Around age seven or eight, my son Jackson was speaking a little more. He mostly quoted movies; this is known as “scripting.” He also would do something called “echolalia.” If you aren’t familiar with this, it can sound like, “Mom, I want to go to Walmart. Mom, let's go to Walmart. Where’s Walmart? Mom, mom, mom, let’s go to Walmart.” This repetition can be quite overwhelming to a parent!
Our other common conversation is, “Mom, what happened to Buzz Lightyear? What happened to his arm? What’s happened with Buzz?” These types of conversations lasted until Jac was about 16 or 17 years old.
When Jackson started to show interest in engaging in more conversation, we were so excited. I would say his conversations are much more appropriate now, although he still has difficulty responding to a question.
He continues to repeat his favorite movie lines and will repeat them often, but he can request things and form sentences. Overall, he seems more comfortable and confident talking. He has come a long way, thanks to many years of therapy.
Along with Jac’s speech improving, he’s also becoming more sociable. He now wants to greet people on his outings with his therapists or when we are running errands. We recently made a trip to Walmart to buy a birthday gift for a friend. We were in the toy aisle and out of the blue, Jac introduced himself to a gentleman who happened to be there with his children.
“Hi, I’m Jackson. What are you doing here, sir? Why do you work?” Now, being Jac’s mom, I was very impressed that he had introduced himself, made eye contact with this gentleman,and tried to initiate a conversation.
The gentleman, however, seemed thrown off-guard a little. After Jac reached out to shake his hand, I think he realized no harm was intended. The gentleman explained to Jac that he was there with his kids to buy a toy car.
My sister who went with us seemed to be very embarrassed, as her face was ten shades of red. However, she loves Jac and knows how hard he has worked to get to where he is. So, she just kind of ducked her head and tried to contain her laughter.
Jac has come so far, and it makes me so happy to see him introducing himself to people. He usually extends his hand for a handshake and tells everyone his name. Baby, have we come a long way!!
As a parent, you want to give equal attention to all your children, but when parenting a child with special health care needs, it can be very difficult. It may feel like there is not enough of your attention to go around. More importantly, your other kids might begin to feel left out or invisible.
Categories: Family Support