I've been trying to have Emma "formally" communicate a bit more during meals. This is a bit hard for both Emma and us, but I'm convinced it will help in the long run. Because we are not always there to feed her and others might not know Emma's subtle communication methods I would really like to give her a voice during meals that is understandable to others outside of me and Chris.
Emma is excellent at non-verbal communication - batting my hand away if she doesn't want food, opening her mouth and even sometimes saying aaahhhh when she wants more, reaching out for what she wants if we give her a choice, leaning over in her chair if she doesn't want that person to feed her (she really has a strong preference to have me feed her), face lighting up if we ask her does she want something that she does want, etc. She is also excellent at crying and whining during meals. Oh, how I love my girl!
In Proloquo2go (on the iPad) the Meals & Snacks option has two items - eat and drink - and we have a cut out cover that goes over the iPad to make it easier for her to select her choice. I took a video of our lunch session yesterday and it went pretty well in that Emma eventually chose the items she wanted on the iPad. You can also see a lot of her non-verbal communication in this video along with hearing her more frequent vocalizations.
I'm happy for this progress. Slow and steady progress wins the race.....slow and steady progress. Learning to eat is a slow process. Learning to communicate is a slow process. Learning to communicate while eating is a s...l...o...w process. I certainly wouldn't mind if it sped up a bit, but I'm happy for the strides Emma is making and that all her hard work and determination to eat table food is working. Seriously, Emma rocks my world!