Today was therapy. We played with the dollhouse and Carver and Ellie had a blast together playing peek-a-boo through the windows. our ST commented on Carver's extended attention span playing with her. It takes some motherly intervention sometimes, but the girls can be very helpful with him!
We talked about limiting the "yes/no" questions and trying to prompt Carver to say words on his own, now that he's imitating us so much more. Which he is!! Almost everything we say he tries to copy. His sounds are getting more clear and you just see him watching our mouths and trying so hard to get it right. He thinks he's doing something great and we're excited to see growth happening. We've really turned a corner in that way.
She said that his language is currently limited to "here and now" which works to his advantage since it's easier for people to understand because there is ALWAYS context for his words. So what might seem to be a challenge to overcome definitely has a "silver lining."
Getting him ready for school will include helping him express what he needs and wants in multiple ways. She also suggested helping him "show me" or ask in another way by telling him "my ears didn't understand that" rather than placing responsibility (AKA blame!) on him for a lack of understanding. She said that self-esteem really starts forming in these years and we don't want to make him feel like he has problem that he can't overcome.
At the park last week during Lydia's soccer practice, he was driving with the steering wheel on the big toy and I asked him if he was driving. He looked delighted and said, "mm-hmm." Then thought a minute and said, "bus." Score for Carver!! Imagination, language, answering question, playing with me - it was all there. It was a happy mom moment. He also used his handy string to give the bus "gas." I LOVED it!!
He said, "my chocolate chip" the other day. Really, chocolate chip is one word since he doesn't know they are separated. But the my+ phrase is so wonderful to hear! It's a classic toddler expression, too, huh? :)
I've been working on limiting the "yum-yum" and especially encouraging the chewy tube, which we call his "chewy." Here's a picture of it. It's 1 foot long.
And here's Carver with it in his mouth. I think he usually prefers to stick one end in his mouth like a straw and he DEFINITELY prefers it loose to being tied in a knot.
His speech therapist said that using it at all is a step up from the pacifier, even though having it in a knot around his wrist would be helpful for school. I'm trying to bring it to the bus stop (that's 90 minutes of my life every day, remember) to get it into routine. And I hadn't even thought of this, but the ST said that was perfect because if I keep working on that association, it'll be really natural to send Carver with it on his own bus in a month and a half. It's nice when things work out like that, huh? I'll pretend it's because I'm such a wise mom. :)
Kids at the bus stop DO ask what it is and it's a good introduction to the many issues surrounding kids with special needs. I just say it's for him to chew on instead of a pacifier. That makes sense and answers their question directly. Works for me!
Carver's climbing into his booster SO well. Today was a hiccup and he didn't do so hot when our ST was here, but otherwise that's helping a lot. I'm trying to teach him to wash his own hands at the sink. Another good step in the direction of self-help.
Friday is the district evaluation!! 2 more days and I can get a whole lot more answers, things to plan on. Oh, and a new learning curve comes into play now that I've got the hang of the SKIP program. It's about time to up my sensory education a notch or two!