Tonight, Jonathan and I engaged in a battle of wills.
Jonathan has determined that the best thing ever is to pull a chair up to the TV, stand up and put his face on the screen. I am not sure if this is a visual stim thing, or he just thinks it is cool. Who knows? Generally, he really isn't a "stimmy" kid.
Tonight I decided to put my foot down. Jonathan would pull the chair over to the TV. I said "No" in my sternest mommy voice. He would whine, cry, and look at me out of the corner of him eye as he ever so slightly would move the chair closer. I would move it back. Cry, whine, sneak. Finally, as I sat on the sofa with Dan and watched him slowly try to inch the chair back toward the TV with the very corner of his eye on me, I said "Someone is gonna go nighty-nighty!!"
His head whipped up and his eyes met mine with instant recognition. He knew EXACTLY what I said. And more than that, his expression also said yes... nighty-night is exactly what I want.
I repeated "Nighty-night? Ok, get blankie"
He started looking around for his blanket. Dan said "on the chair" and pointed. He ran over, grabbed his blanket, and reached for me. And off we went.
Most of the time we really are not sure what he understands. I know he knows more than he lets on, but often it is difficult to ellict responses to our verbalizations. However, tonight we really got to see him react to our words. Follow directions. Engage in real social non-verbal and receptive verbal communication.
Small moments, but important ones.