My teens have always acted reluctant and not convinced when I’ve told them to watch the baby sign language videos with the twins. I told them it’s so that our girl can communicate seeing as she can’t speak (yet,) but they weren’t convinced, though they HAVE been watching them.
I must say, for me, the watching time the children get had been so I could rest my brain from having to figure out how to keep my children busy, then it became about giving me time to mark schoolwork without disturbance, or to rest my back without them knowing how much pain I’m in.
Until our youngest.
The only other time I see her fully engaged is when we are singing. She laughs and smiles and looks me in the eye. And if it’s a particularly favourite song of hers, she kicks her legs. It’s adorable. Same thing with certain videos. She laughs, smile, vocalises, and might even shout the colours, or letters or numbers on the screen. I love hearing her shout! ALWAYS standing, never sitting.
It’s wonderful to hear her voice! If you play “If you’re happy and you know it,” you’ll see her jumping and shouting, “Hoo-way!” (I love baby pronunciations.)
As you know, she doesn’t tell us that she wants something. She will lift her hands to be picked up, then point at whatever she wants. And as I said before, sometimes, it’s a process of elimination as you pick up one toy and she refuses it and you keep going…
Above is the way she is. Entranced. Standing. Quiet. Unless it’s children singing a favourite song, then she runs around the sofa FAST (scary). and vocalises, as mentioned above. Sonetines doing her vocal stims if she’s super happy. Vocal stims like this.
But yesterday morning, as I was marking my teens’ schoolwork, my teen daughter came in. “Now I see how sign language helps! They were eating rice crackers and Twin B finished hers first. She tried to grab Twin A’s one from her hand it I told her no. She looked at me and did the sign for ‘more!’ She told me she wants MORE! Sign language works!”
And there you have it. It works. My girl communicated purposefully and was understood immediately. No elimination needed.🙏🏾❤️
The other day at the mall, I first heard a female security guard saying something like, “Hmm, this child,” then I noticed him. A Black teenage boy running around in a circle. He was making noises. His mom or caregiver was withdrawing money at the ATM. As I observed him, I thought, “He’s one of us.” I wanted to go ask the caregiver if he’s autistic, or to at least ask gently why he runs in circles. But I got shy. Mainly because I was scared she’d think I wanted to steal her money.
Boy do I know what it’s like having a child who’s a sensory seeker. A child who runs. It’s scary in the house when we can’t hold her hand and there are obstacles, but watching her happy, makes me so happy. Here’s to more happy moments and fewer (and shorter) crying, screaming ones.
You know when little children ask “Why” questions all the time and it gets tiring? The kind of conversation I was having with my son was just as endless. My husband ended up saying he didn’t know which was worse, his having to deal with a running, pulling away daughter who kept wanting to stop to feel the path,
or the things I had to respond to. “Mommy, does that sign say, “No sleeping?”
Me, “No, it says No Swimming.”
Him, “Why don’t they want us to swim? Is it only for the people who live here?”
Me, “Nobody lives here.”
Him, “Is that car for us to drive?”
Me, “No, that’s a golf cart.”
Him, “A galt car?”
Me, “No. Golf… Say golf.”
Later he asks, “What’s golf.”
Me, “See that man next to the red flag? He hits the ball with the shiny stick he’s holding. Golf is hitting a ball.”
Him, “Is the red flag to tell him he did it wrong?”
“Does the golf cart play golf?”
On and on. “I don’t like it here but I really like it.”
It was still worth it. 😅