Many, many times I just wonder. How much of what I tell Puppy is he listening to? Then I quietly laugh all by myself. Yeah, he is listening to every word. He simply chooses when to react or answer to my words. My son is very observant of his surroundings, this includes all that he hears be it voices or noises.
I know, this only leaves me open to give some examples. One was just yesterday. Last night Puppy and I attended our monthly autism support group meeting. It was a small group of parents exchanging good conversation while Puppy was cared for in another room with other children. Because of the interesting stories we shared, our meeting went beyond its scheduled time. All this is fine and I have no complaints. But waiting in the driveway at home was my sister whom had misplaced her key to enter the house. Unfortunately, she had stressful day at work and was ready to relax and hearing we were running late was not what she wanted to hear. On our way home I stressed to Puppy that his aunt might not be in the best of moods and he was to try and keep clear of her. When we got home, he went to his room to get ready for his evening routines and follow through with the instructions before bedtime. He saw my sister sitting on her bed, he went up to her and softly asked her, "Are you angry?" She simply answered, "No, I'm just tired." He walked away calmly, smiled, squeaked in his high pitched sounds and continued with his routine. I must say he did pretty well. It surprised me that there were a couple of parts to my instructions and yet, he complied beautifully. These are new experiences Puppy is learning.
Another comes to mind easily. Our mornings are not usually what I'd call hectic, but sometimes they can become stressful for me since I need to make sure Puppy is getting ready for school and taking his meds, while I am also getting myself ready for work. So our routines start and I begin to shout down the hallway to him to get dressed, tie your shoes, brush your teeth, find your belt, put it on, etc. And like with most kids, I normally repeat myself, once, twice, three times, or more. But then it happens...once in a while he surprises me and shows up behind me, taps me on the shoulder and says, "Mom, I'm ready." Whew--I did my job and yes, he was listening.
But I'll finish this post with my favorite example of all. He loves music and even insists on sleeping with the radio on all night. He's not really particular to any specific kind of music but I influence his listening to country music because that's my favorite. But living in a border town, the bus drivers usually tend to have Spanish/Tejano music on the bus rides. I can tell that the music moves him. And he can sing, sing and sing if he thinks no one is around, like in the shower, for one. Also, the schools have functions on the holidays where the special needs students have dances, and I'm told he gets up and dances. Did I mention he loves to listen to music? So once again, yeah--he is listening, loud and clear.