Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Speech & Other Updates

Thomas had his last speech appointment yesterday. It was kind of sad but in a way I'm glad to have one less appointment each week. But I was able to show his therapist something cool he picked up over Christmas. His teacher sent home a bunch of sheets with pictures on them. The first row contains "I want" and two other things like that. Then there are three rows of activities and the bottom row says "please" "all done" and something else. I think it was on Christmas Eve that Thomas and I were hanging out waiting for others to wake up and I showed him "I want" "to read a book" "please" and he picked it up right away, all day he would pick up his sheet and point out "I want" "to read a book" "please". Between myself, Aunt Erin, and Grandma Mary we must've read at least 20 books a day. So anyway, yesterday at therapy I took that sheet and asked Thomas what he wanted to do, and of course he wouldn't do it. lol Well his therapist uses a laminated piece of posterboard with velcro on it and the same type of images cut out with velcro on the back for him to choose which activities he wants to do next. It so happened that there were three activities on the board that matched the sheet we brought with us. His first pick was "cards". Well she was supposed to be doing his end of therapy evaluation to show the insurance company how far he's come, so she wasn't really going to do the activities on the board (he got ticked when she didn't have it set up so she set it up just to appease him, Thomas apparently likes having a routine). Well he picked cards and she didn't do cards, so he grabbed his sheet and pointed out "I want" "cards" "please". LOL If he could've talked I can only imagine what he would've been saying "lady, I picked cards so lets do the darn cards!". LOL So she did work on some cards with him after he asked so nicely. After the evaluation he also chose book, which he then pointed out on his sheet ("I want" "to read a book" "please") and then a game ("I want" "game" "please").

It was pretty awesome. I need to decide what other card combinations I'd like made up and see if his teacher will do them up for him to use at home. I'd like to come up with a system using poster board or something to have all the words and commands with all the options and choices he could want permanently placed somewhere in the house. We could do food items using magnets placed on the fridge. I'll have to give it some more thought.
It may not be actual speech, but it's finally an effective way to communicate without the whining and frustration of not knowing exactly what he wants.

Since it has been a while since I've done a Thomas update I can also share that he has mastered the art of shaking his head "no". (Something I've been working with him for literally years) Now that he can do that and knows what it means he is constantly answering questions with an enthusiastic shake of his head. If only he'd get "yes" down too we'd be all set. Right now he is the king of NO. lol

For Christmas we got Thomas a "George" in the box (like a jack in the box, but with Curious George instead of Jack). It took him about ten minutes to master the art of turning the crank. That's a huge thing, at first he couldn't do it at all, now he's a pro, and it requires he use his right hand, which he rarely does, so it's a double bonus as far as fine motor therapy goes.

That's about it for Thomas updates this time around. He is doing so well and learning so much. It's still so exciting every time he learns something new and to see the excitement and pride on his face as he realizes just what he has learned.

If you made it this far thanks for reading and thanks for sharing in my excitement over Thomas' accomplishments.

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