Thursday, January 23, 2014

Leaps & Bounds

Rachael, the school speech therapist, was excited to see me today! Here are the notes she wrote in Judah's communication book:

Judah initiated (gave the PECS strip - these are picture cards) and said, "I want juice", while pointing to the pictures of "I want" and "juice" all by himself! (She said there was no prompting, he just did it on his own!) We all cheered with joy! (She threw her arms up & screamed after she told me this news, so I can only imagine, haha)We went over Judah's book today and he imitated all clothing item names (hat, scarf, pants socks, etc.). He also imitated a 2-word phrase: "Bye hat" "Bye boots, etc. for all clothing items. Go over the book with him at home and help him find the items in his room to make it more engaging. You can also talk about where the clothing items go ("hat" on "head") - this will help address the goal of learning body parts. I put this picture next to his name on the book to address the goal of responding to his name. How is that going at home? I'm hearing a lot of imitation of single words and some 2 word combinations. Keep modeling at home! :)

Rachael also let me know that he touched his undesired food this month (apple slices) and even mushed them up! THAT is also huge. I can get him to touch the undesired food (either by making it a game or hand-over-hand if he allows it), but to be so fearless as to squish it up in his hand is a really big deal, really big.

Who would have guessed that 20 minutes a month speech therapist Rachael would be giving me the best news I've heard in 4 years??! We definitely had a moment of excitement bonding today. Don't laugh Mom. ;)

I am freaking amazed today. Words, words everywhere!! To get a clear picture on this, it's not just words he already knows becoming clearer (which is DEFINITELY happening - he said Thomas with 2 syllables instead of 1, a crisp "T" & a well enunciated "M" earlier). Most of the words I hear from him now are good imitations of new words (anything & everything) & spontaneous, appropriate words he says with no cue - he said some things today that I didn't even know he knew! We were looking at a row of something, I forget what, and instead of counting he started saying the alphabet! He said, "a, b, c" as he pointed to each one. We watched a bedtime story on my phone. It was about a boy who loved chocolate. He heard the word chocolate one time and nearly said it clearly. Like that. That is what I'm talking about.

To give you an even MORE clear picture.. The entry before Rachael's in the communication book (exactly one week ago today), Shelley wrote that he is becoming more independent and she is hearing spontaneous words. She writes that she is pretty sure she heard an approximation for dinosaur, but isn't hearing any phrases.. She heard "oh no" (has been saying this for a year probably), "juice" (has been saying for a long time too), and truck sounds. He responded to his name 2 out of 3 times when she had a truck in her hand and one out of 5 times when she did not. (Judah responds every time I say his name now) That's how big this is.

Apparently we just need to start testing the waters & see how far this kid can go. I got out the wooden alphabet board this afternoon for the kids to use. With this board, you put each wood letter into the spot with the same letter shape. When you do that the board tells you what that letter is "for". "A is for apple" would be one. Willow began taking them out of the bag when she realized that was much more do-able than trying to match them on the board. She couldn't get any in the board. Judah really took his time on the first two. I showed him where the first one went when it looked like he was about to give up. He looked at his 3rd letter, skimmed the board until he found it and stuck it in. Suddenly he was going probably the same speed most kids his age would, if not faster. I'm completely serious. I'm emailing Shelley tonight to see if they have this board at school (I've never seen it there). The other day he DID get some pieces in the Thomas puzzle, the first one came fairly quickly. He may have just been too distracted by the toy he really wanted that was in the closet.

Sebastian's job in the game was to come up with a word for each letter as Judah put them in. Guess what "K" was for? Karla!!! :) hahaha

Tonight Willow was sitting in the little Cars chair that we bought from someone earlier today. I was sitting in the computer chair a couple feet from her. The boys were playing with the basketball hoop that we had purchased along with the chair. Willow leaned over and whispered, "Mommy.." I put my head down and she cupped her hand over my ear & whispered, "Bye" then leaned back & laughed!


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