We had to wait a few years, and now Martin’s speech skills are finally progressing. He has trouble with more complex formulations, such as asking and answering “why” questions, or narrating a string of events, or using “did” plus the infinitive instead of the past form (“He did went.”). Other than that, he can express almost anything.
On the other hand, when I say Martin can express almost anything, there’s a qualifier: “in his own way.”
Sometimes he’s making up words. I go with it and use the correct term in return:
“Martin, I don’t want you writing on these piano keys.”
“No marking?” (He means using a marker to write. That’s close.)
“Nope, no using a pencil.”
“Nope, no using a crayon, either.”
Sometimes his formulation leaves me wondering, “What led him to that way of saying it?”:
“Martin, would you stop playing with the telephone?”
He’s in the bedroom, messing around with the bedside phone.
He keeps playing with the phone.
“Hey, get out of the bedroom.”
“Okay. I’m going to go to the room that’s written here.”
He points to the side of the phone, where “family room” is written on the extensions. Then he zooms away to the family room. Most people would have said, “I’m going to the family room,” right? Martin’s choice works just as well.
He likes to make comparisons. Some are natural and make a lot of sense, as when he asked me, “Am I going to have two [Anat Baniel Method] lessons with Miss Sharon today, just like I had two lessons yesterday with Miss Verena?” Or this morning, when he wanted to go to the basement and play the various musical instruments Adrian has relegated there: “I have many instruments in the basement, like a concert.”
Other comparisons—not so natural. Martin likes to drink a kombucha beverage with chia seeds. This morning I asked what he wanted to drink with his (neverending) breakfast. He responded, “I wanted kombucha with a group of seeds in it. Like a singing group.” Chia seeds like a singing group? Does he really think that, or is he experimenting with uses for the word “group”?
I suppose that, as his language continues to improve, Martin will speak more like other people. I’m trying to write down these little Martin-isms now, while we’ve still got them. They represent one more special mile in the recovery marathon.