Monday, March 3, 2014

5 Things to Do if You Know A Non-Verbal Child

I know that being around my child can be scary. I also know that some friends have avoided seeing us because of William. I know he can be scary because I, his own mother used to be scared of him. It was terrifying never knowing what he wanted or needed, or if he was hurting somewhere. It's terrifying and heart breaking.

So I want to address what you can do to not make the parent of a non-verbal child seriously dislike you.

1. Show Up  I know the first steps are always the hardest. But when you say you are going to be there for their birthday party you better damn well show up, because guess what, I've been working with him on new signs for you and I've been talking about how all these people are coming to celebrate him. And when you don't show up I'm the one that has to look at the disappointment on his face. And then I'm the one that gets to clean up Silly String because I had to pull out the big guns to show him its really better that you didn't show up.

2. Talk To Him  Just because he can't talk back doesn't mean he doesn't understand what you say to him. He wants you to acknowledge him and talk to him. And trust me. He can communicate in other ways and he is quite the charmer. I promise if you give him a chance you are never going to want to leave.

3. Learn a Few Signs  You don't have to be fluent in ASL but if you pick up a few signs he will think you are the coolest person in the universe because you are now in his inner circle. A great web site to learn a few is

4.  Play With Him  This should go with out saying. Every child loves to play. Bonus points if you play Godzilla, Lions, or Doctor Who. He has a wonderful growl/roar and loves to use it. I'm not sure how Doctor Who figures into that but he loves to pretend things are a sonic screwdriver.

5. DO NOT PRETEND HE ISN'T THERE  His hearing is just fine and he knows when you are talking about him. He doesn't like it and it hurts him. You will probably also get his 'burn in hell' face. Now that is terrifying.

Now not every child is the same but these are pretty basic. I can also put your mind at ease that if you don't know a single sign I can interpret I'm not going to just throw you in the deep end.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Day Has Come

The dreaded day has come. William's younger brother Bryan said his first 'real word'. It was Elmo and it was shocking and terrifying at the same time. I've known this day was coming for a long time and now that it is here I'm even more scared.

Bryan has officially passed Will when it comes to language and it worries me to my core.

You see my boys are only 19 months apart and they are thicker than thieves. What one doesn't think of the other will. Just as an example: One day Bryan wanted into our pantry but because it has a door that latches was unable to get into. But never fear brother's here. William gladly opened the door for him so that his little brother could tear up Styrofoam plates to his little hearts desire. Well, more like until mommy saw him and cut that short. And they play so well together. They spent a good hour pushing each other across the living room floor on the plastic rocking horse. They even took turns with out having to be reminded.

And yet I worry that as Bryan passes William in speech he won't want to play with his brother as much because he is different or because he will get frustrated that William can't communicate what he wants to do.

So for now I wait and see. And if I see him pulling away redirect him, push him to be as awesome of a little brother to his big brother that his big brother has been to him.