Utter Autism

November 30, 2007

Drink Decisions

A few weeks ago the new speech therapist (who we love) approached me about changing the food page.  She’d noticed that it spoke “I want to eat juice”  and suggested that we provide separate eat and drink buttons so he could piece together a more appropriate sentence.

I’m a little embarrassed to say that my first reaction wasn’t to thank her for her observation and suggestion.  I’m a thinker and I reacted by thinking – out loud.  I must remember in the future to thank then think.

Anyway, I told her that juice was all that Adrian drank.  So it seemed to me, at the time, that an extra button for this one option would be unnecessary. 

But then I got home and thought some more.  I realized that despite the fact that Adrian actually drank a variety of beverages, we called them all juice.  It all began years ago when all we had was approximated sign language and a limited number of vocalizations.  He could sign juice and make a vocal approximation for it so everything he drank was just called juice.  Lemonade, iced tea, fruit punch, orange drink, koolaid….. it was all juice because that’s what he could say.

But now he’s not limited by his sign vocabulary.  He’s not limited to the few sounds he can make reliably.  Now he’s got endless options….. or could if we give them to him.

So the I added every kind of beverage Adrian might consider having to the food pages…. along with a drink button.  Now he can, and does, tell us “I want to drink lemonade” or “I want to drink koolaid.”  For the first time, he’s got drink options.

I’m glad we’ve got folks looking at my programming from a different perspective.  I don’t know how many years it would have taken me to realize my mistake.

1 Comment »

  1. I’ve made many similar mistakes myself.

    Comment by mcewen — December 1, 2007 @ 2:05 pm

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