Charlie and I had a 20 minute conversation last night!
This is what he said. N.B.: All the words describe things and people from his past and as I reflected on what he said, it occurred to me that a lot of his speech now is not requests ('mands' in VB speak) but comments about things he's thinking about and having feelings about. It's great that he can talk about things from the past (like toys he no longer has) and not get upset.
In some cases, I have written his slightly inarticulate pronunciation. I was once called on this by a self-advocate for 'othering' Charlie's speech, in the way that people once wrote out 'black' dialect. So I'd like to say, my purpose here (which may backfire) is to give a bit of a sense of what Charlie's speech sounds like. Jim and I can understand or figure out most of what he says but his words are not always so clear to others.
'Rocco Portia. Portia Dog, Rocco Dog. Uncle Rocco, Uncle Portia! Portia is a dog. Aunt Rocco, Aunt Portia!' (Rocco is Jim's brother-in-law and Portia is, yes, their dog not, as Charlie likes to joke, an uncle or aunt.)
'Farm Families. We hah' dee Farm Families, we no had' dee Farm Families.' (This is more inarticulate because it's a phrase from when Charlie was about 7.)
'Alphabert. Alphabert Barney!'
'Tara hah dog named Woo!' (A full sentence! The dog is 'Lou.')
'Gong Gong Po Po Rocco!' (A new one. My dad and Rocco are both kind of darker-skinned -- may sound weird to mention that, but I suspect that is the sort of thing Charlie notices about people.)
'Miss Cheeka!' (Charlie's last teacher when he went to school in our town just as I started blogging in June of 2005; I looked her up and she still teaches in our district. I must send her a note; she was really, really great and we were in high-advocacy mode when we pulled Charlie out of her classroom. I'm glad to know she's still in our town in the special ed program.)
'Claudette Versha!' (ABA therapists in St. Louis. So I mentioned several more for Charlie to name.) 'Peggy, Elizabeth, Christie, Alissa, Allison, Shiri. Kelly!'
'Tara, Lindsay, Beth, Arielah, Andrea, Kristy, Stella!' (From St. Paul.)
'Kristen Sara!' (From when we first lived in New Jersey after leaving the Midwest. On his own, Charlie added:) 'Anne Marie. Mike!'
I told him he has a great memory, which is obviously true.
A great way to cap off a 43-mile weekend, the last ride of which was cut a bit short when a thunderstorm sent down sheets of rain.