We talk a lot about talking in our house. Not just for one kid, but for all three.
First off, S has been making great gains with his speech. I have had so much positive feedback from so many people lately about how much easier they can understand what he’s saying – including several gorgeous comments from kids at his school.
He has also just recently started some one-on-one private speech therapy with our favourite super speech therapist who specialises in ‘PROMPT‘. She’s amazing. And S, who has known her since he was 2, adores her and works so hard during the sessions. In just a few short sessions she has made such great gains with him.
We’re not so thrilled with our in school speech therapist, but I feel a bit hamstrung about how much I can say about this, because I never know who might be reading ;-). Suffice to say, that we’re working on it and it’s going to need a lot of work…
He is making great use of his PODD book, Dynavox and iPad for communication when there’s a gap in understanding. Just two weeks ago he got a Principal’s award at school for teaching staff and students how to use his PODD book. I hadn’t planned on staying for the school assembly that day, but as I was walking back to my car, S’s wonderful aide Mr M chased me down and told me about the award. I was so proud watching him stand in front of the whole school holding his award in front of him (and loved how Mr M squatted behind him, there in case he stumbled, but very much in the background of his big moment).
I also love that he will raise his hands in class to answer questions without any hesitation or fear of not being understood. The other day he was the only student in his class who could correctly identify an ‘apostrophe’ – quite a tricky word to say, let alone know the meaning of!
But as I mentioned in my last post, there’s still the odd moments of communication breakdown. Last week, he tried to tell me for days the name of the Japanese film he’d been watching during the Wet Day timetable at school. I was convinced it was ‘Porno’. I kept forgetting to ask the teacher (or maybe I was too scared to!). Then, by pure fluke, there was a picture of the film in the Saturday paper I was reading and S pointed it out excitedly. ‘That’s porno mum!’. Turns out it’s ‘Ponyo’. Which I know all about now because we borrowed it from the video store. Both M and S love it now. (And I can recommend!).
Moving on to M and his speech, he has started speech therapy with the lovely Miss L.
I was worried at first about how M would feel about attending speech therapy sessions. But I shouldn’t have worried. He has attended so many speech therapies with S that when I told him he was going to have some ‘talking lessons’ too, he seemed to think it was just what everyone did.
His initial assessment confirmed that he has a ‘severe’ language delay with both his receptive and expressive language. That threw me at first. Such an awful word ‘severe’.
However, just 2 months into his speech therapy and we are seeing real progress. He engages in very age appropriate creative play with the speech therapist (which I absolutely love watching, so gorgeous!) and she has told me his range of verbs and nouns is quite strong. We just need to work on how he ties these all together. She gives us regular ‘homework’ which he works well with and he is picking up more language every day.
What M has the most trouble with is putting his thoughts into complete sentences and understanding some of the conventions of conversation. He has a lot of trouble with most ‘Wh’ type questions – he finds them hard to answer. I know there’s more to this. And possibly some other kind of diagnosis down the track, and I do feel a little frustrated that I can’t put my finger yet on what exactly is going on with his speech but I feel confident we’re definitely working in the right direction.
Today, I was impressed when he responded to my question about whether he wanted to go outside to play by saying ‘No, it’s so very cold out there’. That’s an amazing sentence for him.
He’s such a gorgeous little fella. Quirky and crazy, but so sweet and resilient. I really look forward to him being able to express himself more effectively. I know it will help him be less stressed and frustrated and will stop me worrying so much about how he is going to get on socially once he gets to 4 year old kinder and then school.
On to baby A, he’s just shy of 17 months old. He’s such a bundle of business. And a boy with a lot to say. He has close to 50 words/phrases and will follow instructions readily. Naturally, he seems like a pure genius to me :-).
He takes his clothes to the laundry when he’s undressed for his bath. He goes and gets his shoes when there’s any talk of going out. He puts his own nappy in the bin. He will say ‘go, car’, ‘help you’, ‘more’, ‘baby, milk’, ‘mummy no’, ‘bird’ etc etc. I really could go on and on.
He just seems to have been here before. And possibly ruled the country when he was. He sure is a bossy little fell.
He has no hesitation to take on his big brothers if they take something he’s playing with, more than once wrestling M to the ground with a fierce round the waist tackle.
I can definitely see I will have my work cut of for me in the very near future as he asserts his independence more and more. He likes to get his own way and will very soon be able to tell me in no uncertain terms just what he wants and will work hard to get it!
But oh my, he is such a gem. Every night he does a round of all the family members for good night kisses and is always excited when someone comes home, giving them a big cuddle. What a gorgeous little fella.
I marvel sometimes about how different my 3 boys are. And how different the experience is of parenting each child who comes along with such a unique personality.
It’s hard work and I wish it came with a manual, but I love the adventure of watching the world open up to each of them.
And (perhaps unwisely!) I look forward to a house in a few years where I won’t be able to get a word in edgewise ;-).