Mrs. Karen, your PT, brought you a new toy today. It is a battery operated bell that sings Christmas music. Sounds like a strange gift, but it is perfect, because you can work it all by yourself. We have an adaptive switch hooked up to it, so that you can push a big red button to turn it on or off whenever you please.
The switch has a little interrupter that we put in the battery compartment of a battery operated device. The device is turned on, but to make it work, you have to push your button, which is very sensitive. As soon as you let go of the button, the device turns off. The idea is to teach you cause and effect. Eventually we can hook up communication devices to it, so that you can push a button to say that you are hungry or want a certain toy or need to use the restroom. The possibilities are endless. I have thought that you understood cause and effect for a long time now, since we have a handful of toys that are easy enough for you to operate. But when I watch you with the switch, it is obvious that you get it.
The tricky part is finding toys that will work with the switch. All of the toys we have are battery operated with an on/off switch, but you also have to do something else to activate them. You have to push Pooh’s bottom to get him to walk and talk, push the monkey’s noise to get him to light up and play music, the elephant’s head to get him to jump around and laugh. If these things were to be hooked up to the switch, you would have to hold the button down and then push the toy also. Kind of defeats the purpose of the switch. We will have to keep our eyes peeled for toys like these. Other ideas Mrs. Karen had were an oscillating desk fan or a radio. I don’t have any of these that are battery operated. So Mrs. Karen went hunting through thrift stores to find an old toy that would work and she came up with the Christmas bell.
Sounds are your favorite, and you really like playing the music. So while I made dinner tonight, you sat in your chair serenaded me with Christmas tunes. Several times you made me laugh when your hand hovered over the button until you sneezed or coughed—then the force would push your hand down and you would surprise yourself by starting it. Sometimes you would turn it on and off so fast that I only heard the first few notes of the first song over and over. Other times you held it on long enough to cycle through all the Christmas songs a couple of times, and there are at least 7 on there. Which is good for my sanity. When Daddy came home, I didn’t even realize it was singing in the background until he asked why I was playing Christmas music. He was impressed to find out it was you making it work!