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.