Monday, June 25, 2007

Piglet, Where are You?

Written by Pickel from My Two Boys

Little Pickel: “Go swimming, go swimming, go swimming, go swimming, go swimming, go swimming,”

He just stared at me, demanding to, obviously, go swimming.

Me: “No, I have told you for the hundredth time today. It is only 7 am. The POOL IS CLOSED.”

Little Pickel charged at me, arms swinging, legs kicking, anger ensuing. I artfully scooped him up dodging tiny hands that were grasping for my hair and carried him to our Time-In Chair to take a break. I held him tightly to help calm him while I listened to him scream out of control about going swimming NOW. His legs thrashed, tears ran down his face under his glasses, and he avoided my eyes until he finally began to ease himself down from his temper.

Little Pickel: “AHHHHrrrrrr, I’ll eat you up.”

He growled with a tempting smile.

I laughed and responded “I am King!”

Little Pickel giggled. My little one was back from his high, twenty sweaty minutes later.

I talked to him softly, completing our Time-In ritual with hugs and kisses and let him down off my lap. He ran off yelling “Piglet, where are you?”

This type of tantrum, of course, is common in our house and always has been. But I am sure many moms have experienced those at one time of another. What is more interesting is the language Little Pickel uses.

Little Pickel has not been diagnosed with Autism but rather shunned off as a speech delayed kid, an Institutional Autism case, and a possible Fetal Alcohol Effect child due to his biological misfortune. However, each and everyday we see more and more organic Autism markers; so much so that I am going to have him evaluated again, perhaps this time off the Gluten Free and Casein Free diet.

Since the moment Little Pickel entered our home just under two years ago we have done everything possible to give him the best care he can get. That includes diets, medications, therapies, schools, respite, and our unconditional love and perseverance.

It also includes a journey into his fantasy language. Little Pickel uses Echolalia to communicate and to learn language. He scripts everything and later uses those scripts to aid him in his communication. He connects to people using lines from movies and books in a delayed manner. However, not all of his echolalia fit the situations he is in. He will often answer a question with a phrase that is completely unrelated to what he is asked because he does not know how to answer or repeat the question as the answer. This drives my mother crazy.

Grandma: “Did you have fun today?”

Little Pickel: “Fun today?”

Grandma: “No, did you have fun today?”

Little Pickel: “Fun Today? Okay.”

By joining his world we have had to learn his language. We watch his movies, read the same books, listen to his music and make sure we listen to everything around us because he has a photographic memory for words and phrases. If we can respond to him in his language we can be included and have conversations with him.

By doing this we have greatly increased his language, both receptive and expressive. His scripting and echolalia have gotten even more distinct and he is talking more but he is adding to his words. Instead of just saying “What happened?” he is asking “What happened? Oh, it’s broken”; two phrases or scripts that he used to use independently.

The best thing about him being able to script spontaneously is that occasionally I will hear “I love you” without having to be the first to say it.

Little Pickel: “Mama, I love you. I love you. I love you.

Me: “Did you say that because you want to go swimming?”

Little Pickel: With no hesitation, “Yes.”

MOM-NOS has a great article on this at

As does Be a Good Dad:

This video is great example of how Little Pickel speaks and gets stuck on words and conversations.

Pickel is a SAHM wanting to be a WAHM. She is a mom of one blond angel from Arkhangelsk, Russia who lights up her life (but obviously gives her a challenge. Visit her blog to journey with her family as they travel to Guatemala to adopt their second child, chelate their first, and try to stay sane, which at times is quite difficult. But, that’s why we have kids right? Otherwise life is no fun.


Surviving Motherhood said...

wow, sounds like quite a challenge!

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