We managed to implement the countdown to “you’re in trouble!” If Tristan’s screaming, we can usually halt him by counting 3, 2, 1. He will help count instead of screaming and is pleased to do so. It’s resulted in a lot fewer instances of him needing to be placed in his room for having a tantrum.
Tristan has a push tricycle that we received as a gift from a neighbor who no longer needed it for her child. We’ve had it for a good year now; I lent it to his preschool while he was there, since he had no inclination to use it. However, we’d been using it as an impromptu stroller for a couple of months and he’s now able to steer it and almost pedal it on his own. I’m really proud of the steering – he picked that up rather suddenly last Monday and has been enjoying his newfound skill.
Tristan’s language is gaining some more levelage. He’s repeating two word combinations and showing he makes sense of the words. For instance, I can instruct him to say “hi daddy” and he will repeat both words. I’ve heard him say “wash hands,” “yes please,” “no thank you,” and quite a few other combinations of words. His pronunciation is improving, with him able to say “triangle” understandably. He’ll attempt to say most anything I ask him to say. I am trying to get him to answer offers of food/drink/etc. with a “yes please” or “no thank you” – I will say, “Do you want milk? Say ‘yes please’ or ‘no thank you.'” He will repeat the “no thank you” in that case. If I reverse the prompt and put the yes last, he will repeat “yes please.” I’d say he understands and means his yes or no about 30% of the time. From what I’ve seen of other kids around his age, that’s not too unusual.
Tristan is making more sense of verbal instructions and the names of people. One thing he’s working on in therapy is “give (someone) a hug.” He’s made clear that he understands the instruction. We’ve been practicing it with multiple people in the room and without gesturing to indicate who is who. He has a pretty decent success rate once he figures out everyone involved’s name. He loves to show off, he loves the hugs all around, and he especially loves when we cheer for him when he gets it right – he echoes or prompts the “Yaaaaay!” and it’s really cute.
We’ve discovered that Tristan is quite a little chocolate demon. We’re using this our advantage in language training. He will do his best to try to remember a sentence in order to gain more chocolate. His pronunciation of the word chocolate sounds more like “cock-cock” but chocolate is a bit of a difficult word – I don’t blame him. We prompt him to say, “(Mommy/daddy, I want) more chocolate please.” He will repeat “mommy” or “daddy” easily, he will try to skip over “I want” but can be prompted slowly (though we don’t enforce it always), and the “more chocolate please” part is not optional in order to get his chocolate during language training. He’ll try to initiate the exchange so far by saying, “Mommy, hair down please.” which is his one now spontaneous but formerly prompted sentence. At least he gets the point that we want him to use his words to ask for things!