Tuesday, December 10, 2013

First time initiating conversation in 16 years

Kreed has been using a device for about two years now. In that two years he has made incredible progress. We now know pretty much at all times what he wants and what he needs. That is a huge step in the right direction. However, we wanted to move beyond simple requesting. Kreed has always been expressive with his body language and facial expressions, however, this has not translated into actual conversation before. 

Since he has had his Dynavox T10, for about a month now, his language and communication ability has had an incredible leap. He has told us what his favorite song is, things he likes to do, if he wants us to change a movie and even use more language to ask for the things he wants. However, he really still wasn't asking questions or having a conversation with a communication partner. His language was ME focused. There wasn't a whole lot of other people factored in, except to get him stuff!

Until last Sunday. When for the first time in 16 years Kreed wanted to ask another child if they saw a particular movie. Kreed was at the park with his speech therapist and two daughters. She brought them along to see if we could start some social. For the most part he ignored them. Then at the end of the session he stopped in front of the cars and turned toward Haley, the youngest daughter. He lifted up his device, went to his movie section and hit a movie and then stared at her. We were caught off guard! I quickly went to see what question he could ask her and so I prompted him to add "did you see that." She took the ipad with the companion Compass app and replied to him. He grinned so huge and quickly went to look for another movie to ask. This went on for about fifteen minutes. He would find a movie, I would prompt him to ask the question and she would respond. It was beautiful. And Kreed couldn't have been more thrilled.
Kreed is proof positive that learning never stops no matter how old. We have worked for a long time to incorporate more language, but it wasn't until he had the right communication software and the want to communicate more. Persistence pays off.

Here is a video that was clipped together of what happened.

In fact, today Kreed opened the oven to look at his sugar cookies and asked me "Is it done yet?"!!! Then when his buddy Bill came over, he looked at him and said with his device "can we go bowling today?" How amazing is this? It's like he finally realized conversation could be a two way street! I can't wait to see what else he has in store for us!
Here is the video of Kreed asking about the cookies!