Why do I keep harping on about non verbal communication or communication for that matter? Because.... (and I repeat!!) Nick missed out on this vital piece of development. In Non verbal communication - part two! I posted a few pictures to give you a guide on how we are mindful in our interaction with Nick. OK, this post is more about verbal communication but it is all part and parcel of where we are at!
I thought it would be a good idea to spend a little bit of time on each picture! The following picture reduce verbal communication is quite significant for me this week as I met a mum who has a three year old little boy, who has recently been diagnosed with autism. I was fortunate enough to meet the little boy and got to observe mum and son in action!! (this mum really told it to me straight - she said she knew exactly what I was going to tell her because she had been reading up on autism and she knew it all - I just smiled and let her do all the talking!!)
Anyway, this little boy was a busy wee chap, (has anyone watched the Incredible's and seen the scene with Jack Jack when he is playing with his babysitter, he bursts into a ball of fire and whizzes all over the place and the poor babysitter is a complete mess!!). Yep, I immediately thought of Jack Jack when I met this little boy!
It was very interesting to note how this mum spoke to her son and with all due respect to her, I really do understand where she is coming from. When a child is non verbal, the parent tends to overcompensate for this. I have seen it happen time and time again.
Say hello to the lady, wave hello to the lady, say hello, say hello, oh you don't want to say hello to the lady, where are you going now, oh you are jumping a lot, you are acting strange, he has never done this before, are you showing off for the lady, where are you going now, come here, come here, where are you going, oh you want to look out of the window, lets show the lady your slide, come, come, come to your bedroom, lets show the lady your bedroom, lets go on the slide and show the lady how you can go down the slide................. I am not joking - this is what it was like!
If I could recall what life was like with Nick when he was three years old, I am sure that I was exactly the same as this mum! Shaelene, perhaps you can remember for me!!! Over the years I have really learnt to cut back on the unnecessary use of language and to be more selective and specific about what I say. When I communicate with/to Nick I keep my verbal output short and sweet and I only say it once.................. and I give him time to process and respond.
There is no way Nick would be able to cope if I continually bombard him with words. He used to take a long time to process information, however, this is much improved. Through being mindful with my verbal output he is able to absorb what is being said.......... and through being mindful about giving him the time to process my verbal output he has the opportunity to think, process and react! :-D
I know that 45 seconds sounds like a long time and it certainly can feel like a long time BUT it is worth it - try it and see!! :)
P.S: Did the little boy react to his mother? NO
Was there any joint attention? NO
Was the little boy aware of his mother? NO
Was there any experience sharing? NO
Did the little boy listen to his mother? NO