Wednesday, August 27, 2008

motor planning and more

Speech was yesterday. She brought the evaluation results -

Auditory comprehension: standard deviation -1.67
Expresssive communication: SD -2.07
Total Language: SD -2.07

Qualification for therapy is determined by standard deviation, beyond -2 is considered enough in one category. Less than that and you'd need to qualify in more than one area. He might qualify in other areas, as well, but this number alone is enough to guarantee preschool. Reading her report was sobering. It was a good reminder of how far we have to go, of how much more I could do with him. I'm grateful that school is starting soon and that our routines are ready to be revamped. I'm going to try to schedule in more Carver play time.

I had him eat yogurt when Christina was here (something she'd wanted to see in the past) and it was really good. I use a dry washcloth to wipe his face and it helps him feel the drips and mess. He is getting better at feeling that, it's just hard for me to always be attentive to him when he eats. Christina also noted that carrying him to the sink to rinse him off afterwards is not only going to kill my back, but misses the opportunity to practice Carver's self-cleaning skills. Giving him the washcloth to wipe his own hands and face extends the snack (and therefore attention span) and also gives him a sense of confidence and an important skill set. Along those lines, having him climb into his booster seat is important. Of course, these things are difficult to take the time for in a busy house. But efficiency needs to take a back seat right now!

We did play-dough, his favorite thing. She had him open the lid and said... "OH"... and he finished with "-pen." Or kind of. Really exaggerate the OH. I can do that!

She suggested sports wrist bands to wipe drool again. I'm going to try to pick them up next time I'm at the store. At least I can have a towel handy. He's always stealing my kitchen ones anyway.

Poking 1 finger in playdough to isolate those muscles. Really let him do things himself. I need so much patience!! :)

She asked about the little milk curdle he had in his mouth, the last hold-out from years of spitting up. I could tell she was surprised and curious at what caused it. I'll bring it up AGAIN at his well check. No doctor has ever expressed interest or concern about it, no matter how many times I bring it up. It's better than it used to be. Now it stays in his mouth at least.

I asked about his inability to communicate awareness of the past. She said it was all connected to his poor motor planning skills. 2 step play builds cognitive awareness of sequencing, knowing what comes before and after. Interesting to consider how interconnected our senses are and a specific example of how play is work for babies and toddlers. Most babies learn these things naturally, without extra effort (Grace, for example!) but Carver needs to be taught each skill separately and then practice. Talk about exhausting for him and for us! He is doing so much better at understanding "now" and "later" - I can see how we're working towards remembering the past. Also, she suggested family photo albums of vacations in the past, etc... Good reason to print another shutterfly album!! :)

So I have a lot to work on. And I shouldn't just be blogging about it! Back to work!

1 comment:

carlen said...

Wow, Rachael! It sounds like your therapist is wonderful!

You DO have the patience to attend to all these little things that will make a BIG difference for Carver. And I think you're right that the school season routines will help you get more "CARVER TIME!"

Ainsley's speech therapist told me to pick a time of day (or a few times) that she and I focus on the skills she's working on so that it doesn't become burdensome to her . . . and I don't become the nag, always correcting her.

But in some ways, I still lean towards trying to incorporate it into all our daily conversations as long as I present it well, like recognizing everything she is saying well (and only CORRECTING her when it's one of our PRACTICE-TIMES.)

I was so excited to start this, but with other children to be attending to and busy summer schedules, i've been less than diligent which is discouraging . . . and even when I am good about it, it takes a lot of energy and a lot of patience.

I wanted to share one more thing that meant a lot to me in terms of a better perspective. There was a wonderful family in our ward (just recently moved) in which the daughter had some genetic developmental disorders and her mother shared in RS that upon discovering this, she felt burdened and upset that she would be given a challenge that felt so huge to her as a mother. But she shared that once while she was praying about it, she felt this sweet impression that this in fact was not her challenge, but actually her daughter's and that she--as her mother--was PRIVILEGED to GET TO BE the angel in her daughter's life that would help her learn from her challenge and help her daughter discover how challenges are often blessings in disguise. This realization created a whole new perspective and appreciation for her role in the process. I LOVED THIS, Rachael.

So when I am feeling a little overwhelmed, I try to remember that this in fact is Ainsley's blessing/challenge right now and I GET TO help her with it.

Lucky Mothers are we!!! (just tell yourself that 10 times in a moment of frustration and it will pass!) :)