Way back when…I started researching autism, one of the first red flags I noticed was that neither Aden nor Alex would respond to their name. I could sit right behind them and call their name in all sorts of voices, high, low, loud, soft, and no reply. At first I thought it was because their names both started with “A” and I was constantly calling out “Aden!” “Alex!” all day, perhaps they didn’t know their name? Then we had to rule out hearing problems. Both passed their hearing tests without a hitch.
A few nights ago I was reading Aden his bedtime stories. He loves the book “On the Night You Were Born” by: Nancy Tillman. I learned early on that it isn’t necessary to read a book verbatim and at this point it’s more beneficial to build vocabulary (label) or focus on certain concepts (up/down, in/out, etc…). I do read the first page…
“On the night you were born, the moon smiled with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered “Life will never be the same.” (Understatement of the century!).
After that we label the baby, the animals, the moon…the next excerpt I read is “So enchanted with you were the wind and the rain that they whispered the sound of your wonderful name.” For what seems like forever I’ve asked “what’s your name?” Finally he replied, “A-den”. I rewarded him with praise, over-the-top enthusiasm, and tickles. Then I asked him again, “what’s your name?” He replied even more clearly than before “A-den!” Repeat praise! I admit, I cried but I was smiling the entire time.
I’m happy to report that not only do both boys respond to their names (most of the time) but as of Tuesday December 4th, 2012 both of them can tell you their names!
I take a lot of videos and very few are what I call “blog-worthy” but this video exceeded my expectations. Lately at meal time the boys have been nuzzling…yes rubbing their heads against each other sort of like an animal would do. They’re showing each other affection in a way they know how and it’s absolutely adorable. I decided to quiz Aden and Alex on their names during their nuzzle session…you’ll have to see what happens… http://youtu.be/DRdGEgmqgz0