Friday, April 27, 2007

Red Truck

Yesterday afternoon the boys and I were making yet another trip to the hardware store. I've gotten a home improvement bug this spring and so the whole house is littered with tools and tape and just when I think I'm good to go I discover that I need something else. But on these rainy afternoons it gives us a good excuse to get in the car and go somewhere. So there we were yesterday, all strapped in our Ford station wagon that sports the new bumper sticker proclaiming that: This Car is on a Low-Carbon Diet. My mind was on other things, really, when I heard the words "Red Truck" from the back seat just as a red truck passed us in the other lane.

It took a second.

I pushed away what I had been preoccupied with. No, that wasn't Sammy, I thought. That was Oliver. Did he say 'Red Truck'? It sounded like red truck. And there certainly was a red truck. Oliver said 'Red Truck'!!!

Now, I often say that Oliver is mostly non-verbal. He can talk and he does communicate certain needs reliably. But mostly his language consists of the phrase: "I want" followed by some noun. He can also sing a couple of songs and can fill in the words to stories he is familiar with. But most of this is either prompted or driven by his desire to have his needs fulfilled. Which is OK, but it doesn't tell me a whole lot about what goes on inside his head.

But THIS! This 'Red Truck'! This is something completely new and wonderful. Oliver saw something in the environment that caught his eye and he labled it to share what he saw with the others in the car. That's communication. Spontaneous communication.

There's no telling where we'll go from here!


  1. Eeeek! Don't you just want to go crazy over red trucks now? "Hey Oliver- there's another red truck, and here, I painted one on your wall..."

    Good for him!

  2. That is exciting! :-) I was directed to your web log by a friend, and I am excited about reading about all the things you've learned on your journey. I am raising a child on the autism spectrum, too.

  3. I love it!!!!

    I hope more and more words like that keep popping up to surprise you.

  4. Fabulous! I would have been cheering so loud that I might have startled people in another car!

  5. How wonderful!

  6. I LOVE IT!!!! and you totally saw it coming.

    i am literally jumping up and down over here!

    go oliver go! there are MANY more red trucks to come!!!