Friday, September 24, 2010

In Which I Play Detective

Connor woke up and seemed a little subdued but otherwise fine this morning.  I dropped him off at school and then went back home and took a nap.  Then I headed off to the library and a coffee shop, where I got some breakfast and sat and read until it was time to pick him up.  Don't ask me about the state of my house right now-- a week of everyone being sick does not make for a good looking place.  However, after yesterday I badly needed that break.  I feel much better now and up for tackling all the housework that's piled up.  It's on my to-do list for tomorrow.

Connor apparently didn't have a great day at school-- he had a couple of meltdowns and was actually asking to go home, which is really unusual for him.  He had a few more at home too, though he was better than yesterday.  He's got a doctor's appointment set up for next week, so we'll be bringing him in then.  Hopefully the weekend will give him a chance to recharge.  I'm still not sure what's going on with him, but something is definitely off.  I'm still just not sure if it's something physical or not.  I tried to play the "does your fill-in-the-blank-body-part-here hurt?" game but wasn't able to really get any answers out of him.  It's hard trying to figure out what your kid needs when they've only got a 60 some-odd word vocabulary. 

Of course, it's gotten a lot better.  His first sign was "more," and he used it for everything.  We spent a whole lot of time running around saying "more what, honey?" while he got increasingly frustrated with us.  Now he's actually gotten to the point where he'll look at what he wants and sign more.  That makes our guessing game a whole heck of a lot easier, let me tell you.

We've been playing with the iPad at Speech Therapy, using the Prologuo2Go program.  Connor knows exactly what the thing does; he'll eyepoint (ie look fixedly) at the choice he wants to make on the iPad.  He just refuses to actually touch the thing.  Part of the problem, of course, is that he has a bit of a hard time making it recognize that his fingers are actually fingers.  He has circulation problems which tend to make his fingers pretty cold and no fingerprints (really!  he's like a ninja!) so it doesn't seem to recognize that he's a person and half the time we have to help him activate it.  The other part of the problem is that due to his sensory issues he doesn't want to touch anything.  That kind of defeats the whole purpose of the iPad. 

I'm sure we'll bring him around eventually on the whole assistive technology thing, and it will be fantastic because we'll finally be able to really understand what he's thinking.  I'm sort of wishing we were able to do that now, though, because thus far I haven't been able to figure out what's ailing him. 

I hope he feels better soon.



xraevision said...

I really identify with this post. My son is often unable to clearly or quickly convey his wishes, and the medications he takes for respiratory issues from time to time exacerbate his frustration. With very little intelligible expressive language, it can be very challenging to figure out what he wants. We also get a lot of signing "more" and eye pointing. It is a good thing that we are all persistent enough to keep playing detective until we solve these mysteries. Ours are too often about candy.

leah said...

I know that there are communication devices out there that respond to eye gaze (isn't that what Steven Hawking uses?)- I wonder if any have been adapted for use by children?

I hope everyone feels better soon- a week of "sick" leaves everyone in shambles!

Anonymous said...

I love the Ipad with the proloque. Have you thought about using a stylus? That's what we use with one of my students. It works great, since he is just learning as well. We have also used a washed out,dried really well marker. One of the wide ones so it was easier to learn with. Good Luck!

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