In my ongoing work with Joey I’ve learned that he doesn’t like to be prompted to use particular words. If I prompt him to use want, he’ll use every word BUT want, or will refuse to talk to me. It’s taken me awhile, but I’ve eventually learned to use more naturalistic methods and to accept Joey’s total communication, instead of demanding him to use the words I choose.
So I was amused the other day when I asked Joey to give me a picture card he was holding. “Can I have it?” I asked. He pulled it away. I assumed it was unintentional, because he often has difficulty with his motor planning. Yet then he turned to his screen and highlighted the word give.
“Can you give me the card?” I asked.
He smiled and immediately gave me the card.
My friend was prompting me to use a particular word. He didn’t give me what I wanted until said give, which he first had to model for me to use.
Touche, my friend.
Let me tell you, it didn’t feel so great to be forced to use a certain word when what I’d said meant the same thing.
Joey may have just been connecting the core word give with my demand, but it sure felt like I was being prompted to change my language.