Sunday, January 3, 2010

"Can he talk?"

Bitty has made so much progress, and yet as he gets older the divide between his development in some areas and those of his peers seems to only widen. One of those areas is communication.

Not long ago, the boys had a friend over who asked me how old Bitty is. Well, first he asked Bitty but got no response, even with a little prompting from me (although Bitty did eventually at least look at him). So he asked me instead. "He's four," I answered. "Oh, my little sister is four too!" he said, "but she can talk. Can 'Bitty' talk?"

Hmm... define "talk"? I thought to myself, as it really is more complicated in practice than it sounds... but I just answered "yeah, he's learning to talk."

Someone else asked me recently whether Bitty understands when he answers a question by repeating it back (or more accurately, repeating back the last 2-3 words of the question). It was an honest question, the person was just trying to better understand Bitty.

There are times when it's hard to know for sure. But most of the time, yes, he does understand. I think he probably understands more than even we realize.

Cuddlebug and Bearhug sometimes complain that "'Bitty' can't talk" but they are pretty good at understanding him (and sometimes his actions leave no room for doubt as to exactly what he's trying to say, lol). Sometimes they'll even "translate" for me, explaining what they believe Bitty's various phrases or mannerisms are meant to convey.

He is slowly developing his repeated words and phrases into "scripts" and learning how to apply them in different situations rather than simply repeating them immediately or at random later times (he still does a lot of that too, it's a process). He's getting better at "correcting" us when we misunderstand him, rather than having a meltdown (unless he's too tired or overstimulated, and then look out!).

As the saying goes, "not being able to talk is not the same as not having anything to say." Bitty has so much to say, it's just up to us to listen.

More on that in my next post...

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Rebecca on January 4, 2010 at 2:01 PM said...

"Bitty has so much to say, it's just up to us to listen."

So true. I love how you worded that.

Anonymous said...

This is all sooooo familiar. I share the frustration and the joy all at the same time. =)


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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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