Nate struggles with interpersonal communication with both adults and his peers.  Because he can’t communicate, Nate gets upset when he wants or needs something, and often hits his head on the floor or the wall in frustration.  Only within the past month has he begun to ask for help by bringing something to an adult, which has cut down on his self injurious behavior considerably.  With kids his own age, Nate is learning to allow them into his space.  Previously, he either shoved kids when they got too close or became passive, moving to his own secluded area.

Because of this, Nate loses a lot of battles.  Kids at school see a toy Nate is playing with and take it from him.  My son doesn’t put up a fight or even bat an eye.  Rather than interact with another person, he moves on to something else that no one wants.  Until this week.

When I pick Nate up from school, it warms my heart how his teachers, particularly Miss Suzanne, rattles off a list of wonderful discoveries Nate made that day.  On Tuesday, Miss Suzanne shared that a kid (who shall remain anonymous) tried to take a toy from Nate–and Nate fought back!  Normally teachers wouldn’t cheer when a kid picks a fight but, in this instance, it’s perfectly acceptable.  And today?  Some (still anonymous) kid tried to take Nate’s toy again.  This time, Nate let the kid take his toy but then vigorously started signing “MY TURN!!!!,” slapping his hand to his chest while looking at Miss Suzanne for help.  (She got the toy back for him.)  In both instances, Nate effectively communicated that he a) wanted the toy and b) wanted the toy back.  By (Curious) George!  I think he’s getting it!

Today?  “My turn.”  Tomorrow? Nate will be holding court.