I just spent a delightful hour rolling around my bed playing and "talking" with Jack. It was a full hour of back and forth "turn-taking" in conversation. He did not overtalk me and I did not overtalk him so we were quite balanced in our interaction. I talked in short phrases like Jack and often repeated what I heard him say so we were also quite matched and responsive. We shared control--sometimes he introduced a new topic (more on that in a minute) and sometimes I did--so no one dominated the conversation. And, of course, we enjoyed one another's company! So I feel like we scored a big 10 out of 10 on being good "communicating partners".
However, a lot of the "talking" by Jack was scripting. He was repeating lines from books and movies. Some of the phrases I was able to apply to what we were doing and make them more "present". Other times, it was just kind of off the wall but I went with it anyway to keep the conversation going.
Throughout all this scripting and talking, we were able to have a few "real conversations"--actual exchanges of information or just social pleasantry.
I really feel like Jack's social and speech development are taking off like a rocket. I love spending this time talking with him and part of me feels (and I do know) that the investment I am making by engaging in these "non-sensical" conversations now will pay off in the future. Well, I know it will since Jack has more "real conversations" with me than anyone else. He actually talks to me about stuff. He doesn't have these conversations with anyone else.
I know that he is using the scripting to practice talking. He knows the phrases and feels successful and confident in using them. We are forming a great habit of being responsive to another person in conversation.
I am a little concerned though that I might be helping him form a habit of just completely veering off topic during conversation.
Trying to establish a balance is so hard!
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