Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Language Stimulation- The with-holding method

I offered to stay with my girlfriends son while she attended back to school night. My intention was not to provide this beautiful autistic boy with a speech therapy/torture session. I have previously heard him talk but it has been somewhat infrequent and usually in a soft voice.
We arrived and Mom put on a video about trains to both entertain and distract him while she left. She snuck out the door and all was well, until the train video ended.
Well they have a nice new flat screen tv and a satellite dish and...this techno dork couldn't figure out how to re-start the DVD. I tried offering others. That's when all the talking started, "No, I love trains". "No, Thomas". None of my other train offerings would suffice. The tension increased as I wildly pushed buttons.
"No,no,no. PUSH THE BUTTON!" It was so loud and clear, I thought it was my kid. I've never heard him so loud.
I asked, "You want this train movie?"
"This train movie!"
"movie on"
It was then that I realized the DVD I was trying to restart was actually a VHS.
"Oh no, I am sorry!!" I yelped.
"AHH" he cried.
"Go Mommy room," he told me.
So in we went. I knew he had watched movies in there previously.
He showed me the tv and continued to direct me, "Movie on."
So I rewound the movie. Or I thought I was. Turns out I wasn't and the credits ran.
"AHHH, Movie!"
Finally I figured it out and so he watched the movie again. All was well.
Until, again, it ended after its 22 minute run.
Sweet boy came out of the bedroom and ate some water melon. Then he looked up at me with his moon-sized brown eyes and said, "Where's Mama?"
"Well, she is running an errand and she'll be back."
"Oh, she's coming back soon! It's okay,Buddy!"
"No okay Buddy!"
I rubbed his back a bit and let him be.
Tears, sadness, recovery.

After a few minutes he walked up to me, gazed right at me and leaned toward me. I kissed his face.
"Buddy, Mama will be back soon."

Later we played on the bed and he told me, "Tickle me please." We tickled and played and after a bit I left to go check on my kids in the family room.
I felt a tap on my shoulder, "Come tickle" and he pulled me back to the room.
"More tickle, please."
"down please!"
We laughed and tickled and had such a sweet time. It was so lovely. I really connected with him. How nice it was to truly experience and enjoy his sweet being. My only hope is that he recalls the last half of our visit more then the first half.


  1. isn't he the sweetest boy? I had a similar experience with him, where he blurred all sort of language. I am sure Mama A will be thrilled to hear that.
    Another personal reminder to not judge a book by its cover. :-)

  2. wow...can you come over and make Jake talk too? What a wonderful experience.

  3. I think his connecting with you while playing the tickle game was his way of forgiving you for being a techno dork. Sounds like in the end he had a really nice evening, too.