where he means to say pool. It’s awfully endearing.  Until one hears it all.day.long!]

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I don’t know exactly when it happened, but I woke up one day and discovered my son is a complete ham. He’s funny and he knows it; the boy cracks himself up. Ironically, he’s actually camera-shy and won’t perform for the camera.  Once he knows the camera is there, he usually stops doing whatever utterly hysterical thing he’s been doing that caught my attention in the first place.  

Sometimes, just sometimes, though, I can capture a moment that makes me smile.  Or laugh. 

Or wonder “What the heck goes through that boy’s head?”

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