Sunday, July 14, 2013

Yobo

I had a conversation with Jonah tonight during our 5 minute cuddle time that wasn't possible before. To think that a couple years ago, he wasn't talking like this is one thing, but it's another to think that he wasn't even talking like this a month ago. A month ago he was saying things that were blowing my mind. 

The past two days, all he wants is to "watch school songs on compuper." There are Jonah-isms in our house that our family all have come to love. Watching school songs on the computer is about the sweetest thing ever because he cruises around YouTube watching stuff like this: 




He now knows how to type in the names of most of the songs he wants to watch, and when he doesn't know, he asks me for help, and I can spell it out for him while he types it in. Then he sings and does the little dances if there are any. He likes to cuddle and ask questions like "Wha-isit?" Jonah-ism for what is it. 

Tonight when we cuddled at bedtime (5 minute routine every night when he is getting tucked in), Jonah asked about going to touch the twinkly star (like the little owl in the video clip). At this point, it dawned on me that my poor urban child has probably never really seen the potential of the stars without the city light pollution. He loves the moon, but I doubt he's seen that many stars. I have to start traveling with him, and am hoping to plan a one-night camping trip in the fall whether I can afford it or not. 

He told me "Jonah want to go fry up in va hewicopter and touch va twinkwy stars." Wow! Imagination! 

A short minute later, I was wiggling his two bottom-front teeth that are loose when we got to talking about the tooth fairy. In an effort to prepare him for losing his teeth (something that he was scared of) I introduced him to the tooth fairy. Judge me if you want, but it works for him. He's really excited about it, and told me so tonight. 

Me: "You know Jonah, the Tooth Fairy lives on a star."
Jonah: Jumps up from seated position with excitement and says with a big smile "Yes. And va toof fairy is yobo* come down on a hewicopter yobo get my too - thh**." 
Me: "Oh really?! The tooth fairy flies on a helicopter?"
Jonah: "Yes. And va toof fairy is going to fwy on hewicopter yopo get your too-thh and bring presents."
Me: "That's right Jonah. The tooth fairy flies on a helicopter and brings presents and takes your tooth."
Jonah: "And yobo bring Jonah's too-thh to thhe stars. Ehhh. Jonah touch twinkly stars?" 
Me: "Jonah, do you want to go ride in a helicopter someday?"
Jonah: "Yes."
Me: "Well that is something we are going to have to make happen." 

There is more and more reason to celebrate how great things are turning for us. I think we have finally finished with the Hib clearing. (We were running close to 5 months on the Hib clear.) Summer is here! I have a normal schedule. I'm better rested, and working on developing a consistent schedule with Jonah. The aggravated behaviors have virtually disappeared. He is still demonstrating them at times, but they are much more manageable than before. (Another reason why I am better rested.) 

I am happy to feel happy. To feel things lining up, opportunities for both of us falling into place. Is it just CEASE helping Jonah? I can't say for sure, but I would certainly be surprised if it wasn't. There would really be no explanation for the growth that I am seeing in him aside from his diet, but we were seeing gains before going gluten free. I feel a GF diet has definitely been beneficial for him. 

In general, Jonah is sharing facts about his day with me, with details that he wasn't able to express before. He is showing more attachment for others, like Imo & Scotty, and friends at school. He is playing by himself. Not just sitting on the floor, or rolling around and looking at objects, scattering and throwing objects. No. He is now actually playing. Like on the 4th of July, when he pulled out a board game and asked me to play. I told him that I needed to make treats for our 4th of July party, and he asked if he could play by himself. I said sure. The next thing I saw was Jonah, sitting on the floor with all the cards and fake money spread out before him, as he vocally prompted a sequence of actions. It was 'The Game of Life.' A game that we have tried to play together, but since it is meant for a 9+ audience, Jonah's maturity is not at a level to understand and play the game thoroughly. Instead, he created his own little system. 

These are slow, steady and consistent gains. If this is as good as the gains get, they have exceeded my expectations.    

*To fill you in on some Jonah-isms... "yobo" is Jonah's way of saying 'you have to' as an instructional term. Since he has difficulty in the maturity of his speech, he will often say "yobo go..." as a statement when talking about his schedule. If he is talking about another person, he will still give you the direction like "Yobo go sit down." He is in the early stages of learning how to reference himself appropriately as he often talks about himself in first person. He is working on correcting himself while speaking... "Jonah got 6. No. I got 6." These are all very recent and increasingly consistent gains that we are seeing. While we have always worked on helping him to correct his speech, Jonah was often intimidated by it and would get upset or angry after trying a few times and failing. Now, he is prompting and correcting himself. The "yobo" is a term that he has self-corrected a couple times, and when it disappears from his language as so many of the Jonah-isms are starting to disappear, I will miss the sound of it in his sweet little voice. (Incidentally, yobo is a casual term of endearment in Korean and a word I grew up familiar with thanks to my grandparents.) 

**(That thh is to emphasize the effort Jonah is demonstrating unprompted to more clearly pronounce the sounds he has difficulty with. He normally pronounces the th sound as an ef sound.)

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