Ethan has developed a habit. The habit of saying "what". Is it really a habit or is he really not hearing the first time around what the other person is saying. I have been feeding into his "what" for several months now in that I did not even realize just how I was feeding this habit.
If I am being honest it is very irritating to keep repeating myself and then it dawned on my this past week that it is truly a habit that needs to be broken. We were in the car coming home from school on Wednesday. With 3-5 kids, on average, in the car it gets pretty hectic with conversations all over the place, and I never noticed just how much Ethan says "what" and we all respond appropriately by repeating ourselves. On Wednesday there were just two kids in the car, Ethan being one of them. The conversation was just the two talking about this and that. Ethan would speak, or ask a question and in the same breath always added "what" before a response.
I sat for a while just listening and realized Eric kept having to repeat EVERYTHING he said, based on Ethan's constant "what". I stopped the chit-chat and told Ethan to stop saying "what". He said he could not stop it, as it reminds people that it takes him longer to understand. I asked if he said "what" to his teacher all day, to which he replied "no". I said you can't add "what" to the end of every sentence and the he has to wait until the other person answers. He said "oh is that how it works". I just chuckled, because this "what" word truly had become a habit. Now in the past few days, he is thinking, asking questions and waiting for answers and hearing with no problem the answers. His "what" use is down about 80% and every once in a while he catches himself.
I think it's funny the little things we discover and work through with our deaf implanted children. I have written out on his phone number listen specific questions he can be asking people on the phone to make the conversation flow. It is helpful to him, and none of the questions are followed by a "what". Oh the joys of raising a deaf kid with implants.