“Communication is not just about speaking or reading, but understanding what is being said -and in some cases what is not being said.” -Richard Branson
What is not being said, is huge often. With the King that happens to be everything. How do we understand him? The king has become very good at his PECS, but also he is good at showing and expressing himself by other means. He will use sounds to communicate with out, but they are not conventional words. I have learned what they mean over the years. The big thing that has changed in the last two years now, but specifically in the last 18 months. He understands us completely. He will follow directions and listen to us. He loves when hubby and I talk. He will lay and listen.
Last year while I was in graduate school, I wrote a paper on an app and communication. We worked at getting Jack to use the the app on his iPad. He never figured out the basics of it. After some work for about three months we gave the app a rest. The one thing about my son is his stubbornness. It is unprecedented how stubborn he is. If he doesn’t want to work, he isn’t going to work.
When it comes down to understanding Jack, it is the little things. Paying attention to the details of his movements, actions, and reactions. I can say the same for my daughter. While she is fully verbal and high functioning there are the things that she doesn’t say that seem to speak louder to me. That is what I pay more attention to and often with most people. Communication is essential to our life and our social system. This is why Jack will be forever “disabled”. He more than likely, will never be able to speak and communicate with most people. Which will leave him at a serious disadvantage.
So, my little suggestion to other parents is to always keep talking (leave it our take it). I speak to Jack constantly. One day walking out of school, I asked how Jack’s day was. Another little girl at school said to me, “Jack doesn’t talk.” I smiled and said, “That doesn’t mean he doesn’t understand what I have to say.” She looked at me surprised, but at the same time I think it sunk in. Even though the King doesn’t speak doesn’t mean I don’t get an answer from him.