Thursday, March 17, 2011

Communication Skills

As far as Quirky goes her communication skills have come a long way...A LONG WAY...from where we started. She is verbal...some days extremely verbal! People are often surprised that she is autistic (and often as not I would like to see what these people expect an autistic child to look like....stereotypes AAAAHHH! but anyway that is another story) One thing that has still been a struggle for us is body language...meaning that she rarely uses it or understands it. Shrug her shoulders...never. Wave hello....rarely. Shake her head yes or no...when the mood hits her.

Lately though things have changed a little. Quirky had taken to placing her hand (rather stiffly and in a straight line) across the top of her eyes and shaking her head while looking down. I would watch her and think...why is she doing that?...Who taught her that? It was all pretty confusing and somewhat comical too. No I didn't laugh...I wanted to... it was often funny looking... but I didn't want to discourage this new foray into a whole new mode of communication. I did study this new body language though. They were often stiff motions and after awhile Dork and I figured out why...
Muppets. Kermit the frog to be exact. We have been recently watching the old Muppet movies. She has been mimicking Kermit's body language. When someone would do something silly...she apparently remembered how Kermit reacted when another Muppet did something silly...and she copied it. That is why the motions often seem so stiff...almost like she was being a puppet. How funny...yet how absolutely amazing is that? To remember little things from a movie is no big deal...but to remember exact motions from a movie...figure out when it might be appropriate to use them...and then to put those motions into use....AMAZING. Thank you Kermit.