Sunday, April 29, 2012

A click worth a thousand words...

Max's speech therapist brought such great news on Thursday.  While we're waiting on funding for his own device, the regional rep is working with Max's therapist to loan the ECO2 until Max gets his own.  So, this means Max gets to use the loaner device for a while longer, and we will get to hear his voice longer too!

And it's a good thing, because he's given us a few wonderful conversations in the past couple of days!

There have been several occasions when I have said of all of Max's difficulties, if I could wave a wand and make only one thing perfect for him, I would wish he could talk.  I think of all the hospital stays we would have avoided.  I think of the frustrations, the crying - from both of us - and if I could take that away, I think the rest would be much easier to live with.

Max talks all the day long.  He has sounds that we understand, and a million more we don't.  He does want to be understood, and there are moments that my guessing just isn't cutting it.

With this new device, he seems to have been able to find his voice.  A different way of getting his thoughts across.  Sometimes they are quite clear.  Sometimes, it's completely based on context that we understand what he's saying to us.

Yesterday, he was feeling awfully grumpy, and I asked him to just please tell me what was wrong.

"Please wait for me to answer" is his most commonly used phrase with me.  I think that after 8.5 years of trying to guess and understand what he's saying, I've become a little quick to guess what his crying has meant.  It has been quite humbling to hear him to tell me to 'cool it', and wait for his answer.

After the recent history with his stomach, I was so happy to hear him tell me his stomach was hurting, and he needed help.

We also got confirmation that a certain cheery color is still his favorite.  In the past few months, I've wondered if we were placing a favorite on his past choices.  If he loved pink all the sudden, you better believe we'd change things around lickety split!

Yellow, it is.

Max also got to visit over video chat with his Great-Granddad, Great-Nanaw, my cousin, my uncle and my mom yesterday.  They usually get to hear his talking over the phone.  But, he really turned on the lovey charm for them.
photo (18)

I think we were all a bit teary at that.  He asked where they had been, and told them to "come".

He also had some grumpy words...a bit of tattling on his sister.  All about this...

Since we've worked hard to pay off the van, Daddy brought home a bit of fun this week. After years of working himself up to it, he got a little convertible.  I think he quite deserves it.  He works the hardest of us all to make sure we have everything in the world we need.  A little zippy fun is just the thing to give him a mini vacation in the day to day.

Max has gone for a turn around the block, and daddy has been looking into special seats so he can actually go on rides, instead of slow turns around corners.  Especially since this momma is a nervous nelly about him taking his turns on my lap in the neighborhood.

At any rate, those 'wind in your hair' genes must run deep;  since Max has been wanting to go for rides nearly as often as his dad-dad and sister have!  Without his having a seat to hold him up, he can't go for a proper ride, and he's not been too excited that his sister is getting to go when he's not.

Don't take this the wrong way, but I LOVE it that he's being rotten to her about it.  And I think she loves it too.  How very normal for a little brother to be jealous of his older sister getting what he's not getting.  Yesterday afternoon, he let it be known to everyone who would listen that he wanted to go for a ride.

He tried with me...but soon learned that there was nothing I could do about it, as I will not drive the zippy thing.
photo (22)

So, he tried with Daddy, who did have to actually work yesterday.
photo (20)

photo (21)

photo (19)


I told him he could go out and get in the car once he'd finished eating.  He had a solution for that.
photo (17)

Too bad Abbey and Steve were out running errands at that moment.  He had to actually finish eating.  But, that didn't stop him from trying once more to get someone to take him out.
photo (16)

I told him that he needed to be patient, and when Daddy and Sissy got home it would be his turn.  I walked out of the room, and when I got back I saw this on his talker.

"MAX!  Who are you calling a butt-head?!"

He put his hand up to his mouth and very emphatically let me know by using his "affirmative sign" that's exactly what he meant.  I could tell he put those two words together because they weren't spelled correctly.  I said, you were just asking sissy to come play with you, are you calling her a naughty name now?


Oh. Dear.

What can I say?  I do love his cheeky personality.  We did have to tell him it wasn't very nice to call anyone a butt-head.  Even Sissy. . . even when it is very funny.


Unknown said...

Oh, I love this! I laughed out loud at the end! What color is the convertible?

Junior said...

oh my goodness, calling his sister names, that made me laugh such a totally typical kid thing.
Love seeing him talk, truly amazing.

Lauren said...

Hahaha! This is just beyond awesome. SO glad Max is loving this talker and using it do *well* - I mean, coming up with butthead?! What a stinker. A super smart, witty stinker.

Gretchen said...

How absolutely incredible, Deana, that you can see his hilarious personality come out with this tool. It's unbelievably amazing! I would love to hear what he says about George if that topic ever comes up. Such a funny boy. Great that he can have a voice. It must thrill you all to pieces.

Kristina said...

Oh how I love this post! My daughter has just started working with the Eco2 and is doing well with it - we only have 2 choices on a page right now and are looking to move her up to 4 choices. Seeing Max with this really makes me so hopeful for Emma! I think we are starting the process to order the device and can't wait to get it to start playing with it all the time!

Deana said...

Kristina, that's great! We started with two choices with Max too, when he was about 3 I think. He's 8 now.