Quest for language 3

I had a terrible migraine.  Still, I had to watch Robert in our two story townhouse. My friend, Lisa, once said, “It is easy to take care of a child with autism, as long as you don’t blink.” She didn’t mention migraines.  I couldn’t keep Robert purposefully occupied by himself for more than  one minute and I couldn’t occupy him either.   But if Robert was not occupied he would run from room to room and up and down the stairs.  I couldn’t run after him. I needed to lie down  and hope the migraine would pass.   Somehow I decided that the safest place for us both would be in the smallest bedroom.  It was  small enough for me to reach  Robert from the bed on which I hoped to recover from the pain.  I moved the bed in such way that it blocked the door and was ready to rest.   Except, blocking the door was not something Robert would ever accept.  For him, the whole idea and/or essence of ‘door’ was that they could be opened and closed freely.  Although Robert had already accepted the concept of a door lock,  he, nonetheless, was not ready to tolerate such outrageous action as blocking the door with an object which was  not meant to do it.  He explained his position to me clearly by spreading himself on the floor, stumping his feet and walking around his head with his back on the floor.  He also produced a few but constant and loud sounds. So I moved the bed to the old place.  As soon as I did that Robert stopped screaming, got up, opened the door and shut them with all his might. Open and shut, open and shut….

I knew he would go like that for an hour or two.  So I did the only thing I could think of.  From the bed I stretched my arm to block the door and I demanded that Robert says, “Open”. He didn’t.  But he produced some sort of the sound. Good enough.  I released the door.  Robert shut them.  I blocked the door, asked for “open” .  Robert produced another sound.  Although he wasn’t trying yet to imitate me I released the door.  Over and over.  Slowly Robert got an idea that producing a sound opens the door.

I don’t remember if I still had a headache some time later when I got up from the bed and started working with Robert.   He had to look at me and make an effort to say,”Open”.  He did.  I mean, he made an effort.  That day he was able to produce purposefully long “o” sound. A few days later he added, “pen” , to it.   But that  came about in less dramatic circumstances, so I don’t remember them at all.

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