I’ve been concerned lately at Noah’s growing frustration and lack of cooperation. Most attempts by me to work with him on refining his speech is met by resistance. He is starting to be noncompliant in our school time, and I’m just sensing barriers going up any time I push him towards doing anything remotely academic or speech related.
The thing that bothers me the most is his aversion to making eye contact with me when he knows I’m trying to work with him. Am I pushing too hard?
But I can’t just let him stay where he’s at. I mean, it’s my job to push him to do great things, right?
No answers here, but I did enjoy a few minutes with him yesterday evening.
I met him where he was at. And he let me stay awhile.
Noah was sitting on the couch looking at a book. (YAY!)
I walked in the room and without saying a word, I was able to attract his attention. I signed to him without saying a word that I wanted him to come with me so I could brush his teeth.
He signed back – “YOU come HERE!”
So we went back and forth a few times playfully signing “You come here,” and “No, you come here.”
But I really did need to brush his teeth, so I cozied up to him on the couch. By this time he was laughing.
I signed “You ride.”
That got his attention. So I gave him a piggy back ride to the bathroom.
Mind you, it is VERY unusual for us to use sign language without at least me saying the word out loud too. But this communication exchange we had was totally silent, and boy did I have his attention!
So we got to the bathroom and continued our silent game, and I lived for a few minutes in a Noah-controlled world where no speech was necessary.
Magic. Absolute magic.
After a bit Noah caught on I was up to something, so he reverted back into his uncooperative self, but I had him for a few precious minutes, and oh, the fun we had! What a blessing to hear Noah laugh and laugh and laugh.
There is something special that happens when you and your child look into each others eyes and use language other than speech to communicate. It doesn’t have to be formal sign language. There’s a lot you can communicate just by gestures.
Try it. Even if your child doesn’t have a speech delay, try making a game out of communicating without the spoken word. I often see the spoken word as a key to the world around Noah, but that spoken word can also be a barrier.
Hearts know no words, but they know each other.
- Sign Language (mattmilbrandt.wordpress.com)
- Show Them ‘Signs’ of Understanding (ilearnnearn.wordpress.com)
- Sign language courses in college increasingly popular (mercurynews.com)
- Free Printable Cutom Book for Target Speaking Words (wordsofhisheart.wordpress.com)