Thursday, May 10, 2012

Eat Mor Chikin, Ellie-isms, and Communication

Whenever we arrive at our destination, I announce to Ellie where we are. For example, we are at the grocery store, we are at Kohls (she usually screams in terror at that one) or we are at Quiznos (at which Ellie points to her nose).    I never really knew if my little girl was making the connection until today.

When the weather is horrid i.e. the playground equipment would cause 2nd degree burns on Ellie's little legs or there is some freak incident of water falling from the sky (my non-Austinite friends have informed me that this phenomenon is called 'rain'), we head on over to the Chick-Fil-A with the really fancy indoor playscape that The Bear is able to navigate.

Ellie signing "hat".  She wants me to put a boulder rock on my head.

This afternoon, it was evident that the Bear was in need of some quality climbing time.  She was in a full blown motor sensory seek mode in that Ellie gymnastics were being attempted on all forms of our household furniture. Grasping on my last straws of mama sanity, I said "Ellie, do you want to go to Chick-Fil-A" not really expecting any response other than "no" complete with an exaggerated head shake, because in toddlerhood, everything is an emphatic No!  Imagine my surprise when Ellie exclaims "Ya" and signs 'play'.  For all of my preaching about having high expectations and not setting limits, I clearly underestimated my girl.  Clearly, Ellie Bear knows exactly what a trip to Chick-Fil-A is all about.

Ellie's face after I put the rock on my head.  Apparently it wasn't as funny as she hoped.

As we arrive at Eat Mor Chikin, Ellie patiently waits as I purchase my Diet Dr. Pepper.  Okay, well on a toddler scale, Ellie was extremely patient.  She then sashays over to the playground door, sits down, takes off her shoes and hands them to me.  Every patron is the eatery is smiling at her.  Ellie then touches the door and signs "help please".  Smart and polite little Turkey Bear!

My littler girl never ceases to amaze me.  She understands so much more than what I give her credit for and I really need to remedy that. Just because my Ellie is mostly nonverbal, it does not mean she doesn't comprehend what is being said to her.  Just because she is nonverbal, does not mean she cannot communicate.  Ellie understands so much and she is learning to express herself using the tools that can access--her signs and her actions.

Darling Ellie, you are a super smart, bright girl who is continually learning and striving hard to reach your full potential.  I will no longer underestimate you, but instead I will celebrate all that you are and all that you will be.  I will always be your biggest advocate.  Your biggest cheerleader.  Forever, I will love you.  -Mama


  1. I do this with my youngest (who doesn't have Ds). I assume that she is less intelligent because she has less sense. Because she is willing to walk off the edge of a couch and to push over what she used to climb up with in order to get that last step thereby leaving her with no way to get back down, I assume that she can't understand as much. I'm getting better at not equating being less cautious with being less clever. Like Ellie Bear, my Darth Baby is showing me that throwing caution to the wind in order to seek more sensory experiences is not that same as not having the ability to absorb and learn.

  2. Yay Ellie! I love this! It's so great finding out what she understands. And nonverbal does not mean non-communicative. A woman at a seminar I was recently at said something along the lines of a child who "communicates without words", and I liked that, since the implication is that there IS still communication (even if it sounds a little like it's trying to be PC.)

  3. SO so so true! There are many ways to communicate your needs and desires and get your point across. That is why I LOOOOVE sign language. Ellie is a receptive language champion and her spoken language continues to grow and grow!!! Yayyyeee Ellie!

  4. Smart girl!

    Also, I've heard of that whole "rain" phenomenon before (I live about 1.5 hours from Austin). Sometimes I think people just tell stories. As if water really falls from the clouds! Hehehe...

  5. Wonderful!!

    So, when are you going to learn how to sign, "Fruit Salad, Yummy Yummy" while the Wiggles sing?

  6. i relate so much to this...although i could always see tilly was super smart, and she always signed, it is so so easy to underestimate a non-verbal child! even as her mummy and biggest fan it still blew me away when she began to speak that she 'got things!' and now at 6 she still amazes me daily as she makes jokes that crack me up and learns new vocabulary...her latest is to call me darling pie! ...its a combination of my calling them all darling or sweetie pie! the other day i told busby off and she ran to me arms outstretched to hug me better. 'oh just come here darling pie and let me hug you' she said!!!! her talking never gets old!! xxxxxxxxxx


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