Erica & Niko

IG: @tales.of.two.pups
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Contextually Appropriate Substitutions? "All Done" means no..?

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I've been modeling for my learner for a month and a half now. He'll press his buttons when prompted to, but rarely pushes them 100% independently. When we get up or get home from work, I can prompt "What do you want? Use your words" and he'll usually tell me if he wants food, outside, etc. I began modeling all done for him (added on 1/22 with play) when we finished playing and when we came in from outside.. Since then, he's seemed to get a bit confused & has hit all done more than a few times first (it's pretty central in the room), then an actual want after he's asked a second time. I stopped modeling it after walks thinking maybe he generalized all done & outside somehow (since that's usually the button he hits next and I would model it after trips out), but now I'm questioning his understanding of the word.

This afternoon when we got home from work I asked "Are you hungry?" expecting an affirmative button press (since we'd just been outside recently and it was dinner time).. He hit all done instead. Thinking he was confused and just smashing the first button he saw (as he's done multiple times before), I asked him again "What do you want? Are you hungry?" He ran and hit outside instead! We went outside of course and he apparently really needed to go #2! When we came in, I asked again and he went right over to the hungry button and said yep, time to eat.. I'm wondering if perhaps his "all done" was actually a contextually appropriate "no, I don't need food, I need something else."

Now it's making me wonder if perhaps the other presses had meaning as well, though there was no "do you...?" to respond to. I usually ask him in the morning after I get dressed and what he hits is what we start our day with. I'm wondering if he's just pressing the first button that he sees like he seems to be, or if perhaps he's using it in his own way as a "we're done waking up/getting dressed, now let's go."Β 

Has your learner ever used a word/phrase in an unexpected, yet contextually appropriate way given the choices they have on their boards? Did you notice this when it happened or after the fact? Do you think button smashing is more likely, or do you think Niko may be understanding "all done" in his own unique way? I guess this means it may be time to start thinking of buttons to add in the near future.
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Niko (Erica A.)

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Learner's Name: Niko
Age: 3 Β½ years (08/2017)
Started Learning: Jan 02, 2021
Teacher's Name: Erica

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Words List (4)

  • Outside (1/2/2021)
  • Play (1/22/2021)
  • All Done (1/22/2021)
  • Hungry (1/30/2021)

PhotosΒ 

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