Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Driving Mr. Jonathan

There are lots of things to update: recent Word Watch activity, our IEP meeting last week, holiday plans, etc. However, I think I will just tell a little story.

Despite his relatively calm demeanor, the J-Man is a man of action. Clearly, he was meant for parents who are willing to run with the bulls and leap tall buildings with a single bound. Alas, he got us. Much like Tiger Woods, Jonathan likes variety. He likes new and exciting diversions. He is not a “stay at home and veg” kind of kid.

Now, any parent with a language-delayed child learns early on that in order to encourage communication you have to make the kid “work” for the good stuff. They want the cool new toy? Make them say “toy” (or some approximation thereof). A cookie? A drink? A Nintendo Wii? Make’m work for it! Motivation is the key… hookm’ with their heart’s desire and they will try to do the hard stuff for the highly sought reward.

And then … there is Jonathan.

Not much motivates Jonathan enough to really, really, REALLY work for it. He has to want it pretty darn bad. Unless whatever you are asking him for is easy to do, he is likely to move on then keep trying. The list is very short of things he will work for.

So whenever we get one, we pounce, regardless of the consequences.

And this is how we have ended up driving Mr. Jonathan around every night for his “Evening Constitutional”.

Here is how it starts:

Jonathan grabs my hand and pulls me to the stairs. He sits down (2nd stair only, thank you very much) and pulls me down to the floor to sit.

On his own he says, “Coooa” (Coat)

“You want your coat?” I ask.

“Coooooa.” He looks at me expectantly.

“Why?” I ask.

“Gooooo…. By-eeee!” He states impatiently. Emphatically.

And from this point I can elicit any number of other vocalizations. Where are your shoes? Shoo (with the sign) Where is your hat? Haaa (with the sign). Where are your socks? (just the sign for socks… oh well).

But... lest we wish to witness a meltdown… we must go out. Somewhere, anywhere. Preferably the gym playland, but Target will work. And since we are trying to encourage communication and vocalizations, we are giving in to his evening demands.

I don’t mind.

I mean, let’s face it. This is practically a conversation for the J-Man!


abby said...

And it's great Floortime interaction, to boot. It keeps him engaged (by frustrating him, which is a good thing). In other words, your instincts are impeccable.

kate hopper said...

I love this, Pia. And I love that going out is the thing he will work for. So interesting.


View My Stats