Monday, March 27, 2006

Eyes and Noses and Everything Else

I have a very clear memory of a time when Oliver was around 18 months. He was standing in front of me in his bedroom in the early afternoon and I was quizzing him about his body parts: "What's this?" I asked him, first in English and then in German. He could name every part in both languages -- even unusual parts like lips, cheek, tongue, elbow, neck. ... Now the only two body parts I know he can say are 'nose' and 'eye' and neither one would he say in response to a question. The word 'nose' is used only as part of a script from Bob the Builder and the word 'eye' only to say: "I have something in my eye."

At one time Oliver could also tell me the names of all the shapes and a few colors. He could tell me what sounds the animals make. He could also name about a dozen differnt kinds of vehicles: mail truck, milk truck, tow truck, bulldozer, tanker, tractor, bicycle, motorcycle. ... now he can say truck, car and occassionally bicycle.

So where did all of that stuff go? Is it still in there where he can access it? What happened that made it so hard to say those words when it seemed effortless before?

I'm not really asking for answers because I don't believe anyone knows.

It just sucks sometimes.


  1. I wonder the same sometimes. What happened that caused the disconnect and do they still know these things but can no longer verbalize them?

    I have this recurring dream that India is in her teens and is telling me exactly what was on her mind back when she was three and wanted to tell us so much but couldn't.


  2. I firmly believe that all that knowledge and much much more is trapped inside of Noah's head. He just can't verbalize it and let it all out. One day he will though.

  3. Sometimes I look at pictures and videos of a smiling, happy C and I think -- Where did you go?

    Now I mostly whisper to M (7 months) -- Stay with me.

    I truly don't think I can go through this again.

  4. Like my little guys teacher always says, "there is so much inside there, we just need to help him get it out". I believe it is all stored away and will eventually come back up to the surface.

    Regression is definitely not an easy thing to witness in our children. Just glad that they are all making progress now, no matter how slow it may seem some days.

  5. I can't imagine what it would be like to know that at one time Gabe could do certain things, only to loose them later. I did notice as time went on after he was 18 months that he bacame more and more "introverted", eventually totally tuning us out. I sometimes catch myself asking "Why?" Then I pick up another book on Autism or CAPD (Central Processing Disorder) and ask myself "Now where was I?" and move forward, because that is all I really have control over.


  6. Ballastexistenz recently posted this on the subject of regression:

    "I know who you are and I want that person back."

    It's mainly about how frustrated and hurt she felt when she "regressed" and the people around her, instead of accepting her as she now was, kept saying that they wanted her to go back to the way she had been, which was impossible.

    I don't think anyone really knows what causes loss of language, either, but I do believe that the human brain is constantly reconfiguring itself, pruning some connections while making other new ones, and there's just no way of telling where the process will end up at any particular time.

  7. I know you don't want an answer, but I always get the feeling that it is all still there, yet somehow became harder to access. There have been times working with kids that they have AMAZED me with what they said or di in response to the right stimulii...I always realize that I have not necessarily taught them that skill, just managed to access a skill that is already in me that is what I think is my job to find ways to access the potential that is already there...