Lucy is now 31 months old. Today, using her new PODD book she told us, "I need to go to the bathroom" and then I took her upstairs to the potty and she did indeed need to take a big poopy! Lucy has "told" us things by making choices and by using her yes and no buttons and head movements, but today, at 31 months old, she made a statement! It was amazing!
It has been less than a month since we went to the PODD training and it took nearly two weeks just to get the book put together, so I have only been modeling the book for about two weeks now. Within just a couple of days of the me starting the modeling, Lucy was watching nearly everything I "said" to her and she was mesmerized. The whole process of how to use the book as a visual language is a long explanation, but you can get the gist by knowing that when I point to a picture I say what it is and that is how she learns what they are and where they are. Since Lucy isn't able to use her hands reliably to point to the pictures on her own, we use a scanning process and her head movements for yes and no for her to choose what she wants to tell us.
Now, in the past two weeks, even though Lu has been very engaged and interested in what I was telling her, any time I have asked her if she had something to say, she always said no (for "no" she turns her head to the left). Today we were having speech and Danielle gave her three choices of activities and the fourth choice of "something else" and she said yes (for "yes" she tilts her head down or forward) for Mr. Potato Head, but then she kept saying no for everything she was given as a choice to put on him. After several series of choices and all she had chosen was a nose, I suggested that maybe she had made a mistake and didn't mean to choose Mr. Potato Head. She looked toward her book and reached for it and said yes when we asked her if she had something to say! She scanned first to "uh oh" since she had made a mistake when she chose Mr. Potato Head. Then she went to "Turn the Page" and on the next page she said no to "please", "thank you" and then said "yes" to "I need to go to the bathroom".
I just realized how totally awesome it is that I have had to use so many quotation marks during this post to emphasize things Lu has said! I have friends with children who can speak and still won't tell anyone when they need to go potty! I don't think I can even use words to explain how I feel about Lucy being able to tell us things. In February it will be one year since we got the diagnosis of Rett Syndrome. Less than a year ago a stupid doctor told us, in not so many words, that Lucy's life was going to be basically worthless. Ummm, I'm going to have to say "Errrr WRONG!" Kiss our ass Dr. Coffman and kiss our ass Rett Syndrome! Lucy had to use the bathroom today and went right ahead and told us about it! That's my big girl!