I just got back to my office after seeing E, and I wanted to share what I thought was one of the most heartwarming, adorable inter-generational interactions I’ve been blessed to witness.
I’ve gotten to know this little 6-year-old girl and her family very well over the years, and I know that the grandparents on both sides of the family live a long distance away. Both sets of grandparents are involved in the lives of their grandchildren. One grandpa sends a letter in the mail, every week, to each of his grandchildren. He always includes a small gift with the letter.
A letter arrived from Grandpa while I was there today, and at the end of our session E opened the letter. She read it out loud, with minimal prompting from Daddy for top-to-bottom sequencing. Below is a copy of the letter, which also contained a $1 bill.
This letter was printed in plain, large font that makes it easier for E to read. (Studies suggest that Comic Sans is the most easily read font for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders.) This letter contained things that E enjoys or would be interested in (counting, ants, money, Grandpa). This letter was black and white, with no major visual distractions. Sentences were short and direct.
After E read the letter, Daddy questioned her on her comprehension.
Daddy: “E, who sent you that letter?”
Daddy: “What animal did Grandpa have in his letter?”
E: “No more questions.”
Daddy: “Grandpa sent you six….”
Daddy: “That’s right! Time to go swimming!”
Wow! What a beautiful inter-generational conversation they just had! Grandpa communicated with E in a way that she could understand with minimal assistance. Daddy supported Grandpa’s communication with his assistance and questions. E replied correctly to Daddy’s comprehension questions regarding Grandpa’s communication, and was immediately rewarded with what she loves: swimming! And best of all, E knows that Grandpa loves her!
How cool is this entire family?!