I remember clearly the first word Sarah told me. We were in a small hotel room in Gothenburg, Sweden. I was attending a conference, and Sarah was hanging out with grandpa Sven during the day. In the evening, she pointed with her tiny finger towards the ceiling and said "LAMPA". That means lamp in Swedish. I don't think it would have matter what word she would have said, I was just so excited that my baby girl was talking!
Throughout the years, people have asked us if we know what Jacob thinks and feels. I have always felt that we have been able to know how Jacob is doing and feeling, but it is broad feelings rather than specific details. We have always tried to have him make choices with his eye gaze and with flash cards. We have also throughout the years been using Big Mack buttons where we have been able to record specific sentences or yes and no.
This year, Jacob got to try his first real talker. I have not seen Jacob so excited in a very long time! One of the trickiest part was to find a switch button that Jacob could operate independently without us supporting him. It took a lot of trial and error, but I think we have now found the perfect switch. He activates his talker with his thumb!
On Friday, Jacob got to loan a new talker from his school district. His speech therapist and the assistive technology specialist from the school district set up his talker with many more choices than we had on the previous talker. We were told to have Jacob explore his talker as much as we can, and off went our boy!
The first time Jacob told me "MOMMY I LOVE YOU" on the talker brought me back to that hotel room in Gothenburg. Despite the technology voice telling me the word back to me, I knew that Jacob had picked the words he wanted to communicate. But before he told me he loved me, he actually told me that I work too much! "MOMMY WORK ALL DONE". I had just told him I had to go and chart for the day, and Sarah called me from the kitchen that Jacob just wanted to tell me something. Jacob has told us all that he loves us. He has told Gemma that she belongs to him. When Jacob picks to play, he almost always picks the IPad.
We're all like children in our house right now, all eager to find out what Jacob wants to tell us next!
To be continued...