Dinner Conversation




Me:  No, you cannot have a pop for dinner. Maybe after dinner.




Me: Really? A waffle? You have not eaten a GF waffle in ages. Are you sure?



So I made her a waffle. And sure enough, she ate it. She really wanted it! (I’m still getting used to the idea that Rhema actually knows what she wants. She was ‘silent’ for so long that we had no idea that she had strong opinions and desires.)



Me: You want rice? Oh, but Rhema. I already put a pizza in the oven for you. And those things are expensive, so you’re going to eat pizza tonight. (Amy’s recently came out with a gluten-free, dairy-free pizza!)

Me: Rhema, how about this?




Back and forth we debated. She put the ‘I want rice’ icons in my hand, I put the ‘pizza’ icon in hers. Really mature of me, I know… I’m sure I broke every PECS rule in the book.

Me: (Sigh). O.K. I’ll make you some rice.


Isn’t this awesome? She’s initiating, she’s understanding, she’s requesting, she’s communicating. Not every day is like this… but there are more and more days like this.

The funny thing is that just a few years ago a speech pathologist did not attempt using PECS with Rhema because she did not think Rhema had the “cognitive ability to associate a symbol with an object.”

If she could see my girl now.

When she finished her dinner, Rhema slapped the following icons in my hand as if to end her sentence with an exclamation point.



24 thoughts on “Dinner Conversation

  1. How awesome! I just “finished” working on putting a PECS book for Christian. I hope that he will be able to get his wants and needs across like that! I’m smiling for Rhema and you from ear to ear! 🙂

  2. I love that you kept putting the pizza card into her hand. Sounds like “conversations” I have with Sophie. You’re a good mama for making her rice. . . I swear I still would have forced the pizza. 🙂


  3. Woot-woot! Yay, Rhema! And, yay, Jeneil, for acknowledging the communication of her preferences!

    “We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests.” (Psalm 20:5)


  4. oh, i wish you could witness my sign of disgust aimed at the therapist’s pronoucement regarding Rhema’s “cognitive ability.”

    how many times will people underestimate our children? ir drives me crazy, and that is the mildest way I can describe it.

    good for Rhema! and good for you for fixing that rice!


  5. That is so awesome! I also loved using PECS with Nigel when he was younger because it just opened so many doors for communicating. I love that Rhema gave you the popsicle card again after dinner! Wonderful!

  6. Woo hoo 🙂

    Yeah Rhema!!!

    Reminder to self: NEVER, NEVER underestimate these kids. NEVER!

    And by the way – not only did she appropriately make her desires known, she was able to “defer reinforcement” on the popsicle all the way through dinner. Don’t doubt this girl’s cognitive ability!

    Keep at it, Momma, you’re doing good!


  7. Awesome! Wow!

    You said: “She’s initiating, she’s understanding, she’s requesting, she’s communicating.”

    You left out: “She’s arguing.”

    It’s wonderful hearing how well she’s doing lately.

  8. I remember the first time Rocky sassed me, and I was jubilant because it wasn’t echolalic. Yay, Rhema, you sassy thing!

  9. Go Rehma, this is so very amazing to me. I love that she is starting to tell you what she wants, it just makes me want to squeeze her! A friend of mine just suggested PECS for my 5 year old non verbal niece. I am surprised we had never heard of it before, the more I learn the more it seems like something everyone should try.

  10. That is so wonderful!

    We have the same food fights here, LOL.

    Yeah, we’ve been getting the whole “Kayla’s not ready for a formal PECS program” for the past two years. Sigh.

  11. Yay!!! That is awesome! I might have gotten a little teary reading this. If that’s dumb..uh, sorry! This is wonderful and I loved every word of this post!! Go, Rhema!!

  12. Give that girl some rice and pops!!

    And hey, isn’t this the second ‘argument’ of sorts we’ve seen in recent posts??

    Stand back, looks like someone’s finding new ways to show her strong will.

  13. Outstanding!

    Therapists are so fallible. Why doesn’t God make them perfect?!

    I’m glad you liked seeing “The Weaver” on my blog. No way we can see our lives as God does. Another favorite of mine for representing God’s perspective is the song by Moses’ future father-in-law in the animated movie “The Prince of Egypt”.

  14. besides the amazingness of the conversation, can i just say that i love that egghead in the picture! kind of looks like an alien. : )

  15. Pingback: Wonder Child « Autism In a Word

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s