You’re Not Listening To Me

Handsome is always manipulating us to get what he wants. Sounds like a typical kid, right? Handsome is 8 years old, very soon to be 9 actually {…I’m not sure if I’m ready for that yet}. Anyways, Handsome is also non-verbal. He makes utterances, but mostly grunts and whines for the things he wants.

He knows several signs, and we work on them daily. He’s got the sign for “more” perfectly nailed and knows exactly how to use it. In fact he uses these three signs perfectly. “More.” “Show.” “Please.” He has recently picked up a fourth sign that he uses perfectly, and will interchange in above request. “Tablet.” Almost every single thing he chooses to communicate with us, will result in Handsome signing for “more” of either show or tablet.

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“More show / tablet please”

He’s very polite though, and always remembers to say please. But…polite quickly goes out the door if the answer to his request happens to be no.

Handsome has also become quite adept at signing for lemonade. He will use the sign, the utterance, and even try the finger-spelling for this one. Yes, the boy loves his lemonade.

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Another moreย recent accomplishment, is communicating his desire to go somewhere. He doesn’t really care where we go. He just wants to go. Why? Well because if we go somewhere, the chances are favorable for him to get the “more tablet please” that he requests day in and day out.

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But his latest accomplishment–the whopper, the grand-daddy of them all–he will pull out all the stops and request to use the potty. A whopping 75% of the time, this tactic works. How so? Because in reward for having a dry diaper AND using the toilet, Handsome will receive the tablet for 15 minutes of free time. If he’s super lucky, mom will get tied up making a phone call or fixing lunch, and will let him keep it a little longer.

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Who needs words, right? He’s communicating perfectly fine. Sure, he’s manipulating us in the process of selfish gain…but he’s communicating. Apparently we just aren’t listening.


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