Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hello and Goodbye

We've been really working on Elijah's waving abilities lately. He's been able to wave for a long time, but he's so inconsistent with actually waving that we'd go months without seeing a wave.

I think it's important to teach Elijah social customs.  He may not be able to carry on a conversation with a person, but he should be able to say hello or goodbye in his own way.

Since Elijah usually sees at least two therapists a day, he has lots of opportunity to say hi and goodbye each day. I've been taking advantage of that by telling Elijah to "say hi" or "say bye" when his therapists are coming or going.  If he doesn't do it, I move his arm for him and praise him for his efforts.  If he does wave on his own, we all make a really big deal about it.

It's working. He's waving more and he does it quicker than ever before.  Now I'll sometimes find him by our front door, waving.  Usually no one is there, but he gets that is where his therapist-friends enter and exit and he is prepared.

And then there was yesterday. One of his therapists was leaving. He waved.  We all praised him.

Then the sweetest little voice I've ever heard emerged from Elijah saying, "Bye!" Three of us heard him.  We cheered. And my heart soared.  The hope for speech comes pouring back into my soul.

It was clear, it was appropriate, and it was paired with a wave. He said, "bye!"

If Elijah's history tells us anything, it's that we might not hear anything again from him for a long time.  Sometimes that makes me sad, but right now I'm focusing on what he is doing.  He waves to say good-bye. That is more than enough.

Tonight at the grocery store, I told Elijah to tell the cashier good-bye. Immediately, his little hand went up in the air and waved. It didn't seem like much to the cashier, but we were beaming with pride.


Erika said...

That is so awesome and sweet! : )

Unknown said...

What a blessing Lisa! And it sounds like you've really tuned in to a way of teaching that works for Elijah. Job well done!

Anonymous said...

It's a wonderful thing, Lisa (and Andy)! Peggy

Grandpa Dennis said...

Every once in awhile I get tears in my eyes when I read Elijahland. I do have an eye appointment at the end of this month, but he probably won't be able to explain it.


Kathy said...

My heart soared when I read your post, Leetza....and tears came to my eyes. Love that little Elijah and I miss him so much. It's been too long!! Hope to see you soon:) Love you, MomKat

Beth said...

Yea!!! Now I'm going to have to shave my legs again- ' cause the goose bumps I got reading this post were so big!! Super excited for you guys!

Sound Therapy said...

I stumbled across this site looking for something to write about for our blog, and I've gotta say I found this post particularly moving.
It's easy for outsiders to overlook the importance of little improvements like this,but waving hello or goodbye is actually a non verbal dialogue if you think about it!

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