Jonathan has been doing some speech-therapy sessions this summer with Annette at Hotel Dieu Hospital. The goal is to get him speaking in two (or more) - word combinations, since at the moment he speaks mostly in single words, usually to comment on what he wants or what interests him: "Toast!" "Plane!" "Truck!" etc. Annette uses toys and games as incentive to try to get him to speak: for example, she will show him a picture card, say "Boy drinking," and try to get Jonathan to repeat the words. If he does, she rewards him, perhaps by letting him capture a toy fish or giving him a little toy sword to stick in a slot. As she gives him this reward she encourages him to say "I want red" or "I want fish." He is getting the idea, although sometimes he is so focused on saying "I want" that he uses it out of context; or when she tries to change it to "I got," he keeps repeating "I want." And halfway through our last session, as Annette was getting out another game, Jonathan sat back happily and said, "I ... want ... ba-ba day!" In other words, blue-box day, his favourite time of the week.
Whether in single words or the occasional phrase, he gets his point across, even if it's in kind of an unorthodox way at times. When we were in PEI, Rich would try to get him to thank Grandma for the meal. After one supper (when Jonathan had just eaten his sixth potato of the day), Rich said, "Say 'thank you Grandma.' " To which Jonathan replied enthusiastically, "Pay-toes! Good!" Grandma agreed that that was thanks enough.