It seems declarative communication is catching on!
Like most kids on the spectrum, Bud uses mostly imperative language - "I want this", "Can I have some that?", "What is that thing over there?" I typically have to rely on other people - his teacher, the special ed team, Nana - to fill me in on the specifics of his day. I knew that Bud was eager to return to school (and to a predictable schedule) following an unsettling holiday weekend, but I was a little worried that he'd have a hard time settling in again. To my surprise, Nana reported that drop-off on Monday was a huge success. She typically hands Bud off to his aide at the front door, and he and the aide walk together down the long hallway to his classroom. On Monday, however, Bud entered the building with gusto, said a quick goodbye to Nana, threw back his shoulders, and strutted past his aide and toward the classroom. His aide raised her eyebrows and Nana, then followed Bud at a distance. Little Mr. Independent!
On Tuesday evening, I was toweling Bud off after his bath and he seemed lost in thought. Then his eyes sparkled and he looked at me and said, "Mama! I walk to Kindergarten ALL BY MYSELF!"
I almost fell over. He was proud... and he wanted to share his pride with me!
"You DID?" I gushed. "Wow! What a big kid you are!"
"Yeah!" he said. "I walk to the classroom all by myself! Like this!" He threw his towel to the floor, lifted his chin, puffed up his chest, and then - all grinning teeth, pumping elbows and poking ribcage - he marched across the bathroom floor to steal a glance of his big-boy self in the full-length mirror.
I could really get used to this experience-sharing thing.