I Should Be Careful What I Wish For


May 16, 2013 by Marj Hatzell

Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by sarcasm, this is not a post for you. Warning: May contain sarcasm, jokes, humor, drollery, jocularity, amusing tidbits, farcical comments, facetiousness, ludicrous speed or comedy. In other words, it’s all in jest and I’m just trying to be funny. And you should never take me seriously anyways. Sheesh. Thank you.

Bugaboo doesn’t speak.

I mean, he doesn’t speak verbally with his voice. He makes PLENTY of noise (and we special education teachers KNOW that nonverbal children are sometimes the loudest children of all, funny how that works, no?) and there has been more than one moment when I’ve asked him to turn it down to at least eleven.

They’ve done an AAC (assistive augmentative communication. I think.) trial with him at school for the past two months. Now, we’ve done AAC trials before and he had NO INTEREST whatsoever. But something has clicked in him. Something is different. Maybe it’s the ten pounds and six inches he grew. Perhaps it is from the two sizes his feet have grown and it’s squeezing his brains back into his feet. Maybe it’s because he is better regulated, sensory-wise. Or maybe his health has been good for a long time and his body can do things it has wanted to do for years.

Two weeks into that trial he was inputting sentences. I’ve written about this before, yo. Pay attention! Anywho, he was telling how he FELT. He was requesting food and places to go. Somedays he’d bring me “Steak, outside” Which meant he wanted to grill steak (INORITE?) or “Dogs, outside” because Daisy, our border collie, can be a bit of a pain in the bum. Or, “I’m happy, shower!” When he was excited about playing in water.

But last week he found the button I was hoping he’d never find.


Not letter Y, either. He stumbled upon a category I had temporarily moved, since WH-questions aren’t exactly in his repertoire. And all day he would input, “Outside. Why?” or “I want Target, m&ms, WHY?” Overandoverandoverandover.

I’m now convinced that if he could verbally say what he wanted, like out loud and stuff? He’d have echolalia (which THANK YOU BABY JEBUS Bug Boy grew out of about two years ago, though sometimes will still repeat things over and over). And I’d be going insane and covering my ears because he’d be repeating things overandoverandover. And more than just, “I WAAAAANT! I WAAAAAAANT!” Hoe. Lee. Cow.

It’s sort of falling into that, “Be careful what you wish for!” category. Because I’ve HOPED AND DREAMED for this for all of his ten years. And now I’m all “ZOMG maybe having a nonverbal child isn’t such a bad thing after all!”

After all, there was a time that I hoped and prayed for patience.

I’m fairly certain that one was answered. I should keep my mouth shut for now on.

Just sayin‘.

27 thoughts on “I Should Be Careful What I Wish For

  1. texasaurus says:

    My daughter walked around for weeks saying “no way Jose” when she was learning to talk. It was equally awesome and annoying.

  2. Niksmom says:

    LOL! I sooooo get this!

  3. I just can’t say enough about those speech devices. They are such a godsend to families with nonverbal children. I can also see the flipside of that too, and can totally see how it would be almost like echolalia, things being repeated over and over. Having two kids that like to press the same buttons over and over (and one child with his very own version of echolalia) I can see how that would get old.real.quick.

    Interesting about the “why” button. Perhaps he’s pondering the meaning of life? I eat M&Ms, therefore I am. But why do I love M&Ms? Why are M&Ms on this earth? Why? WHY???? I think he’s a little philosopher, Mom! 😉

  4. Janet says:

    Maybe it’s because I have a non-verbal 11-year-old, but what I read seem rather non-offending. Thanks for sharing. 😉

  5. Awesome post 🙂

  6. Great Post ! Mama Fry sent me , they say you spend the first 2 yrs (well 2yrs to infinity in our world) to teach them to talk. The next 15 trying to get them to shut up ! lol My son is a repeater, a repeater that gets louder as he repeats. He’s 14yrs, 5’6 with a booming I’m going through puberty voice. I have to come to a complete stop when he does it and tell him I heard you ALL 20 TIMES, I’m not helping you until you are quiet. this hardly works, someone gives in, I adjust my ear plugs, neighbors yell out the window, “just give him the chocolate milk already “, “let him watch Jumanji again , at least he’s quiet !!” So I can totally relate ! 🙂

  7. Lol… Being a big fan of sarcasm and dry wit, I’m not offended, rather refreshed. ;0) Oh, and Mama Fry/Mrs. Bacon sent me, too!

  8. When we pray for patience, God doesn’t magically give it to us… instead He gives us lessons to TEACH us patience…. Such as having our autistic children drive us crazy!

  9. I do love the “steak outside” 🙂

  10. Cathy says:

    I have a 11 year old grandson who is autistic but partially verbal. This program you write about sounds awesome. Could you give me some info on it? Is it a special iPad or a program for iPads? His bday is coming up and it would be a gift to him and us all if he could communicate better.

    • Proloquo. We’re doing a trial through his school. It’s pricey and there are some lower alternatively priced apps but proloquo is worth every penny. It isn’t for every kid and it takes perseverance but we don’t regret a thing. 🙂

  11. Karen says:

    So happy for you that your son is beginning to be able to verbalize! I work as a private duty nurse with special needs kiddos and laughed right out loud when you said that sometimes nonverbal kids can be the loudest of ’em all. I always feel like I’m putting it rather mildly when I make a notation, “Client vocalizing loudly.” when “Client screaming the paint off the walls.” would be ever so much more descriptive.

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