Echolalia is what is frustrating me lately. Janey is a master of it. About 3/4ths of the time, when we talk to her, her reply is a full or partial echo of what we said. Example from this morning---Me: "Do you want some bread?" Janey"Do you want some bread?" Me: "Yes or No, do you want bread?" Janey "Yes or No" Me: "Which one, yes or no?" Janey "which one, yes or no?" And on and on and on. I've tried all kinds of strategies---just presenting her with actual samples of the choice (hard to do with non-concrete or larger things), putting out my hands and moving one to represent yes and one for no so she can just pick, not answering at first but just waiting until she gives a choice---lots of strategies that don't work. Other times, she answers questions that involve two choices with "YES!"---"Do you want to have a bath first or brush your teeth first?" Janey---"YES!" or sometimes "No!". After a while, I give in and use my usual rule of thumb, that she is doing the best she can to communicate, and just try to figure out the answer, or give her the bread or the bath or whatever and see how she reacts.
The other frustrating thing lately---snow days and bad weather. It's been a tough winter all over, I know. It's really hard for Janey to not have a regular school schedule. She hates being home---she is bored to death. I think of about 20 activities we could try, none of which interest her for more than a minute or two, after which she starts crying, or demanding a video, which then after about 5 minutes she wants to change. I've been trying a new rule---if she is watching a video and starts to cry, I say "This video isn't making you happy" and turn it off, and don't put on another one. I can't stand videos in general. But they often seem like the only thing Janey does like, and one of the few things that teach her easily. About half of the non-direct echolalia talk Janey has is delayed echolalia, from videos. But it's not random, it often is very well used, and relevant to the situation and with vocabulary that at times gets integrated into her rare totally non-echolalia talk.
In writing all this, I am strongly keeping in mind my thankfulness that except for a few days, we haven't had much crying all day time. Wonderful!