Five years ago, I wrote some goals for Philip during an RDI workshop. You can read about it here.
Two nights ago Philip officially accomplished goal #1: To participate in dinnertime conversation with the family. In fact, he did this in grand fashion!
My father-in-law was making his specialty, Cajun Gumbo. We decided to have my parents and sister’s family over as well. A total of 11 of us were sitting in my dining room eating and talking. In the midst of everyone there, I decided to ask Philip how his day was going. “I AM HAVING A HYSTERICAL DAY,” he spelled. It would have been great to have a video camera on us because as Philip was spelling H-Y-S, I must have looked very confused because I thought he was going to spell nonsense. I asked him several times, “did you mean to use that letter?” “Y” for yes, he would answer. As he continued spelling, I started understanding where he was going. I was really focused on the board that I didn’t notice the facial expressions of Philip or those around me. According to Kit and Grandpa Mike, Philip had a twinkle in his eye and had an impish smile on his face. According to Grams, everyone was really enraptured and delighted by his spelling. I really wanted to show everyone how good Philip was at math so I had my dad ask him a math question. He started with“What’s 5+5?” “10,” Philip answered. My dad was clearly impressed. I told him to ask something harder. He asked a few multiplication questions. I finally had to tell my dad, “That’s easy for him!” Everyone laughed. Then he tried a fraction question. Philip got it right too. My dad was so excited. He asked Philip if he knew his first name. “ROGER,” he spelled. I had never seen my dad so happy around Philip. After dinner Grandpa Mike told Philip he was the star of the night and they gave each other high fives. I could see the confidence in his demeanor.
Philip has been having a breakthrough in social conversation just in the last 2 weeks. Where once he was only able to spell around me, he is expanding his ability to spell with many people and have back and forth exchanges, though it is still slow. Today Philip greeted the ladies in my Bible study. “I excited to see you. A nice day today.” With his Grams, he answered questions about school and spelled, “An education interests me.” When Grams asked what he thought about her and Grandpa Mike, he spelled, “I’d like them to stay.” Philip’s siblings are also bonding with Philip in a way they never had before. Carlos wants to have a fantasy football team with Philip now that he knows Philip can talk sports. Once Carlos asked Philip what his favorite team was. “BILLS” he spelled. Then he asked Philip which quarterback was the best. “BRADY” spelled Philip. Another time Philip chose to talk about “ARSENAL.” “The pro team or my team?” asked Carlos. “YOURS,” spelled Philip. Philip proceeded to amaze us with naming some of Carlos’s teammates and even some of the positions they played.
It is a very exciting time in our family. I look forward each day to discovering more and more about my amazing son!
Austin Oct. 2012