Thanksgiving was amazing. Turkey? Yes. Dessert? Yes and yes. Vegetables? In moderation thank-you very much.
But it was the words, oh the words, that were the best part.
Let me back up.
A few weeks ago Aidan’s teachers asked to add color words to his talker. I still get so greedy for and stingy about adding words to the talker. ALL THE WORDS ALL THE TIME. Let’s open more more more so Aidan can say all kinds of things. But oh, what if it’s too many? It might make them harder to find or too cluttered to sort through. And are we adding the RIGHT words? Are colors worth the space? Are silly verbs? Or yummy nouns? Or friendly names? It’s so hard to choose.
But I was reminded of how smart Aidan is when he went to PT and met Karen with a wiggle giggle and said WALK. It’s not necessarily one of his high frequency words but he knows exactly when to use it.
So back to colors. Thanksgiving opened a door for peer modeling. Aidan’s cousin Tegan has a soft spot for him so we came up with a little game. Aidan would choose a color and Tegan went to find a object of that color. Look, she found an ORANGE coaster. It’s a BLUE book. I think she wants to show you something PINK. These are words in real life moments.
Then this happened. Tegan’s little brother Kai wondered over to check out the talker. I immediately gave him our spare so he could explore. Within minutes he figured out how to use it. Just minutes. There is no way that would have happened with our other speech apps. They were confusing and there was no instant gratification. Over and over Kai pushed STINKY BUCKET. (Don’t ask. It’s an OT thing) He’d giggle and push it again.
Look at them all engaged with words: (subscribers click through for video)
“I love you”
“Aidan, you’re my friend.”
It turns out when kids have words, other kids think they have something to say. Tegan continued to engage Aidan, asking him questions and using his talker to talk to him. The talker was a way into his life, something fun that included Aidan. Then Tegan asked to read Aidan a bedtime story once he was tucked in. This was all too precious and there were tears, mine and Garreth’s as we peeked in.
Kids loving kid. The power of words. This was my Thanksgiving Magic.