Thursday, May 29, 2008
I took Nick (and Catie tagged along) to speech therapy for the first time today. She was very nice, and related very well with the twins. The good news first: she's not all that worried about Nick. She agreed with me that he isn't displaying any signs of autism, and that he has all the signs that he's ready to speak: he looks when we talk to him, he can concentrate on things for a long time, he is social, he understands when we talk to him, he can follow some simple commands, etc. She gave us a few things that we need to do to help him out. I'm going to list them here for your information, but also so that I can record them while they are fresh on my mind. :) First, I need to spend at least 10 minutes one-on-one with him working on language everyday. Also, I should make as many symbolic noises with him as possible (airplane noises, animal sounds, etc.) She also said that since he's gotten used to not communicating, he's become very independent, so he tries to do things on his own or cries out of frustration instead of coming to me to ask for help. So, we need to teach him how to ask. I have to find something to do that he cannot work by himself, but that is very interesting (she suggested blowing bubbles, blowing up a balloon and then letting it go, building a block tower then knocking it down, or spinning a top.) I do whatever it is once, then ask him if he wants to do it again (More?). Then, I have to wait for some response, right now even if he looks at me and indicates nonverbally that he wants it again that's okay, and when he responds, we do it again. The goal being that he would say "more" when he wants something. Another activity that we should do is to put everyday items in a row on the floor and ask him to give us one (eg. get the diaper.) Even though I've heard all this before, it was good to get the concrete ideas and see her apply them, and I was glad to have her agree with my assessment so far. We go back on June 22nd for another session, this time without Catie, even though the therapist said it was fine if Catie comes too. Nicky was a little doll throughout the whole session, playing and behaving. Catie, on the other hand, cried when we got there and I put her down, grabbed the toys from the therapist when she was working with Nick, threw two temper tantrums, climbed up the stairs, and then didn't want to leave.