Communicating with our kids while driving sure is an interesting challenge. Hearing kids can speak to hearing parents; if either or both parent and child are Deaf the line is usually, “Wait for a red light,” or, “wait til the road straightens out,” etc. In a “Deaf” vehicle, the rear view mirror is heavily used! What about a totally Deafblind child? It does happen! I was pleasantly surprised this evening.
We decided to eat at Freebirds on the way back home from Grandna’s home (Thomas’ mom). Orion enjoyed some chips and quesadilla bites but we knew he was going to fuss about milk any minute so we hit the road for home. We had Pediasure but no bottle. Oops. That’s what happens when you have too many things to think of to bring. What happened next was so cool!
Orion was doing the “No” head motion that usually accompanies his fussing. I was driving and reached back with my right hand to rub his leg hoping to soothe him. He found my hand and squeezed it urgently, signing “MILK”. I squeezed “MILK” and signed “WAIT” (*) right back at/on his hand/lower arm. Orion then escalated to full-on crying.
We were home in less than five long-hurried minutes and he settled down when he got his bottle.
(*Wait is an abstract concept. I would say he doesn’t understand time concepts yet but I don’t want to assume that. I always use “WAIT” for situations where he will need to wait a minute.)