Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bear, Duck, Frog

As anybody that follows regularly knows, the potty is Bianca's muse.

Yet again while sitting on the potty, she surprised me.

She has a host of stuffed animals that I refer to as "the guys" but she has lately been referring to as "my babies". On a trip to the ER a while back for an infected finger, she brought them along for support and we passed the time labeling them.

Sitting on the potty today she started to name three that we left behind in the living room so that she could sit on the potty.

"Bear" said Bianca, “Duck. Frog.”

“Yes.” I replied, “The guys are downstairs. You can play with them once we are done on the potty.”

“Bear” Bianca repeated with a smile. She then grabbed my hands and forced them to cross. “Bear”


“You want a bear hug Binks?” I asked.

She repeated “bear” and again crossed my hands but this time, pushed them up against my chest. I held them there as she repeated “bear” again. Only now she crossed her arms over her chest and as she said “bear” she opened and closed her hands.

Hmm. Could she be… teaching me? I don’t know the sign for “bear”.  I never really thought to learn it. I know she loves “Signing Times” and watches it at school. I know they sign in her speech therapy.  But why would “bear” come up? Self-preservation maybe? As in, “BEAR!!!!!!”. But we live in the burbs of Chicago. No bears here except for the ones that play by the lake.

“Frog” Bianca said. She was now holding her hand under her chin and flicking a couple of fingers.

I watched in pure amazement until yet again she grabbed my hand and forced it under my chin.

“Frog!” She exclaimed as she once again put her hand up under her chin and flicked her fingers. I mimicked her, and she squealed with delight. “FROG!” she said again with a smile.

“FROG!!” I repeated with my hand under my chin and flicking my two fingers.

Happy as could be, Bianca put her hand in front of her face and as she faced her palm towards me and started to open and shut her hand like she was performing a sock puppet without a sock (which we already know are way cooler when you wear them on your hands anyway) and proudly pronounced, “DUCK!!”

OK… definitely sign language. That looked like a duck quacking or something… “DUCK!” I echoed back to Bianca, and once again Bianca smiled from ear to ear.

This went on for a while. No potty, but lots of talking and signing. Afterwards, we went downstairs where Bianca picked up the three babies she left behind… bear… duck… and frog. I went right to YouTube and searched for“ASL bear”. I clicked the link and watched the video full of a combination of amazement, pride and hope. She was indeed signing the name of her babies. I checked "frog" and "duck" just to be sure... and yup. They were just as she was signing them.

I always talk about how having an autistic child teaches you so much. I am usually referring to philosophies or grand scale things… I never really thought about teaching me SPECIFIC things… on purpose.

I guess some day I will learn that the only certainty in raising an autistic child is that they will never cease to amaze you. Sometimes you have to look hard for the silver lining, other times it is all you see. 

If you have not already, please take time to watch my videos, "Fixing" Autism and Autism Awareness with Nichole337 and share them with your friends.

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1 comment:

  1. What a great teacher! And what a useful thing to learn! GL used to be unable to process language during a meltdown. If we could get him in the tub, the water would help him calm down, but words were random irritating noises to him at that point. We had been learning to sign from a friend from church who was studying to be an ASL interpreter. I found that during a meltdown, when he couldn't process spoken words, he could understand and respond to sign.