As I’ve discussed numerous times, the Monster’s not huge on novel verbal expression. He can handle mildly scaffolded phrases that he’s familiar with and riff on them, and he can give one or two word utterances that express the general needs that he’s feeling at any moment in time, but most of the time, we understand him because we “get” how he communicates.
And then there’s times where he surprises us.
Sundays, over the summer, are Therapy Days – after breakfast and getting everyone going, I take him over the therapists’ for occupational and speech therapy. He goes for 45 minutes to an hour – usually a co-treat between the OT and SLP – and he’s had no issues going any of the given mornings this summer, even if it’s not with his usual therapists.
But some mornings are more rambunctious than others. He woke screaming again this morning at 5:30 – which was fine, since I’d at least slept for a few hours – and he quieted down easily enough with the iPad to let everyone else go back to sleep. And he was in a good mood after pancakes, because he was bouncing around the living room as we were getting slowly ready for heading to therapy.
And everything was great until he jumped on my foot.
Now, he didn’t hurt me. While he weighs sixty-something pounds, it was an accident, it was brief, and I was wearing my shoes already. But, because I was surprised, I let out an ‘ow!’ and…
And the Monster turned to me and said, “I hurt your shoe.”
There’re obviously a few misses in there – that it’s my foot, not my shoe that was hurt, and that there was no apology for doing it, but… he recognized the response he got from me, and put it together with what happened, and synthesized it nicely into an appropriate response to describe the situation. To him, he’d jumped on my shoe and I said ow because the shoe hurt. (I did, briefly, try to cover the concept of the shoe wrapping my foot, and that it was my foot that’s hurt, not the shoe, but I don’t know how well he grasped that.) And to me, that’s an appropriate use of his language skills.
It’s something to build on, going into the new school year.