After last week’s wild travel adventures and being so far off our schedules that we might as well have been in a different dimension, we didn’t expect a whole lot on the progress front this week. Our goal this week was just to regroup and get back into the routine.
Our sleep has been erratic (and generally too little of it) and we’ve been racing to catch up with all the undone crap around here. We’ve had to do some extra work on a few things with J-Man to get going again, but on the whole it’s been a really positive week.
Talking started off a bit rough this week; getting him to ask for ‘more’ of anything was a total ordeal. Our usual pattern of withholding something until he asks for it – even if we know what he wants – wasn’t going well, and it was obvious he was less patient and getting way more frustrated than usual.
The last couple of days, though, he seems to have gotten back into it and then some. The fill-in-the-blank speech therapy work we do with stories and songs has gone gangbusters all the sudden. It’s clear he knows a lot more about the words in those stories and songs than we thought. He continues to surprise us every day.
We can’t help but do “Old MacDonald” since he fills in “oh-oh” after “E-I-E-I”, “cow-cow” after “and on his farm he had a…”, and then “muh-muh” for the cow sounds in the right places. The first time he did all that, we all teared up. It still doesn’t get the least bit old.
He surprised us even more by filling in some of the letters and words in the ABCs song and words in Dr. Seuss’s ABC book. If he needs a more obvious hint about what comes next, I’ve found that sometimes I can just mouth the word without saying it and he knows what to say. That was a pleasant shock, too!
So, obviously, the fill-in-the-blank work has been fantastic for his speech development.
The other major achievement of the week was that he fed himself almost an entire bowl of applesauce/puree with his spoon a couple of times! Sure it was pretty messy and he dropped some of it on himself because of the, um, unique way he holds a spoon, but I felt amazed watching him do that by himself. This is such a huge achievement for him that I can hardly put it into words.
He’s also branched out some from cheese toast to eating honey and butter toast as well, which seems to have helped the nagging cough he’s had for the past few days. It’s a small step forward into softer, more sticky and squishy textures, but for him every step forward is a hard-earned one.
I was a bit uneasy when I dropped him off at preschool yesterday because he threw a big crying fit, but I stayed with him in the classroom for a few minutes and he calmed down. He went off and did his thing and did well for the rest of the three hours. His teachers said he had much better focus during both art and circle time than usual. Given how fidgety he is and how un-fun he finds art, this made for a banner day!
I read about half of Stanley Greenspan’s Floortime book while on the various flights and have been experimenting with some of his suggestions. The J-Man has responded well to just some basic, low-key engagement, working with him on whatever he’s chosen to do rather than forcing him to do something. We’ve gotten some good eye contact that way and he’s easier to engage.
I’m not a Floortime convert or anything, but I do think it will form a piece of the whole puzzle of stuff we’re devising for him. The county schools use TEACCH here, so Floortime will compliment both that and some ABA activities we’re planning on doing by providing something more relaxed and free-form for him. He does so well with structure, but it does burn him out after a while, so we need something like Floortime to let him do some self-directed, easier stuff.
For those of you who don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, I do have plans to create a vocabulary page at some point. 🙂
That’s all from Chez Flashlight for today. Off to rest my strained wrist – my latest fatherhood/lugging around heavy-ass luggage injury.