I am so excited for you in your amazing journey with your sweet son. I celebrate you for posting your questions. Not only will this hopefully help you but it can support other families who may have similar concerns.
You have come to a revealing insight about electronic toys, they are essentially too compelling for us to compete with in the ism and in interaction. This is why we encourage Son Rise families to take out those batteries and recycle them. Lock up anything that needs a plug, batteries or needs to be charged in a room that only adults can enter. You can answer this question for yourself; Do you want your sweet boy to have a relationship with you or with his electronic toy? Don’t to let those little robots take over prime time for where social development can be inspired
! These toys and the T.V. have an impact on our children’s neurological development. We want to strengthen the muscle of social interaction and no toy or television show can replace integrating with a real loving human.
You can keep the toy, just remove the battery. It is that easy.
It is really exciting that your son is showing you how much language he has. You said that he is echolalic at times. Here are few tips on working with that. When you are in an interaction, meaning that your son is showing you his willing engagement and that he is motivated for the interaction and is not in an ism then work with him repeating what you have said. Celebrate him for his beautiful words. Explain to him that he is repeating you or has just said what you said. Respond literally to what he repeats. For example, if you ask him, “Do you want an alligator tickle or a hippo tickle? “ and he repeats the entire question back to you then you respond, “I want the alligator tickle.” and then give yourself an alligator tickle. Here he sees the function of his language. Work with offering choices in your interactions. When you offer choices offer the least preferred item or activity last and respond to his selection. Also, move back at times and give space for him to come up with his own words. For example, in a game that you know he is really motivated for, say rides, you can put him down and exclaim, "I am so excited to find out what you want!" Move very quickly when he uses his spontaneous language. Explain that you love hearing what he wants and quickly deliver it to him so he really experiences the power of his language! Also you may want to check in and make sure that he is not exclusive.
When your son is scripting or repeating those phrases or lines from a story. You can join them word for word. Get into it, have fun let your imagination bring a fun story with the phrases. Even though your son can not see with his eyes he is definitely in tune with your attitude! The more fun and delight you have with him during these times the more he will feel your delight and love for him when giving him this loving form of control. At times our children will be spouting off this kind of scripting in our direction while looking at us or being close to us and not on their own. As you may know, there is no room for you in the conversation. This is a time to really get into being a part of his repetitous talking. Here is a time to delight in what he is saying by celebrating him where there is space without interrupting him. Be an active listener. We will usually respond or act on the language when the child relaxes, slows down and there is room for us to say our entire celebration. Have so much fun experimenting.
You do not have to wait to be alone in your home in order to have a rich playroom session. Just get in a room and lock the door so no one interrupts and have fun in a bedroom, bathroom, living room, etc. Remember, the first program Son Rise program started in a bathroom!
Please let us know how it goes.
With great excitement and support,