Another Step Forward

 

Every once in a while Teghan does something surprising. It’s as if for a few moments she is really connected, and will interact with us in a way we never expected was even possible.

Then it’s gone.

Lately she has been surprising us more and more. Like yesterday, when Dave tried to show her hand over hand how to draw letters. Now, normally Teghan would just scream, run away, and bury her head in the couch. She seldom wants to be shown anything. But we caught her at a good time- because not only did she allow it….she actually requested more of it. 

It lasted just a few minutes, but you can see she is engaged and understands. And that isn’t normal around here. Once the moment has passed, there will be no further response from her about letters. A switch goes off, and she is back to headstands on the couch and running back and forth. All attempts at further engagement will be met with silence.

 

 

Okay, so maybe I’m not going to be winning any awards for my camera work. But I have watched this over and over, because I cannot believe what I am seeing every time she looks at Dave and says something to him. And then lets him show her the answer. It’s like watching a miracle that we can only hope will repeat itself.

If it doesn’t happen again, at least I managed to record it. But it seems like this kind of thing is happening more often these days.

A lot has changed around here in the past couple of months. For one, Teghan says words. She can’t say anything with more than one syllable, but she wants to. She won’t usually say things without prompting, but she will repeat things on command most of the time now. Most of the time! Just a few short months ago she did none of this.

She does not answer most questions, but I see a path to it now. If you write a letter down and ask her what it is, sometimes she will answer (if she feels like it). She has always known these things, but she could never grasp the idea of basic communication. The fact that she now answers, even if inconsistent, is a giant leap forward for us. It means the concept of question and answer is making more sense to her now.

What’s next? Will she figure out what “no” and “yes” truly mean? Right now they mean stop and go. She doesn’t understand the idea that she can’t have or do something. She doesn’t understand reasons for things. When food is in the oven, she just drags us to the oven door over and over because I don’t know how to explain what cooking means. By the time it’s done cooking, she just thinks we finally figured out what she had been asking for.

She must think we are idiots.

Do you know what this could mean to us? We can have chocolate in the house again. I am getting ahead of myself, I know. This is the closest thing to a conversation we have had with Teghan, and it’s all brand new. But I can see the possibilities so clearly now, and I am a little excited.

Teghan will be five years old next month. We are finally seeing the beginnings of verbal communication. I don’t even have five hundred more rambling words to say like I usually do. I just feel like sharing the simplicity of another step forward here in our world.

In fact, here’s a little more….who is this child?!

 

 

 

8 thoughts on “Another Step Forward

  1. I’ve spent many a year working with and around children and adults with various levels of Autism, i was RAISED in the area, you could say, as both my parents worked with people with it as well as people with physical and mental handicaps (I HATE that word, but it’s still the “norm” so I use it here). This, sadly, is the first time I’ve been to your page, but so glad I did..this is the most comprehensive, well put together site I have seen, and a WONDERFUL WONDERFUL way to get not only your story out there, but too to show the WORLD what is capable and possible. I applaude you, your beautiful little girl and husband for doing this. I wish you the best moving forward and will visit to see how things are progressing.

  2. I think that moment when she drew the “S” after he showed her how…and asked for more letters. I still have tears in my eyes. It means so much with our kids when they give you that moment of real interaction…wow. Wow. Good for her, and good for you.

    • Thank you! That brief attempt at drawing the “S” is the only one so far, but very promising 🙂 She has always been very interested in videos about letters. If only I could get her so interested in numbers…. But I really cannot get over this recent change in her. She is doing so great lately, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

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