|Janey looking ready to take on the world|
We went back to the cooler and I got a diet Pepsi out. Then Janey surprised me again. She said "NO!" and put back the diet Pepsi and got out a regular Pepsi. Again, I was stunned. I had no idea she knew there was a difference between diet and regular soda. So we bought the regular Pepsi, Janey had her usual few sips, and that was that.
I've been thinking a lot about this. Janey doesn't often tip her hand and let us know what she knows. Weeks or even months can go by without her saying a single new word, or doing anything really new. But it's up there, stored in her brain.
When I got Janey's progress reports from school last Friday, there were surprises there too. In OT, she has been typing the letters of handwritten words into the computer, to get the YouTube video she wants. I was shocked she was able to do that, to match up written letters with keyboard letters. The report said at first she typed each letter multiple times, but now she was learning to just hit each one once. She has also been identifying classmates using TouchChat, an assisted communication program. I didn't know she knew her classmates apart, to say nothing of being able to pick out certain ones. At home, she often has trouble giving the right names to her two brothers even.
The problem with knowing that Janey has knowledge she doesn't let on she has is that there isn't always, or even often, a way to get at that hidden knowledge. It's not very transferable from one context to another. Like the thousands of songs I know that Janey knows by heart, the knowledge is stored in her brain but comes out only when she wishes it to, when the moment is just right.
Sometimes, though, I think Janey wants to access brain files and she can't, or she can't translate what she wants into speech. The other day, she came home singing a tune I didn't recognize. Then she wanted a video, and kept saying names of videos and then getting upset when I actually put them on. Finally, after a long run of this, by chance she saw the icon for "Yo Gabba Gabba". I read through the names of all the episodes, and she stopped me at one. I put it on, she smiled a huge smile and in a minute I heard the tune she'd come home singing.
I was almost in tears thinking how it must all feel. She knew exactly what she wanted, but the words didn't come. I didn't remember the tune, and she couldn't think of "Yo Gabba Gabba", or couldn't get her mouth to say the words. I'm glad we figured it out, but how often does this happen to her? I know how I feel when something is at the tip of my tongue and I can't quite access what it is. That's a very, very frustrating feeling. What if I felt that all the time?
|William and Freddy always picked Coke...|