I keep going back and forth in my mind on whether or not V. might be “spectrummy.” As you’ll see if you click on the link, I’ve been browsing autism spectrum disorder blogs, which is where I got the term. And I’m so thankful that ICLW (even though I don’t participate myself, I just can’t take on another commitment) created a link between the IF blogging world and the ASD blogging community, I don’t know how long it might have taken me otherwise to find these bloggers.
Spending all day, every day, with V. is a new thing for me, and I’m seeing her in ways I don’t know that I did before. To cut myself some slack, we did have a LOT going on this summer – high-risk pregnancy, new baby, moving a quarter of the way around the world. Anyway, during her naps I’ve been reading stuff on line about autism and Asperger’s syndrome, and like I said, I keep going back and forth in my mind – I read one thing and think “oh yeah, that sounds familiar,” and then another thing that’s completely not part of our experience. But then there’s a great deal of diversity within the spectrum, so that’s inconclusive.
We’re in Albania. I’m sure there are specialists here who could procure a diagnosis, but in English? How would you possibly evaluate a speech delay in a foreign language??
V. is adding new words to her vocabulary every day, and she has finally started combining words – but just nouns and adjectives – “black shirt,” e.g. – not nouns and verbs. She uses verbs, like something falls and she says “fall,” but she doesn’t say “book fall,” for instance. She’s almost two and a half.
The other thing I’m uncertain about is pretend play – she doesn’t seem to really get it when I introduce elements of pretend into our play, although she does pretend certain things – she’ll pretend to drink out of an empty cup, and pretend to feed her stuffed animals. That’s about it.
As for reciprocity, today I got her to take turns with me playing hide & seek, very briefly. But most of our games consist of each person having a different role – like I throw her a stuffed animal, and she pushes it through the space between the table and the wall, one by one until the whole pile of toys is under the table. Does that count? I have no idea.
So anyway, I’m trying to really pay attention to the finer nuances of her play and verbal interactions, and to encourage the stuff she’s behind on, and lavishly praise her when she does new things and takes steps forward.
She is so precious to me. Her smile and giggle make my day, her tears break my heart.