Thursday, February 28, 2013

That's Entertainment

Our adorable boy is starting to sing.  Just a little.

A couple of times he's picked up a little flashlight and pretended to sing something.  That was cute.

The good stuff is a result of his insisting on "dance tunes" every time he wakes up.  We've long had his dance tunes playlist with the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, old Michael Jackson, etc.  Blame It On The Boogie is one of those songs.  He sings the "sunshine", "moon light", "good times" and "boogie" parts while doing his jump up and down dancing - complete with all the appropriate pauses in music.

Today he added the "shake, shake, shake" part of Shake Your Booty to his repertoire.

Monday, February 25, 2013

All Right

Noah's speech is coming along.  It's a slow and steady progress, and that's fine.  He's picking up short phrases we use a lot.  One thing I didn't even know I said, much less said often, is "all right" - Noah picked it up and it's pretty cute.  He says "let's go" and "see you".

When he sees himself he says "you".  It started a while back, he watched some videos from and other sites on the computer with me and he started asking for "you".  It took me a while to realize he wanted to watch the videos we've taken of him.  It makes sense, that's what I would say - "You want to watch you?"  Just wonder when he'll also make the connection that he's Noah (and the ten other nicknames I have for him).

He also counts to ten all the time, well, mostly, he tends to leave out three and four.  He'll point to letters and count them.  We haven't started working on letters yet.  Maybe soon.  It's hard to figure out how to work on things like colors, big and little, and things like that while waiting for his speech to improve.  I did order a big book of activities for ages 0-5 and we'll see how those help.

Monday, February 18, 2013

You Never Know

Normally, Noah takes a bath every night.  I'd say there's been less than five times he's resisted and acted like we were killing him instead of bathing him.  We think that happens on nights he's just really tired. 

Night before last, we got the bath water ready, got him undressed and got him to sit on his little potty and pee.  So far, so good.  But then he just wouldn't get in the tub.  I put him on my lap to try to talk to him and calm him down.  I asked what he wanted, but it's still hard for him to say what he wants.  (Sometimes he can make it clear to us.)  Then I asked if he wanted to put on his jammies and go to bed.  He immediately said, "yes",  Well, ok then.  That was not the answer we expected.  We expected him to say no and then we'd say, "then you better get in the tub!" 

So, I told him to go to his room so we could put his diaper and jammies on and go to bed.  And he did!  He took his little school bus toy to bed with him, played for a while, and went to sleep.

You just never know what these kids are gonna do!

With the bath refusals, and I guess with other such things, we try to really listen to him and see if we can accommodate him.  Kids have so little autonomy as it is.  And he's such a good kid 95% of the time, that when he's not we pay attention and try to find out why. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Fun With Speech Therapy

Back in early September, Noah was eligible to switch to speech therapy through the local school district.  They did an evaluation of him we thought was pretty good, determined he was pretty much at appropriate levels except for expressive speech.  We agreed.  This started what we thought was a speech therapist coming to our house once a week for 45 minutes to work with Noah.  I've always sat in on the sessions both to learn how to help Noah and to help keep him on task.

Over time, I kept telling Nerdstar that although I didn't really think the therapy time was doing much for Noah's speech improving, he liked the therapist and it seemed good for him to interact with her and essentially "play".

From the original assessment, there were two stated simple goals given for the therapist and us to work toward.  About four weeks ago, I realized Noah had more than met and exceeded those goals, and felt we might could move things forward if we did another assessment and got new goals.

The therapist kept bringing up that she was concerned with Noah's inability to stay on task and that he had a short attention span.  She also kept bringing up things like day care and preschool.  My thought was always that she kept bringing activities there were always new and not very interesting, why would he stay engaged?  Nerdstar and I had no concerns about his ability to stay on task or pay attention.

The therapist had said a couple of times that she was having a hard time finding the right activities for Noah.  She works with several kids throughout the week from ages 2 to 4.  I'm under the impression most of those kids have at least some experience in formal education.  So she's trying to balance finding the right activities for everyone and still being individual.

My time with Noah during the days is the ultimate in informal.  We have a very loose routine of getting up, eating some breakfast, watching some movie or online videos, playing, running errands, eating, napping, playing, rinse and repeat.  And once the weather warms up, there will be a lot of outside time. Pretty much the whole point of me staying home with Noah is to completely avoid day care and preschool environments.  (If they work for you - fantastic!)  Our default position on school vs. home schooling is that we'd have to find some pretty compelling reason to put him in school.

Two weeks ago, for the last ten or so minutes of their session, the therapist broke out some "assessment activities" and I got rather frustrated.  I wasn't crazy about the idea she hadn't mentioned this was going to happen.  I asked how in the world Noah was supposed to be able to be assessed on activities he had never seen before, or even anything like it.  I said it was like putting me in a room with all the parts of an engine and asking me to assemble it.

Nerdstar and I spent a lot of time the next few days talking about all of it.

Fortunately, Nerdstar was able to sit in on the session last week, which was also the day before we all met with the principal of the school Noah is attached to.  She was in a much more calm place, and a fresh eyes place to ask questions than I was.

One thing we found out is that the therapist is a "developmental" therapist and not an actual "speech" therapist.  Apparently, he's too young, or not delayed enough, or something for "real" speech therapy.  Well, that certainly makes things make a little more sense in retrospect.  One of my biggest questions over time was "how do these activities help him talk more/better?"  I still don't really know the answer to that.  She says the main way for him to learn to talk is for us to repeat everything ad nauseum.  I'm working on that more.

So, we do have two new official goals going forward.  I'm going to work on at least getting him to sit at his "learning" table once a day and doing an "activity" with me - which just means something like stacking blocks, sorting them by color, counting them, putting them in rows, etc.  We'll see if that helps him stay on task a little better during therapy.  The therapist is also going to try bringing some activities more than once, so it's not something brand new every few minutes.

It was really frustrating feeling like the therapist and us were coming from such very different places.  We weren't sure it was a gap we could bridge.  For now we're still going to keep trying.

Noah is fine.  He's slowly but steadily learning new words.  He's got two or three phrases he's learning.  He understands just about everything anyone says to him.  He follows directions amazing well for a toddler.  He's also sweet and starting to be more outgoing.  Our biggest goal for the next ten to fifteen years is to make sure he stays happy and sweet.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Another update

Today we went to the outlet mall in town and got Noah a pair of tennis shoes, his feet had grown too large for his 8.5 wide shoes and he tossed them away.  He is now wearing a size 9 wide.  That was after we took him to Cartoon Cuts for his I don't know how may already haircut.  It used to be that I had to sit with him on my lap, with much consoling to get the job done.  For this particular haircut, he was so grown up and did not even require sitting on my lap!  He went through the whole haircut without any struggles or tears, I felt like that was a milestone!

At 2 and a half years old, Noah has his moments of not wanting to take baths (complete with squealing!) and the occasional bouts of restlessness.  Not to mention that he has yet to carry on conversations with us at more than his 2 words per sentence.  He is, to me, smart and very sweet with his sociable nature (waving and smiling at people that he doesn't know, playing with relatives with who he doesn't really get to see often, like his great uncle.), and although he's not yet composing the next great symphony (like I am sure some your kids are already), he understands us and is learning how to express himself more and more.  When I'm home, he'd make sure that I'm in his sight and that we'd always eat and play together.

Noah is so much more interesting than the people at work who are running around with their heads cut off, and that makes the daily grind much more tolerable.  He is a good reminder of what is important in life!