Before Christmas I had an inspiration (thank you, Guardian Angel!): instead of having Trooper practice handwriting with random words out of a textbook, I would verbally ask him questions and see if he would respond.
And he did.
So every day we practice and you can see the joy and relief he feels to finally tell us the thoughts in his head. In the following “conversations,” I am speaking to him and he is writing. Sometimes he gives a lengthy answer, and sometimes he gives the monosyllabic response of the 11yr old boy who would really rather not talk right now. 😉
Me: what’s something you want me to make for you?
Trooper: Mac n cheese
Me: Do you think you want to drive a car someday?
ME: what kind?
ME: a little pickup truck?
Me: Is there a question you’d like to ask me today?
Trooper: How do you spell Indianapolis?
Me: (blinks) um…like that.
Trooper practices typing by emailing his grandparents. One day he began instructing my dad as to what type of yogurt is best. We have a running family joke that Trooper missed our recent bout of stomach virus–and past ones–by a daily quart of plain Dannon.
Trooper: I like yogurt. You will too. Just the plain kind, not the silly kind. The silly kind has fruit in it.
Me: You’re going to see Mr. R (his wonderful speech therapist) today. Would you like to tell me about him?
Trooper: Mr R is my friend and my helper.
And yesterday I asked him something that had been on my mind for years. The answer is what apraxia is like for the boy who has had to live with it.
ME: when you were real little you tried to say some words and then stopped. Do you remember why you stopped?
HIM: I stopped because I couldn’t think of the way to get my words out.
ME: But you had the thoughts, the words all the time?
Hilarious or heart wrenching, I love these conversations. I love not having to guess what he’s thinking! Because sometimes I have guessed wrong, I’ve found…except about the pickup truck. 😉