All of us know how much Brandon loves going to Cabelas. He has always loved animals. He loved animals when he was little. He likes going to the zoo and Grant’s Farm. He has a huge poster of an elephant in his room (thank you Grandma and Grandpa B). One of his favorite books is My Little Animal book. He reads it with Steve every third night.
He loves all the animals at Cabelas. He can spell every single one, even rhinoceros (thank heavens for spell check for me). He knows where they live, nose color, eye color, and so many other things.
Brandon has been a tad obsessive about Cabelas the past couple of weeks. We’ve tried completely ignoring with mixed results. Sometimes he walks away and does something else. Sometimes he just continues saying that word over and over until he decides he is done.
Last night, he was going on about it again. And then I remembered I have pictures of all the animals on my iPad. I pulled them up and showed Brandon. He sat with me on the couch and started scrolling.
I asked Brandon if I could interview him about the animals at Cabelas. Of course, he said yes. I let him pick the animals and he would tell me three things about each animal. Below are his responses, exactly as he gave them to me.
Prairie Dog: black nose; white and brown; live in ground
Diamondback Rattlesnake: grey nose; no feet; say “sss” (he made the hissing sound)
Beaver: black nose; brown fur; chew wood
Fox: black nose; brown fur; ruff ruff ruff
African Lion: no biting; play with friends be nice; fight
Snapping Turtle: brown nose; blub blub blub; lives in ocean
Caribou: white nose; grizzly bear claws away (I’ve added the picture for context); brown horns
Buffalo: black nose; brown shaggy hair fur (this is, by far, my favorite Brandon quote); ear horns
Black Bear: no biting, play with friends; black nose; brown paws
And this concluded our interview.
Brandon started using words to communicate when he was 6. He has had many, many, many hours of speech therapy to help him better communicate verbally. We are a pretty talkative family and Brandon has learned how to let his needs be known by using his words.
We talk to him and we know he needs a minute (figure of speech, it’s actually closer to 15-20 seconds) to process what was said and how to respond. Especially if it is a topic he is not familiar with.
There are occasions when I am less than patient. Usually, I catch myself and remind myself that he needs more time. All things considered, 15 seconds of waiting is worth it for him to verbalize his thoughts.
Brandon has worked so hard to get to this point with his speech. He has come so far and I can not wait to see how far he goes.