Making Choices

20131014-185554.jpgMany of you who follow this blog know that Boston is non-verbal. We currently have no real form of communication. We guess, a lot. He yells a lot. We have a couple “basic” things- he knows where his cups are stored and will go near them (and sometimes yell) letting us know he is thirsty.  Sometimes he will go and sit in the middle of the kitchen floor if he is hungry. He will go to the tv and bang on it or grab the remote and throw it if he wants to watch something. It pretty much stops there as far as communication goes.

Non-verbal is not new to me. Brooklyn is also non- verbal but she began communicating with me early on – learning to make choices with her eyes – and an occasional touch to something she wanted. Boston is not there yet. We can hold up two items (like two of his favorite movies) and we get nothing. He grabs them both and throws them down – we give two more – and the process repeats. Until recently….

I have been noticing that when I offer him choices he will grab the case and throw it to the floor – but then we will get to one and he will take it and put it back in the drawer (like in the picture above) and then close the door. I assumed that he did not want this one – after all he was “putting it away.” However I think that is his choice. He has watched me day after day take a dvd, put it in the player and then put the case in the drawer and shut it. I think he has picked up on this and he thinks by putting it in the drawer and closing it – that he is making it play.

We have gone with system this for a few days – and he seems to be happy with HIS choice and mamma is happy with this small victory!

2 Responses

  1. Kristy October 16, 2013 at 4:24 pm | | Reply

    AWESOME!!! Way to go, Boston AND Momma!

  2. Sarah October 17, 2013 at 8:21 pm | | Reply


    I’ve commented once before…I do ABA therapy with kids with autism who typically have minimal language skills. I had a thought reading this. Boston has trouble giving clear “indicating responses”: behaviors that simply indicate what he wants, not requests. It’s hard to teach that because you don’t know what he wants! However, there are ways to fix that, because even if his indicating responses aren’t very clear, there is typically some response that will help you figure it out, although what that is is dependent on the kid. One thing I was thinking is if you could get a computer or portable DVD player in the same room as the TV, and put one DVD in each device, so there are two movies on. Play each for like 30 seconds separately. After exposing him to both, wait. Again, this depends on the kid, but maybe he will stare at one screen, try to move towards it, press play, etc. Something should tell you which one he wants. Once you know which one is preferred, have him indicate the correct DVD. So maybe you take his hand, make him touch the DVD box, and say something like, “Sure, Boston, you can watch that one!” while turning it on. The goal would be that after doing that many times (and it can be done over and over again while he watches by pausing and repeating), he’ll figure out that touching the DVD box gets him that movie, and so eventually you stop needing to physically guide him to indicate the box. He’ll do it because it gets him what he wants.

    Sorry for the unsolicited advice. That just sounds like a very frustrating problem for you AND Boston!


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