Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Conversations With Samantha


My Beautiful Angel
Originally uploaded by sammi's mom
I'm always amazed by the power of communication, especially when it pertains to a two-year old with a developmental disability. As I've said many times before, she constantly amazes me!

Although most of her words are approximations, Samantha does have an awful lot of words. It's just my ability to translate that slows me down. For example, if a word ends in the letter "s", she only says the "s". She puts her tongue firmly between her teeth and makes an extremely spitty, strangled "s" sound.

On Sunday, Samantha showed me how patient she is while I learn!

Sammi: (makes the spitty "s" sound and looks at me expectantly)
Me: Sorry? What do you want?
Sammi: (does it again, a little more urgently)
Me: Uh, are you saying Pops? (the name my father has adopted for Samantha to call him)
Sammi: (shakes her head and makes the sound again)
Me: Uh, bus? Do you want to read the bus book? (a book that you sing "The Wheels on the Bus" along to)
Sammi: (shakes her head again, makes the sound and signs "help")
Me: (having an epiphany and realizing that what she wants is in a box that she can't open without help) Blocks? You want blocks!
Sammi: (looks pleased and reinforces my brilliance by repeating the sound and sign together)
Me: (signing "I'm sorry") I am so sorry I didn't understand you sooner!
Sammi: (laughs, happy to have gotten her point across to dense old me)

I was so proud, I could have burst! Not because she communicated what she wanted (she does that all the time), but because she was persistent and patient with me, and used a sign as an additional clue to reinforce her desire.

After work yesterday, when I got off the bus, Steve was standing in his usual spot at the curb, holding Samantha. I took her from him and began walking back toward the front door of our building, and she turned and planted a big smooch, right on my lips! Who could ask for more?

1 comment:

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