It's been an interesting challenge to teach Burke about "questions". A question can be very abstract for him and difficult to understand. I don't think he realizes how in the world to respond when I sit with my head tilted to one side, eyes focused on him and a questioning look in my eyes. Either he changes to a different topic, runs away or just stares back at me until...
Below is an example of our typical morning conversation...
Mama: Burke, do you want milk or juice?
Mama: Okay, do you want it in a blue or yellow cup?
Burke: yellow (he says this beautifully and I love it when he chooses yellow!)
Mama: Okay, here is your milk
Mama: Do you want juice? Yes or No
Mama: Do you want milk? Yes or No
Mama repeats to help Burke form full sentence: Yes, I want milk please
Burke repeats: Yes, I want milk please (using total communication)
Mama: Do you want milk?
Burke: Yes, I want milk please
The yes or no response has overflowed to other areas of his communication. If I ask him to answer with a yes or no at the end of a question he now understands (most of the time) that a question requires him to respond. I also realize that he needs about a 10 second wait time to respond...I've known this for a long time but it's very hard to wait! :)
We'll be continuing to work on yes and no answers to questions. Our therapist Katie at Seattle Childrens gave me a few helpful tips:
1.) Use different body positioning when signing yes or no to differentiate that there is a choice. For example, Yes is signed toward the right side of the body while No is signed toward the left.
2.) Ask yes and no questions throughout the day and give a lot of choices. Not only does this help him learn about answering questions, it gives him power and control and reduced temper tantrums! yeah, we like that!