Leelo Language and Skills

Right now Leelo is hauling ass on his great big tricycle, going round and round and round the trampoline. Oh, wait, now he is being a monkey acrobat on the trampoline itself. Everyone else is asleep, so I can focus on telling you what an amazing amount of language and skills this boy has been throwing off during the past seven days.

First of all, he drew this. Himself!

Leelo Draws a Car

Need I tell you what it is? That's right, people, Leelo can draw a friggin' car. He used to say, "Draw a car, Mommy," but I guess he's decided that he no longer needs the middleperson -- he can say "Draw a car!" and then draw the damn thing on his own.

More amazingness from Leelo during this past week:

Expressive Language (what he says):

• He recited the entire alphabet -- saying not only the letter, but also the primary sound it makes.
• "I want to play with my friends. I want to go swimming." (The girls were swimming with their cousins and Merlin during one of Leelo's home sessions, and he was not pleased to be excluded from the fun.)
• "It hurts. It hurts, Mommy," referring to the knee he has now skinned four times in the past three weeks.
• "Are you coming?" to Seymour, when it was time for all of us to get out the door for school.
• "Give me high five!" to Therapist R, after he completed a task.
• "I did it!" Now says this after completing almost any successful task.
• "Get your arm off! [Mommy snuggling in bed with him at 6:30 AM, trying to eke out a few minutes' rest insomnia bout = 2 hrs sleep]"

Even more gobsmackerrifc is his receptive language (what he understands) when I use casual, conversational rather than clipped direct therapy-style requests:

• "Leelo, go upstairs and get a new pair of underwear [from the lower middle bathroom drawer]."
• "Leelo, don't forget to throw that banana peel away."
• "Leelo, please close all those [four] closet doors [in the hallway] but leave the bathroom door open."
• "You're going to need to scrub harder to get all that crayon off the counter. Use some powder [Bon Ami]"

And the thing you have to understand about Leelo is, despite how crazy-making his new violent tendencies are, he remains in his heart a sweet, affectionate boy who absolutely adores his family, and who likes nothing better than to snuggle on the couch during a family-time viewing of Spectacular Spiderman. Until his tactile defensiveness switch gets flipped and he doesn't like the snuggling anymore -- then a non-vigilant person might get smacked. But his soul is kind and sociable. He just needs our help to interpret and manage the cross-wiring between his intentions and his impulses.

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  1. Hi,
    love the 3d/bird eye view prospective of the car. quite accurate, actually.
    i am still convinced that Leelo could get some benefit in Therapeutic Listening, for both language and self regulation.
    my usual non sollicited 2 cents. :-)

  2. not only can he draw a friggin car, he can draw it very well, with observation far beyond most ordinary kids his age. i have a boy in one of my art classes who is diagnosed with only mild aspergers and i think he is also quite gifted artistically. at first he just scribbled and made up wild spidey narratives about them, but about half-way through first grade they started exhibiting distinct abstract organization that i doubt he was aware of--although he always had determination and definite, if indefinable, direction about whatever he was drawing. i whispered in his ear what a wonderful artist he was and always would be, and he seemed to respond more and more as he year went on. very deliberate about what colors he was using where, etc. that's something other kids take a long time to develop,if they ever do, early slaves as they are to "trees are green" etc.

    have you given leelo a wacom yet? the little ones aren't that $$ and no telling what he would come up with, beyond the toy. and you could save them, and show him how to, maybe.

  3. "He just needs our help to interpret and manage the cross-wiring between his intentions and his impulses."

    Beautifully put.


Respectful disagreement encouraged.