Saturday, May 03, 2014

Moment of awe

I had a moment of awe at AJ's cognitive ability this morning.

When your child has Fragile X and you watch him grow up and struggle with things like holding a spoon, unlocking a door, and putting his shoes on the right feet, you carry that with you when forming expectations of what other kinds of cognitive things he might struggle with.

You don't want to have these preset notions and somewhat lower expectations but we are only human, right?  We form ideas about people based on our experiences with them.

Based on my experiences with my sweet AJ, I never would have expected what I saw this morning.

One of his current favorite apps is the ABC Mouse alphabet app.  It's very basic and preschoolish - it's a simple video and song about each of the 26 letters.  When you first download it you get the videos for A and B, and you have to watch the videos all the way through to earn "tickets," and after 50 tickets you can choose another letter video.  It didn't take long to get C.  I turned the thing on and played it every time I saw it, just to get the tickets at the end.  We got D in much the same way.

The videos are very fun and catchy tunes, but they are a good 3 minutes in length, which is about 2 minutes and 48 seconds longer than AJ's attention span, so he keeps starting them over and over, only playing the first few seconds of the video.  I told hm over and over, you have to let it play all the way to the end to get the tickets, but he was obsessed with watching just the first part.  And I didn't really think he got the concept of earning tickets to get another letter video.

This morning AJ happens by, iPad in hand as always, and I hear the strains of a new letter video.  It's playing "E."  I grab it from him and look - sure enough, there's the video for E.  Apparently he earned tickets and downloaded it without my help.

"Wow, AJ!  You got another letter all by yourself!  Great job!"

I sat down with him and encouraged him to show me the E video.  But as usual, his patience ran out just a few seconds into the song.  He put his finger on the bottom scroll that shows how much of the video remains and fast-forwarded it to the end.

"No AJ, you won't get a ticket that way.  You have to watch the whole thing..." I began to tell him.  He pushed my hand away as I tried to stop him.

The E video ended within 10 seconds.  AJ and I watched as one ticket popped out of the slot onscreen.

OMG, do you know what this means?  You don't have to watch the whole 3 minutes of video to get a ticket!

But even more jaw dropping....  AJ FIGURED THIS OUT ALL BY HIMSELF! 

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