Thursday, May 27, 2010

I want...

There was a time when Haley couldn't put two words together.  It wasn't that long ago.   Haley and I don't always need words.  I can usually understand what she wants.  She brings me things that she wants help with like snacks and drinks and videos.  I have taught her to use her words though and I make her use them.

Once my brother told me that he got upset when his daughter said "I want (that.)"  I don't really remember what it was that she wanted or how she had said it but I remember my reaction to his attitude.  I told him that I would be so grateful if Haley said "I want" anything.  That was back when the sounds we heard from Haley really didn't mean anything to us.  I think they meant something to her though.  Haley has always seemed very intelligent to me.  She seems to understand a lot more than she can communicate.  Words just don't come easily to her.  The private speech therapist that we used to take her to said she had Apraxia of speech.

When Haley brings me something like the Kool-Aid pitcher I make her "use her words."  I usually just give her a look that I reserve for the situation, but if that doesn't work I say "What do you say?"  On a good day she will then say "I want Kool-Aid please."  (imagine this said slowly pausing after each word)  She has done this a couple of times without my prompting but usually I have to get her started.  Sometimes I say "I" and then she can start from there.  Sometimes I have to model the whole question for her word by word.  I know an English teacher would not call it a question, they would call it a statement, but it works for me.  At least she is starting to put words together.

We have always been polite in our house.  We are polite to each other and to our girls.  I thought that if I wanted them to use words like Please and Thank You that they needed to hear them from me.  Haley uses please really pretty well.  I always make her say it before I do something for her.  Thank You is a little harder.  I always say Thank You if she hands me something or does something that I ask her to.  Usually after I say it she says it back to me.  If I say Your Welcome then she says Your Welcome.

I revel in the times that Haley corrects herself and when she puts words together on her own.  This morning when the bus arrived Big Sis said "Bye Haley."  Haley said "Bye." and then after a beat she said "Bye echel" (which is my rendition of how she says her sisters name.)  It was great, not only did she correct herself but she made the connection to her sister.  She is thinking, not just repeating.  It made my day.

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