Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Stupid Is As Stupid Does.

I have to admit...sometimes it's nice having a child with language issues. My friends often tell stories about their kids picking up bad words from others, or their "potty mouths" creating embarrassing situations for them in public.

Jaysen has come a long way since the days of pure echolalia, but he is still noticeably behind his peers in language development. Jaysen isn't interested in age-appropriate things just yet (although I was so excited when he tried to 'spin a web' like Spiderman), for the most part, he still likes the baby videos. Not videos for little kids, I'm talking baby videos. He has, and cherishes, the whole Baby Einstein collection, and has moved onto the So Smart collection as well. Every once in awhile there will be a stand-in, like Mickey Mouse (Fantasia), Blue's Clues, or the occasional Scooby Doo, but as a whole, it's the baby stuff.

He knows they're for babies (because it says it right on the box), and he'll add in his own commentary "for babies...and Jaysen". I get flack for not trying to get rid of the tapes, or not replacing them with something more age-appropriate, but I honestly think the attraction is because they're non-threatening.

Think about it. Here is a kid that has sensory issues. Here is a tape that provides visual and auditory stimulation, at a level that he can handle. He likes the visuals because they're fun and transition into each other. He likes the music because it's simple, clean, and at a constant level. There's no storyline to follow, no dialogue to decipher...it's the perfect entertainment.

Anyway...I just got way off topic...language...right.
Jaysen still relies on echolalia for a good portion of his repertoire. The extent of his swearing has been "Awww barnacles" "tarter sauce" or if he's really mad, "fish-paste" a la Spongebob. Makes it difficult not to smile when your 5 year old is red in the face screaming "fish-paste" at you.

Well... Jaysen just recently learned the word "Stupid".
I don't know where he learned it (probably from me), or why he decided to pick that one up for his vocabulary arsenal- and although it's not all that bad of a word (unless it's applied to people), I was a little taken aback when I heard him say it.

I actually think he called me stupid first. I told him that it wasn't a nice word, and we don't say things like that because it can hurt people's feelings. Then he got mad. Really mad. Suddenly, everything was stupid. "Couch! You stupid!" "Chair! You stupid!" "Companion! You stupid!" "Stupid, stupid, stupid!" "STUUUUUPID!"

The more he said it, the less he seemed able to control it. He was crying as he was insulting everything's intelligence. I forgot about trying to get a lesson across, and went into rescue mode. I tried to help him calm down as best I could. Nothing was working. I could tell that he was tired, so I abandoned ship, and just carried him to bed. I laid with him and scratched his back. The crying eventually ceased.

Laying in Jaysen's bed, listening to his breathing, trying to figure out if I can make my escape to my own bed yet- I hear a soft little voice sweetly say, "Goodnight, Stupid".


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