Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tap Tap Tap, Rub Rub Rub

So this morning Playette is all ready to go to daycare (thanks, SuperBD!) and I'm just getting up to get ready for work. Usually, after she's dressed, we trade off. I do her hair in our bedroom and let her watch a little TV while I work. It's not ideal, I know, but I've written before about the hairdo stress we go through so, yeah, bribery works.

Anyway, so this morning, when she gets in the room with me, her hair is already done (thanks again, SuperBD!) . But she still wants the TV on.

How do I know this?

Well, she goes...Tap Tap Tap, Rub Rub Rub.

Tap Tap Tap on the TV.

Rub Rub Rub on her chest.

I love this communication thing!

I really do get stressed out about this and I know some of my other mama-readers do too. The words Playette did seem to have are gone or at least buried beneath her current interests. (Remember "bear chair"?...hmph)

But then over the weekend, I got confirmation that she understood "cracker." She asked for a graham cracker after refusing her lunch (wassup with not wanting broccoli anymore anyway?) by taking her left first and "knocking" on her right forearm. Huzzah!

And then today? Tap Tap Tap, Rub Rub Rub.

Which tells me that she likes TV, she actually has been paying attention to it, and she understands the correct way to use the word "please" without me instructing her to do so first.

Now I have a few questions:

If you have a child in Speech Therapy, what do you expect to get out of the sessions? Right now, we go for 30 minutes per week (it's insanely expensive and we're paying out of pocket).

Do you personally think that a one-hour session every two weeks would be better?

I'm a little confused and I'm wondering if we're just throwing money away. I know that ST is more than just talking. We have issues with swallowing and communicating in general. But I must admit that talking is a biggie. And we don't really have that. Is seeing a ST for 30 minutes a week going to get her there? Or is it more important that we read and speak with Playette and just consult with an ST as needed?

I guess what I really want to know is whether or not we'd be doing her a disservice at this age if we cut out an appointment or two a month and just spent that time at home, dedicated to reading, signing, etc?

I think the more I write, the more I think I know.

I'd still love to hear from you all though.


AZ Chapman said...

hmm I think a good ST is a worth will investment. You should be able to get one through CCS or EI along with Pt and OT for free under IDEA for more info email me at vnavfam@gmail.com

Tricia said...

I am all over the board on this one. I think ST is really important, but it depends on the ST as well. Ours, frankly, sucks. I am tempted to take her out of that and spend some money on someone with some passion.

Sonia said...

I was just wondering why you guys are paying for it instead of the R.C.?

I agree with Trish though, it's worth it unless the therapist sucks!

sheree said...

that is SO cool that she is able to communicate like that! I obviously have no advice, but I agree that paying out of pocket is not cool. I know you have trouble with services in your area sometimes, so I hope you can get it figured out so ST can be of no charge to you!

Beth said...

I just happened across your blog. My daughter with Ds is 11. Yes, speech is helpful IF the therapist is worth it.

It sounds like your daughter could use oral motor therapy--TalkTools. It is an excellent program that works on the muscles in the mouth (imagine--no more tongue protrusion--yes, it can happen!) An evaluation costs about $600, but then you are given a program plan that will last you for 6+ months. The daycare can do the exercises with her (takes about 15 minutes), and then you can do them on the weekend.

The other thing I'd suggest is to start her on reading flashcards. If you are unfamiliar with early reading for individuals with Ds, it is one of the BEST ways for our visual kids to access language. You can make your own flashcards (5-10 high interest words--like "cracker" and "tv", etc) and just go through them daily, say and sign each one--don't sound out the words, just say them quickly--one second on each card. That should take about 15 seconds total. Keep inputting for a couple months and soon you'll discover that your child recognizes words! www.loveandlearning.com is an early reading program. They have an online demonstration (I haven't actually watched it, but I think it's what they used to send out on videotape when we started 10 years ago.).

I give credit to much of my daughter's speech clarity to TalkTools and sight reading.

I very much like your not-wait-and-see attitude--you are obviously an excellent advocate for your daughter.

It's so very hard in the early years. That dodgeball slam doesn't come very often--the comparisons with typically developing children don't hurt as much.

You might appreciate reading a recent blog post of mine (March 12, 2009).

I wish you joys unimagined.

Sonia said...

Speech seems to be on top of everyone's minds lately! I just talked about it too and also mentioned talktools.net.

Interesting? Not sure if it's a sign for you or for me???