Recently I shared how Harry asked to go out for a babycino AND coffee (very smart addition to really get his parents on board with the idea) – you can read the post here.
I was chatting to a friend a few days later and she asked where we went for babycinos and coffee. And well, we actually didn’t go anywhere. We already had plans to visit friends that day and so I chatted to Harry and explained that we couldn’t go out and what we were going to be doing. He was absolutely fine with it and on we went with our day and I didn’t give it another thought.
But when I explained this to my friend, it got me thinking about how our responses to his requests have evolved.
There were the early days when we were still learning and the only thing that Harry could do was choose between 2 or 3 symbols and so he received each item or activity that he requested. (Please read this post about my ‘AHA’ moment when I understood why this stage in our AAC evolution was, thankfully, short-lived.)
Then there were the times when Harry first had his PODD communication book and we were so determined to show him how important this book was and that it was his voice – and so he received everything he requested.
Then there was the first time he combined 2 words on his PODD book – ‘drive’ ‘park’. It may have been 7am on a cold and wintery morning, but our resolve and sheer excitement over his glorious request had us rugged up and in the car to a foggy, deserted park.
And finally there have been ALL those chocolate smothered pancakes – but honestly those were going to happen anyway, requested or not!
And here we are, back to ‘go babycino coffee’ and while I am no less excited by his requests and comments, I also now know that there is absolutely no question at all that Harry understands that his talker is his voice. And that knowledge has enabled me to simply hear it as the voice of my 5 year old son and, like for any other 5 year old’s request, sometimes the answer is ‘no’.