Lolly, Lolly, Lolly get your adverbs here!

Bryan has always been able to communicate his needs. “I”m hungry”, “I go to the bathroom”, etc. But over the last year or so, thanks to Marcia, the greatest speech and language therapist here in So Fla and school, and maturity, Bryan’s vocabulary has expanded dramatically. It’s not just the longer sentences or answering questions, it’s the qualifiers, the adjectives and adverbs that have really made a huge difference. For ex. This morning he woke me up at the standard 4:42 am by coming into our room and saying good morning and giving me a kiss. Then he snuggled into bed with me and said “Mommy make my lunch for school. Mommy make me breakfast.” I said “I will at 5:30.” This is my standard answer, just trying to buy a few precious moments under the covers, knowing additional sleep is not an option. Then he said, “Make my breakfast first.” As I always say, it’s the little things that get you. Lately we have been hearing words like “again” and “my favorite” and “still”. Another great concept he is working on is the difference between asking and telling. He always asks, even when he means to tell. So now I say to him, “are you asking me or telling me?” He not only knows the difference but can express it. This may all seem very trivial to those reading this; but communication is the essence of humanity. In order to relate to people, you must find a way to communicate effectively. Each adjective, each adverb, each appropriately expressed sentence or question is a triumph for him and for us.

On Sunday I was taking the boys to meet my folks for brunch. Bryan loves brunch at my parents’ club. He can have bacon and a bagel!! Bryan would live on bacon if possible. So he took a shower and got dressed. He picks out his own clothes and typically does a fairly good job of matching. However, he put on a shirt that had a bunch of stains on it. Ugh. So I had to tell him to change his shirt. Our 12 year old boy put up quite a fuss, “no I can wear this shirt!”. He gave me a hard time for a few minutes and then changed. Earl and I had a chuckle. How typical of a preteen to want to wear what he wants and to argue with his mom about it. On balance he is a super good kid and changed. Earl and I try to take note and acknowledge these moments of typical behavior. If nothing else, they provide a sense of hope for the future Bryan as well as remind us to stop and enjoy the present Bryan.

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8 thoughts on “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly get your adverbs here!

  1. This morning, A.J. said to me, “I hate you.” When I frowned, he said, “o.k. I love you”. Score: A.J. 1, autism 0!

  2. I would live on bacon too!

  3. We have a 13-year-old son who has Asperger’s, and he has been through some huge changes in his life over the last four years, including entering middle school, mainstreaming and moving to a new city. Sometimes, on tough days, it’s hard to remember the progress; on easy days, you just want to let things ride and anticipate triggers so the day will remain positive. As a result, it’s too easy to forget to stop and live in the moment. We work at that every day. Sometimes, we’re successful, some we’re not. But at the end of the day, we’re always thankful. Especially if, after the kids go to bed, we remembered to hide some cookies to celebrate with πŸ™‚

  4. Patricia Schwartz

    It’s easy to overlook the nuance in language that separates asking and telling and requesting and pushing. Your family and your speech pathologist are doing such a good job of working on social language skills. I know how important it is and I work on it so much in my young clients but it is hard to justify to insurance and early intervention. I wish I could make them understand how much social interaction impacts a child’s capacity to learn and grow academically.

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