Friday, April 5, 2013

Communication frustration in action

When Luca first turned 2, we experienced a lot of tantrums related to her inability to communicate.  I shared that once we increased the teaching of sign language, those tantrums lessened incredibly to amount to just the normal toddler tantrums.

All of the sudden, her tantrums have increased again.  I thought it was because her brain is working so fast now in making connections, but that she is still limited in telling us those connections.  And then this happened this morning:

After waking Luca up and rocking her for a bit while she woke up fully, she asked to get down and went over to her books.  She picked one out and opened it.  On the first page, where the credits were with author and copyright info, there was a picture of a little bird.  She said "Mama" to get my attention, pointed to the bird, and then gave me the sign for cereal.  I was confused.  I said "Luca, silly, that is a bird, not cereal."  She immediately started stamping her feet, and continuing to sign cereal.  "Luca, is the bird hungry?"  More screaming, stomping, and agitation.  More signing for cereal.  "Oh, are you hungry?"  More irritation.

I thought maybe she was just hungry and signing for her cereal while we read the book.  I took her to the kitchen while she was still irritated, shaking her head and signing no.  I grabbed her box of cheerios and received an adamant no in response.  I grabbed my cereal, and Ian's cereal and offered her both.  Another adamant no in response.  I put her on the counter to let her look in the cabinet to show me what she wanted to eat.  She whined and kept looking, clearly uncertain what she looking for.

Then, it dawned on me when I saw a box at the top of the cabinet behind stuff.  I grabbed the box of cereal and she began clapping her hands and laughing hysterically.  Sure enough, it was a box of cereal that had a bird on the box.

I was amazed.  She had not had that type of cereal in over a month.  To connect the two birds as looking alike, and realize that that bird was on her cereal box was amazing to me.

Her brain had jumped and made the connection perfectly.  I just could not keep up and make the connection.  How incredibly frustrating.  This simple example shows me just how far we have to go in terms of speech and also demonstrates how well her little brain is working.

It completely verified my theory that these tantrums are speech related.  She is irritated that we do not understand her connections the way she does.  She is frustrated that she cannot explain her wants and needs.  Miss Luca, this mama will keep working and working to get that speech out of you.  I hate seeing you so frustrated and yet I completely understand why you are.  You are incredible and keep communicating how you can and hopefully this mama can keep up!

And if you are wondering about the bird pictures, here they are.

The book:

The cereal box:

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  1. OMG that is AMAZING! Can't believe she made that kind of connection, but super impressive.


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