Making choices….we all LOVE to make our own decisions…even at five years old. Now, don’t get me wrong, at five a child can’t be expected to always make good choices – nor do we let them make big, life choices. But how about choosing what dvd they are in the mood to watch or if they want something to eat vs. something to drink. OF COURSE they should be able to do that. But what if they can’t. Not because they do not want to but because they do not have the voice to ask for what they want.
We are in the VERY BEGINNINGS of communication with Boston. While this is not my first go around with a non-verbal child (Brooklyn of course has Rett Syndrome and is non-verbal) however it is for sure completely different (much more frustrating) process this go around with Boston. So we are starting slow, starting basic.
Starting with simple things like this:
Two switches along with two pictures hung with Velcro to our kitchen wall.
“May I have something to eat please?”
“May I have something to drink please?”
The great thing about using the velcro is we really have THREE options of communicating here.
1. Pushing the button to hear the request
2. Pointing to the photos to show us the request
3. Pulling the photo off the wall and bringing it to me to make his request.
Again – this is a SLOW super LOW TECH start to communicating – with my dream of moving over to a communication app on his ipad using images to make choices, and talking to us. But it is a start, and you have to start somewhere. For right now it is teaching Boston that he has a choice, even if it is a simple one like this.
The photo below shows laminated 4×6 photos of his dvds. He will bring us the one that he wants to watch and it is a DREAM! Of course this means we have to keep the dvds organized and be able to FIND the one he chooses or there is no avoiding the meltdown. After all if he is given the choice – it should be available!
He is actually doing pretty AMAZING with these few things that we have introduced so we will absolutely continue to build his communication skills, continue to encourage his ability to choose. I can only imagine the frustration he deals with – there is so much in that beautiful mind of his that he just can’t get out………yet.