A year ago, I wrote a post about my efforts to get my son to interact with a new toy. The gist of the post was that after a number of months, I was able to get him to make multiple touches of the keyboard. It was a small step, but it seemed like a big one. Over the weeks and months after that post, he began playing multiple keys more and more. He was getting comfortable with the toy and enjoying the interaction.
Earlier this year, he began to pay attention to the alpha buttons. Each button represents a letter of the alphabet and has an image that fits the letter, dog for D, zebra for Z, etc. and each button, when depressed, makes a sound associated with the image.
I’m not sure who decided on the sounds to use. Some are quite obvious. The cat button goes “meow”; the train button goes “toot, toot”; and so on. But others are a bit of a mystery. As many x-rays as I’ve had, I’ve never heard one of them make that sound. and the sound assigned to the zebra button is nothing i’d have recognized as being what a zebra sounds like. The Q button is a mystery in both image and sound. I can’t figure out either. My favorites are the yoyo and the robot. Brett’s preference are the ones closest to his reach, which are the tail end of the alphabet, V through Z.
I’m not sure of the timing, but his interest in the toy may have increased after his day program was put on hold due to the pandemic issues, and he was stuck at home all day, every day. Regardless, he has become intensely attracted to the button sounds and plays them constantly. He’ll press multiple buttons, or press one repeatedly, or some combination of the two. Then he’ll wait for the toy to time out, saying “bye-bye” when it does, and immediately start the whole process anew.
It’s great to see him enjoy himself in some play activity, and we’re often able to get him to smile when we repeat the toy’s sounds or speech phrases, “let’s play” and “bye-bye”. The down side is that we are treated to long stretches of a cacophony of sounds while we’re watching our TV programs. Sometimes achievement is more than you ask for. But that’s OK. I’ll take what I can get.