Buzz is the Best Big Brother EVER!
Bunny was okay climbing the stairs and crawling head first on to the platform, but she got confused and scared when it came to skootching around at the top of the slide. These photos are a montage from a series Mama Buzz took of Buzz helping Bunny master the slide at the end of May. I love, Love, LOVE the tenderness in his gestures. 🙂
Yesterday was a big Red Letter Day for the Mascots!
Buzz is 4½ and Bunny is 2½; both are language delayed and in therapy. Buzz was recently diagnosed moderately autistic; they think Bunny is delayed just because she spends so much time with Buzz and copies everything he does. But yesterday, Mama Buzz heard intelligible ENGLISH from both of them in appropriate contexts!
In the morning, Bunny told Daddy Buzz to “Get in the shower!” In the afternoon, they had a play date with one of Buzz’s classmates. Buzz was showing off his marbles and said, “Shiny”, then when he gave them to Mama Buzz to hold, he said, “Here you go.” In the evening, when Mama put dinner on the table, Bunny said, “Chicken!”
Mama Buzz has been watching Buzz with their books and she thinks he may have taught himself to read. She was reading books to her little sisters at that age, so it wouldn’t surprise me. And this may be great news for his speech.
Mama read a book written by an autistic teen-ager who explained what it’s like living inside a brain that isn’t wired like other peoples’ brains are wired. One thing he said was that he knew what he wanted to say, but was so frustrated that he couldn’t get the words to come out of his mouth.
I can see where this might be what Buzz has been experiencing. Before they started using the picture cards, he would get so frustrated trying to express what he wanted. His parents would say, “Use your words,” but he wouldn’t. Couldn’t. Some things he could express; when he wanted his art time, he’d go to the art cupboard and bang on the door. But other things – like “I want a drink of water” – he couldn’t manage. When his therapist taught them to use the picture cards, it freed him to initiate communication his parents could understand.
That teen said he taught himself to read and somehow that helped his brain figure out how to get the words from inside to outside. So maybe that will happen with Buzz! They have a Veggie Tales Bible that is a full OT/NT, not a children’s abridged story book type with loads of pictures. Buzz LOVES it. He will sit for ages, looking at the pages and turning them slowly and in the right direction.
Also, Mama started watching his eyes when she was reading him a story and she says that when she turns a page, his eyes go straight to the text, not the picture. And where there is a page of text on one side and a picture on the facing, his attention stays on the text side for a long time.
Mama said not to get too excited, because autistic speech can come in blurts that aren’t repeated. It’s not like a regular kid who learns a word and then uses it regularly. So please pray that Buzz and Bunny will both keep on keeping on with their language development. Also that Buzz starts to eat more; he’s only a smitch bigger than Bunny. It’s very hard for Mama to get good nutrition into him, because he’s such a picky eater. Also, potty training. Mama would really like to be done with double diaper duty! Thanks.