Tuesday, 4 March 2014


Who knew that one word could make such a difference to our lives?

Jessica is very good at communicating choices between items held up to her, or between photos of those items (we have not yet really progressed to symbols). However, this form of communicating makes it very difficult to communicate more abstract needs -pain, hungry, thirsty, more, finished. etc.  However, Jess and I have established a very reliable way of her telling me when she is  "finished".

This could be that she has had enough to eat, that she has had enough time in the bath (very rare that this is the case as she loves her baths so much!), that she has finished on the toilet, finished watching television.... you get the idea.

It started when we were giving Jessica baths more often than we are currently able to (she is now too heavy to bath her frequently, and we are waiting for the home adaptations to be done that will allow her to be bathed more easily; see here and here).  I would sit her on the toilet before putting her in the bath and asked her to look at the bath when she was "finished" on the toilet and ready to be lifted into the bath. In our house, the bath is to Jessica's left when she is sitting on the toilet. She very quickly got the hang of this, and somehow, I can't really remember how, this got transferred to other areas of our lives. So now, if she wants to tell me she has finished, she will look to her left, and then back at me.

I realised that she fully understood this one day when I was with her at school. I sat her on the toilet there, and asked her to look to her left when she had "finished". However, she immediately looked to her right. This confused me somewhat, and I wondered if she didn't actually understand the concept, despite using it reliably for some time, or if she couldn't transfer the skill to a different environment other than home. However, I should know not to doubt her. She looked to the right again, then used the toilet and then immediately looked to the left and back at me!

I can't tell you how amazed I was, firstly that she was able to transfer the "finished" signal to the school environment, but also that she had grasped the concept of opposites ie, looking to the right for "more"! I had not tried to teach her this at all.

She is one amazing little girl, who knows what else she is capable of given the chance? I love every time we have a "connection" like this, where we are able to communicate together and know that we understand each other. And she always looks so proud of herself. Just as she should.

1 comment:

  1. Clever girl. There's plenty in there, isn't there? She just needs a way to get it out. Well done you for recognising it too.
    Rosey XX


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