I jumped up to find R sitting on the floor next to his chair, his plate on the floor next to him. Ketchup was splattered from head to toe and all over the wall next to him. He wasn’t hurt, no. As I rushed toward him he said:
“Mom! It’s not blood! It’s just ketchup!”
Yes, I said, it’s not blood, it’s ketchup!
“IT’S NOT BLOOD! IT’S KETCHUP!”
Yes! It’s ketchup!
“IT’S NOT BLOOD!!!!! IT’S KETCHUP!!!!!”
Yes! I know it’s not blood, it’s ketchup!
“MOOOMMMM! DO YOU HEAR ME??? IT’S NOT BLOOD, IT’S KETCHUP!!!!!!”
“DOOO YOUUUU HEAR MEEE MOOOOMMMM?????”
By this time he was on his feet, I was wiping ketchup from his hair, and he was getting more and more agitated. He was CONCERNED that I might think he was covered in blood. And this, my friends, is what a language processing disorder can look like. Stress + overwhelming need to communicate something important = receptive language takes nosedive. I grabbed a pen and tried to scribble my affirmation about the ketchup…but the pen didn’t work. I grabbed another pen. By the time I finished writing my message, he was back to Minecraft, oblivious to me and ketchup.
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