In the past few days, the J-man has learned to turn on (and off) lights and a fan. I’m fine with the lights flashing, but the fan is a little scary, so we leave it unplugged when he’s going to be in the room. It really seems to be an “all of a sudden” insight for him, that HE can make those things happen. Before, he would take our hands and lead us to whatever he wanted turned on, possibly even put our hand on the switch… but wait for us to actually do it. Not anymore!
It seems like a lot of things have suddenly turned on for him. Part of the J-man’s IEP is that he will do the motions in a song 50% of the time. This is actually a goal from last year, simplified, because last year the goal was 80%, and he just couldn’t do it. It wasn’t like they didn’t work VERY hard on this goal… he just wasn’t proprioceptively ready to do it yet. He understood what they wanted him to do, and we worked at home on signing along with Rachel and such, but really, it just wasn’t happening.
Lately though, he’s been doing motions with songs! A lot! I realize this sounds like very little to some people (and watching Dale Jr instinctively do motions makes me understand how people are incredulous that this is a goal on an IEP), but it’s HUGE for the J-man.
He’s also suddenly trying to sing along with certain songs. We watch a lot of Pinky Dinky Doo here and Pinky sings quite a bit during the show. Not only that, she uses the same phrases when she’s trying to come up with a solution (“It’s time for me to think big!” “Come on Pink, THINK!”) The J-man is doing his level best to speak along with the phrases she commonly uses, and he tries to speak along with all of the songs – while requiring Mama and/or Daddy to sing along. I realize that this is echolalia, and that the goal is eventually spontaneous language, but from what I gather spontaneous language comes after echolalia for most kids in language progression.
It’s like a switch has been flipped. And I say, TURN IT ON!