Janey's long, long good mood seems to be coming to an end. That's the bad news. She had a rough weekend, with lots of crying, being sleepy in a way that seems like trying to escape her world, screaming, biting herself and so on. Not a total loss of a weekend, but not a good one. This morning taking her to school, I had a feeling it wouldn't be the best day. And tonight I got a call from her teacher, and as I suspect, it was a tough day. BUT...
Janey, when she's upset at school, often wants to take a walk. Her school is set up like a big doughnut, so you can do a loop around it, and she was asking today over and over to take a walk. Her teachers use that as a motivational tool---they tell her she can walk once she finishes a talk, or sometimes, once she gets 5 stars. This time, to start the surprising stuff, she looked at her chart, which had 4 stars, and said "One more star!" Wonderful stuff. Then her teacher gave her an object naming task on the iPad. This was also partly to get her distracted, as she was starting to scream, so they were going through it quickly. The iPad showed 3 pictures, with the word written out below the pictures that was supposed to be picked. They were reading her the word, and she was picking the pictures quickly, hoping to get done with the task. Then Amy, her teacher, hesitated for a minute before reading one word, Dog, and Janey, without the word being read, picked the dog! Amy held her breath and went to the next screen, and again, Janey picked the correct picture without having it read. She went on to do ten in a row! Far beyond anything chance would allow---Janey was READING THE WORDS!
I've suspected for a while that Janey could read a little. She can certainly read her VHS tapes. We have long since lost all the covers, so it's only the tapes themselves, and some of look identical except for the names of the videos. Janey will bring one and ask for it by name---"I want Kipper's Playtime", always knowing correctly which tape it is. But that's a very specific situation. Now she has shown she can actually, truly read!
Amy and I both know it might be quite hard to re-create the situation in which Janey read. In fact, right after Janey read for both Amy and her ABA specialist, Michelle, they tried to get Janey to do it for the regular ed teacher in the room---no dice! But knowing that the reading is something she CAN do opens up a whole world of possibilities for teaching Janey, both at school and at home. Interestingly, Janey during this tough past weekend was obsessed with a book, Dog's ABC by Emma Dodd, and wanted us to read it over and over. She was also just spending a lot of time looking at the pages. I wonder if something has kicked in, a code has been broken and she is getting that written words are representatives of spoken words.
Reading is my joy. I love to read. The thought of possibly sharing that joy with Janey---wow. WOW.