Saturday, July 12, 2008

The return of "no"

One of the things we've been working with Little Bitty on for a long time is "yes" and "no." He's never really done the head shaking or nodding thing but he does express himself so we've pretty much figured out his signals but wanted to teach him how to use the words yes and no. His speech therapist gave us some PECS cards to use for this too.

Several months ago, he could say no ("nuh") but he would say no for everything, whether his answer was actually yes or no. For example, we'd ask if he wanted some crackers, and he'd say "nuh!" So we'd put the crackers away because he said no, only to have him start jumping up and down, squealing and reaching for the crackers while opening and closing his hands (which means "I want that"). So what he really meant was, yes.

After much effort, he learned to say the word yes ("yets"). Only then, he stopped saying "no" and started saying yes for everything, whether the answer was yes or no. Using the same cracker example, I'd show him the box and ask if he wanted some, and he'd get a disgusted look on his face, shove them away with his hand and give me a resounding "yets!" LOL. Of course I'd tell him, "don't say 'yes' when you really mean 'no'" but he didn't care. He knew I could tell what he really meant.

Just this last week, we've started to hear him saying "no" again, and not only that but he's using it appropriately. It's been so cute to hear him, if I pick out the "wrong" pull-up he'll run to the cabinet saying "no, no, no!" and pull out the one he wants. Or when I wanted to play Guitar Hero and he yelled "no!" and pushed the guitar away.

I haven't heard him say "yes" lately so I don't know if that one's gone into hiding now. But he does give me a huge grin when I finally stumble on what he wanted, so he gets his point across :).


Genevieve Hinson on July 12, 2008 at 3:23 PM said...

Awwwwww. My youngest son had PECS for awhile (autism ruled out now) and it took a lot of training to get him to say yes with his ABA teachers.

We started with, "If you'd like a cracker, say yes."

He knew how to say no, but not yes. He used the word no when he meant yes as well.

Just those two word alone -- yes and no-- used appropriately changed his entire world. He could finally communicate his most basic of wants.

Congrats on the new words!

lonestar818 on July 15, 2008 at 11:15 PM said...

Thanks! Our older boys had a similar issue, they were great with using words for object identification but when it came to interactive communication it was a real struggle. They've come a long way! I know little man will too.


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I'm a mom of three boys on the autism spectrum, 11-yr-old identical twins and a 7-yr-old. My husband is a SAHD.


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