At the playground today I was sitting back, skimming the TACA newsletter I had just received, while keeping one eye on the Bri-Guy. I started reflecting on how far we really have come. It wasn't long ago that I had to be a shadow to Brian at the playground- because he might elope, he might not take turns with other kids at the playground, he still needed help with a lot of the equipment, other parents may say rude things to him when he acted inappropriately (true story). It feels nice to just sit back. I still worry sometimes what other kids might think of him when he doesn't reply to them or when it's his turn to slide and he has to jump and flap a few times before he goes down. But for the most part, I know he knows how to be safe.
As I was sitting here thinking about all of this I watched him approach a ladder that had become part of a circular route he had been repeating for a while. Only this time when he came to it a young girl was leaning against it, with no intention of climbing. I watched with interest as he stood there, looking very puzzled. You could tell he was thinking about how to address it. I kept watching, hoping he would figure something out, or the girl might actually notice him, when all of a sudden I heard him start counting, "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10". He then patted his chest and said "Mah tuh" (my turn).
I had the biggest grin on my face. In his joint speech/OT sessions his speech therapist will usually count to ten when he gets on the swing and then say "my turn". She'll then get on the swing and won't move until he also counts and tells her he wants a turn. He's got the routine down really well at therapy but I've never seen him use this concept anywhere else.
Lucky for him the girl did climb the ladder at that point. I think it may have been coincidence, but I like to think she understood him.
And now, time for some random, cute, playground pictures: