On Friday when I went to pick BC up from childcare the staff told me effusively what a great day he’d had.
They described him as a ‘chatterbox’. I can’t tell you how thrilled that makes me! He’s been doing lots of talking at home, but he’s not been very brave about speaking outside of the house. So it’s great that he’s feeling confident enough with his voice that he’s speaking more and more.
And it’s lucky that he’s got more to say, because this week he got his first Voice Output Device – a ‘Minimo‘ which is like a little computer that he can tap messages into (using picture prompts) and that then speaks for him. Unfortunately, our Minimo has a few bugs – it keeps freezing and slowing down – but the potential for it is awesome, because even though BC is speaking much more, he’s still got a LONG way to go with his speech control and it’s often hard to figure out exactly what he’s trying to say. The Minimo will be a great complement to help him get his meaning across. AND if anyone worries that a device like this might take away the initiative to speak and leave it to the machine, then don’t. Come around to our house and watch as BC constantly speaks alongside the Minimo ‘voice’. It’s made him want to talk even more.
The other news the staff had for me was that BC had spent the whole day playing with one of ‘older’ girls there (heading off to school next year), Miss K. I have met Miss K before. She’s a lovely, happy girl who usually rushes to get BC’s walker if I arrive to pick him up and it’s not nearby. Apparently on Friday, she and BC had spent most of the day playing together – dressing dolls and ‘cooking’ in Home Corner, playing in the Sandpit and doing puzzles together. I could tell they’d had a great day, because of the huge smile on Miss K and BC’s faces.
I have been ‘warned’ by other mothers and carers that it’s common for a confident girl to take a child with special needs under her wing and mother them a little. AND I will be wary of it happening at school if it means that he’s not being assertive and gaining confidence to do things on his own.
But for now, I am just very happy that BC has a playmate and is having so much fun. And if she’s part of the reason he’s feeling so much more confident to speak, then she definitely sounds like the perfect first girlfriend to me!