T-minus nine days until the move. The blog has been rather quiet (as my time has been taken up with work and moving preparations), but I thought I should give people an update on my daughter. She's been progressing rapidly, to the surprise and delight of her parents and therapist.
Her favorite subject right now is letters. She knows them all; show her the alphabet and name any letter and she'll point to it. She has a set of cards which show letters of the alphabet on one side and an object beginning with said letter on the other. You can lay them out in front of her, letter-side up, say the name of one of the objects on the opposite side, and she will pick up the corresponding card and turn it over to reveal the object. She can do it in reverse, too; put them object-side up and say a letter, and she'll give you the right one.
Even more exciting is that she's beginning to say the names of some of the letters verbally. Some are clear as a bell, such as A, F, M or T; while with others she tends to say the sound rather than the letter (like B). She's also enchanted with Wheel of Fortune. Recently, she watched as a contestant called out the letter M, then she turned around, looked me straight in the eye, and said “Emmm.” Then she turned back around and pointed to the letter when Vanna revealed it and said “Emmm” again. (She also applauds along with the audience, spins in place whenever she sees the wheel spinning, and quite sensibly refrains from laughing when Pat Sajak makes a lame joke.)
A really interesting incident happened yesterday: Gorgeous Wife saw her pointing in the general direction of the top of the refrigerator. Since she likes to point at things to get you to say their names, Gorgeous Wife thought that perhaps she was pointing at the kitchen timer and said, “Clock.” She looked confused for a bit, then signed “Red.” As it turned out, she was trying to say that she wanted some Doritos, which were in a bright red bag sitting on top of the refrigerator. She pointed, but when that didn't get the desired results, and she didn't know the word for the thing she was pointing at, she circumlocuted. Maybe not a big deal for a typical kid, but from what I understand, it's huge for kids with autism.
Anyway, so things are looking really positive for her. The therapist has been astounded by how well she's been doing. (She resorted to using full-sheet note forms instead of the half-sheets; there was just too much progress to document!) Now that she can communicate somewhat better than she used to, she is a lot happier and seems to have a voracious appetite for learning new things.