Little Miss Adorable – Speech, Language and Toddler Self-Defense

Little Miss Adorable at Readiness Centre

Little Miss Adorable is adorable.  And she knows it.  She works her charm to get whatever she wants.  For most of her life this has worked.  She smiles; people talk to her, pick her up and cuddle her.  Little Miss Adorable gets the attention she needs, and brings sunshine and happiness to the lives of others.

Little Miss Adorable has Prader-Willi Syndrome and severe hypotonia.  All her muscles are ‘floppy’, including those used for speech.  We are fortunate to have a Speech Language Pathologist working with Little Miss Adorable to help her use words to express her ideas; rather than Little Miss Adorable crying and pointing while we have no idea what she wants.

Our Speech Language Pathologist taught Little Miss Adorable to say “I want” to start to request an item. Within a couple weeks, Little Miss Adorable’s language exploded and she has become very skilled at making her wants known.  I want a drink of water.  I want bread.  I want a cracker.  I want a baby (aka her baby dolls).  I want a bath.  I want Barney.  I want Elmo.  I want a blanket.  I want a bottle (for baby dolls).  I want seat (meaning, get my baby brother out of the car seat, my baby dolls are going to sit there.)  I want stroller (again, for baby dolls).  You get the picture.

Little Miss Adorable has developed an association between riding in the van and having a drink of water.  Yes, she’s been watching us drink coffee or water in the van.  Now she wants it too.   A van ride with Little Miss Adorable sounds like this:

Me, “We’re going for a van ride!”

Little Miss Adorable raises her arms straight up above her head, “Yay!”

I strap Little Miss Adorable into her car seat and then sit in the driver’s seat.  Immediately Little Miss Adorable says, “I want a drink of water.”

I explain we will be in the car for less than five minutes and she can have a drink of water when we stop.

For the next five minutes she says continuously:

“I want a drink of water.  I want a drink of water.  I want a drink of water.  I want a drink of water.  I want a drink of water.  I want a drink of water.  I want a drink of water.  I want a drink of water.  I want a drink of water.  I want a drink of water.  I want a drink of water.  I want a drink of water.  I want a drink of water.  I want a drink of water.  I want a drink of water.  I want a drink of water.  I want a drink of water.”        

Ok, we have mastered using, “I want.”

Next step.

Our Speech Language Pathologist set the goal of teaching Little Miss Adorable to ‘protest.’  Lest you think we are teaching G20 or #occupy tactics, our goal is simply to teach “No, mine,” with an accompanying gesture pointing to one’s chest.

Little Miss Adorable mastered that one in an instant.  Big brother approaches Little Miss Adorable playing with her baby dolls, Little Miss Adorable yells, “No! Mine!”  Little brother rolls near her baby dolls, Little Miss Adorable yells, “No! Mine!”  A curious toddler approaches Little Miss Adorable playing at our readiness centre, Little Miss Adorable yells, “No! Mine!”

Little Miss Adorable stops pointing to her chest, and now leans forward, covering the desired object while yelling, “No! Mine!”  She is on the defensive and uses her body to block the intruder.  Little Miss Adorable’s using some #occupy tactics now.

Little Miss Adorable is playing at the sand table.  Another toddler approaches and wants to join.  Little Miss Adorable, leans forward, covers the toys and yells, “No! Mine!”  The startled toddler backs away.

This scene repeats itself over and over.  The sand table.  The craft table.  The sensory activities.  The play-doh table.  The doll centre.  The book and puzzles.  No! Mine!  No! Mine!

Clearly Little Miss Adorable is not being so adorable.  The teacher attempts to intervene.  “Now sweetie, can you share your play doh with me?”  The teacher reaches toward Little Miss Adorable’s guarded mountain of play doh.  Little Miss Adorable grips the play doh in both hands and yells at the top of her lungs, “NO! MINE!”

Back to our Speech Language Pathologist for this one.

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About Angela

Super-powered, Special Ed teacher and special needs mama to FOUR (!) children with an assortment of special needs; including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Prader Willi Syndrome. Our family features a heavy dose of good ol' ADHD). I blog about our halfpastnormal life.
This entry was posted in Early Childhood Development, Parenting, Prader-Willi Syndrome, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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