Sunday, February 24, 2013

Communication

After verbal language continued to not seem to be effective with Logan, both as a receptive and expressive language for him, we began to incorporate sign language into our communication with him, especially in the past six months (although a couple of signs we have been doing longer).  Due to his blindness we will sign on his body what we are saying to him and if we feel pretty confident there is something he would like to say to us then we gently guide him to sign the words using a technique called hand under hand.  We are not yet signing phrases as he seems to do best with one word at a time and having the signs done slowly. This seems to be more effective with him as he already seems to understand many words he did not seem to understand when spoken.  Around Christmas time there were three times when he seemed to sign the word "more" independently.  The first time I was able to get a video which can be found below.  In the video I was blowing on him.  This is often a game he loves and it appears that he does clearly sign more and even possibly verbalizes a version of it as well.  A few days later he seemed to say more again when eating.  Finally he seemed to sign more once when a family friend was rubbing his back and stopped.  Since then though nothing...  We are starting to second guess what we saw.  It looks to be pretty clear in the video and then seemed clear again the other two times but now nothing for over a month.  Thankfully he does still seem to understand all the signs he has learned that we say to him.  
One other note on communication.  Seth and I both feel there have been a few times where he does seem to understand a word here or there spoken.  For example, there have been just a couple of times I think he responded to his name, Seth noticed he reacted to the word "drops" for his ear drops by crying before he signed the word to Logan (usually Logan doesn't cry until the sign).  However, his understanding of spoken words seems completely sporadic and there can be weeks or even months between these moments.  Through Logan's school we have heard of types of vision where it is almost like the children see through Swiss cheese and every now and then get a glimpse of something.  Is there a similar auditory situation?  I haven't found anything in the research I can find and his speech therapist had not heard of one, but I thought I'd throw it out there in case anyone reading this has heard of something along those lines.
  Whether it be by sign or spoken language we are hopeful and will continue to do all we can to help support language development for him.  As he gets older he seems to be getting more and more frustrated by his current inability to ask for what he needs or wants.  We are grateful to see the progress he is making with sign language and are quite encouraged by what we see towards the beginning of this video.

  

2 comments:

Hex said...

Hi Melinda! Heather, Orion's Mom here. Your son's smile is so adorable. I just watched the video... I'm curious, have you guys been teaching him a gesture for 'pick me up'? Because when he put his arms up, beyond his head, it's similar to what Orion does when he wants out of his seat. Keep up your good progress!

Melinda L said...

Thank you Heather for visiting and watching the video of Logan. We think he is pretty adorable too (As are your kiddos!) We have actually not used that as gesture for "pick me up" but we have thought about trying it. His PT has always done two fingers then one on his body when getting him up so we've used that some, but that would be really hard for him to do himself right now so I think maybe we will try arms above head as you do with Orion. Thank you for your input and please excuse my likely poor wording when referring to the gestures we use. We are definitely still learning! Your feedback is very helpful!