The other day Maggie joined me outside as I was trimming some overgrown shrubs in front of the house. We chatted for a few minutes with a woman who was parked in front of our house. She was there for several minutes because she decided to sneak a cigarette in her car. (I don't ask) She was listening to Maggie and I "converse," me on the ground cutting back overgrown shrubs and Maggie in her chair behind me using the dynavox. Maggie kept saying "Mom" and I would say "what?" this went on for about 5 minutes before I realized the cord was loose on the machine and she couldn't advance it. I fixed that and she said "Mom is working." The woman was fascinated by the machine and asked how it worked. I explained and said Maggie why don't you say something to this nice lady.
Silence. ... Don't you love teenagers?
I said, "come on Maggie she wants to know how it works." Maggie just looked at me and signed "no." I didn't bother telling the lady what she was saying. I just looked at Maggie and raised my eyebrows in the universal "mom" way. I swear Maggie rolled her eyes a little bit. Maggie started hitting buttons and smirking. I wondered what was coming. She hit the button and I hear:
"Hello my name is Maggie, You are charming and delightful."
The woman was wowed. I just smiled, and Maggie was grinning ear to ear. I didn't bother to tell the woman that Maggie was being a smart ass.
Maggie has several different ways of using her dynavox. Sometimes she will make a specific sentence, choosing each work individually, and sometime she will use some of the complete sayings that are on the talker for her. These sayings did not come with the machine, rather each was programmed in by various teachers or by me to reflect something she was interested in at the time. "You are charming and delightful" is one of those pre-programmed sayings. lt was the brain child of teacher Joe a couple of years ago. He wanted Maggie to say something nice about folks and she used it all the time. Maggie got away from using the pre-programmed sayings as her ability to make her own sentences improved, but she does occasionally use one and she always uses them appropriately. Now apparently she also can use them sarcastically.
I guess that's progress.