Wednesday, September 8, 2010

She is Listening

Because Nina deteriorated so quickly and was so unresponsive, we assumed that she wasn't listening nor understanding what we were saying. Boy were we mistaken!

When we returned from Cottage Hospital on Thursday the 26th, Eileen accompanied Nina into the living room where they were joined by Teddy and their neighbor friends, Cami and Katie. About 10 minutes later, Eileen approached me with a gigantic smile. She proceeded to tell me about the conversation Nina had initiated with her brother and friends.

Apparently, while they all sat on the mattress now stationed in the middle of our living room, her friend Katie asked her where she'd been. Without hesitation, Nina turned to her brother and friends and said she had been at the hospital getting brain surgery! Thankfully, Eileen was right there and intervened immediately. She explained that Nina hadn't had brain surgery, just had gotten medicine to feel better. Again, without skipping a beat, Nina pulled up her shirt, revealing the port latched onto her chest and articulated that this was where her "brain medicine" went. Thankfully the kids laughed instead of cried. Within seconds they were all off riding their bikes while Nina turned to a watch a movie.

The moral of the story is that we have to watch what we say around her and other kids. The fact of the matter was that the girl was listening and we needed to be sensitive! It reminded me of how on many occasions I had turned to families of the kids with autism we worked with and suggested that we discuss goals and challenges not directly in front of the kids. Just because kids are unresponsive and non-interactive does NOT mean they don't understand. This was a very good lesson to learn!! In many ways, I have learned more from my children then I believe I have taught them! Oh, the beauty of parenting!!

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