I asked Becca if she wanted school time today and she said no. I asked if she thought yesterday was boring and she said yes. I apologized and explained I wanted to try again today only talk more about things she could do rather than things other kids would do. I asked if she wanted to do school time today like that and she said yes.
This time I had pictures of things Becca could do (holding hands, giving a hug, looking at someone with a smile, crying, pouting, not holding her head up, not making eye contact). I would hold up the picture and ask Becca if she could see it. She would usually look for a couple seconds and then look away. I would ask Becca's sister what it was a picture of, and she would say. I would ask Becca if she ever did that thing or felt like doing that thing. Then I would hold up the picture between the happy and sad child and ask Becca if when she did that thing it made people feel happy or sad.
Becca would still look at the happy child a lot, and whenever I wasn't talking she would go back to staring at the child. I had to start holding the board down next to Becca so she would focus on other things, and even then sometimes she would look back down at the board after a little while like she wanted to see the happy child some more. Maybe this is why people use picture symbols instead of pictures..
I asked Becca how it made her feel when people gave her a hug. She was looking at "sad" when I asked, and she looked up and around the board over the happy, then at me. I pointed out that it looked like she didn't want to confuse me by looking at sad and then at me, and that made it more clear she was picking happy, so thank you.
Next was the picture of a child looking at their mother smiling. Becca looked quickly at this picture. I held it between the two options and she looked all around, at all three pictures. After a little while she looked at "happy" and back at me. I confirmed, and she said yes again. I said definitely. I said it always made me happy when Becca looked in my eyes and smiled. I asked if she knew who else it made feel happy. I asked if she thought it made her sister happy, and she said yes. I pulled her sister over and she nodded and smiled. I asked if she thought it made mommy happy, and she looked over at mommy in the kitchen and smiled at her. I told her it also made her brother happy, and her grandparents, and pretty much everyone who saw her. When people at church came to talk to her, they know she can't talk, they're not hoping she will talk to them, they just hope she will look at them and smile because it will make them feel sooo happy.
Last we looked again at all the pictures of things that make people happy and talked about how we can always try to help other people feel happy. It's ok to feel sad sometimes, but when we are happy to people then they feel happy and then they do things that make us feel happy when we're sad, and that's how we become friends.