Monday, July 14, 2008

More communication

Amanda, Natalie's speech therapist, recommended getting a PECS book for Natalie to use at home. Natalie has been using PECS at the clinic, and doing really well, so Amanda wants to continue at home. PECS is basically a book with little cards representing something Natalie wants: she gives you the card and you give her the thing she asked for.

Tom and I brainstormed things for Natalie's personal PECS book: what she likes to eat and drink, what activities she likes to do, and people she knows. They said only 5-10 things for each category. Well, she only drinks two things: milk and juice. But she eats A LOT of things, so we pared our list down to 10, and then asked to add a few other food items since she only drinks two things...we'll see what happens. We figured we didn't need the cards for the food she signs, but if they give them to us, great!

I asked about teaching more signs, and Amanda said that's fine, but she also wants to give Natalie a communication method that other people (people who don't know sign) will be able to use. In practicality, PECS has also been successful in helping people who don't speak, to speak. So we're hopeful that will be the case with Natalie.

She's still "saying" a lot of things we don't understand (but I'm sure they mean something to her!) as well as the few words a day that we actually understand (words that won't be repeated in an understandable fashion for some time). We're also really excited about her increase in cognitive skills. She complies with our requests, "Natalie, put that down," or "Natalie, sit down on the couch," much better than she was doing even a few weeks ago. She points to things we ask about much better than before, and her walking is going gangbusters...this morning she walked all the way from the front door (after I lifted her down the steps) to the car by herself...more than 30 feet without touching anything. One of the first things I taught her after June 20, the day she started walking, was to put her dirty laundry in the laundry hamper. She loves to do that!

Go Natalie!


Jessica mommy to Alex/ RTS said...


Myssie said...

Let me know how the PECS system works out for Natalie. Will's therapist has mentioned it to me before. I may be something that we do in the future. Way to go Natalie!!