Today I tried a new thing: I asked Nat if he wanted to type a message on Facebook. He said “yes,” and he used my account. When other people wrote him back, I showed him. I had him read their comments. He thought about them for quite some time, and then he would say one word out loud, and I would say, “Type that. Tell them what you are thinking.” He would then type the word, pause, and I would help him again — not giving him content, just keeping him focused. “Tell them what you are doing today.” I would almost whisper it. I didn’t want to make him run away, overwhelmed. He would wait a while, finger hovering over the keys, and then he would say a word, like “Races.” I would ask him what he meant by that and he would explain: “Swim races.” So I would then say, “Type that.” Sometimes he would start a comment with “nat.” Sometimes with just his word. I would always tell him, “Great!” and then ask him if he wanted to say anything else. He always thought for a while, and then he might type something or if he seemed really tuned out and looking around, I would ask him if he was finished. If he said, “yes,” I would hit the return key and show him his entry, and thank him for writing to these people.
This is deeply exciting to me. Nat clearly wants to communicate with people, and you can bet I am going to light a fire under this one to make it happen. I remember when Nat was four or so and wishing desperately that he would understand that it is a good thing to connect to people. I was at such a loss as to how you make someone understand that.
Sometimes you just have to wait. Do everything you can, but also — wait. It’s so hard, but it is better to wait decades for something than to think it will never happen at all. So why not try & wait at the same time?
Friend me on FB (tell me who you are because I don’t friend just anyone who asks) and you will see for yourself.