Tuesday, Bobby had his first therapy appointment. Our speech therapist, J, came at 8am, and immediately, we all liked her. She was wonderful. She sat down in the playroom, addressed both kids by name, looked at them when she talked to them, and in moments, they both treated her like an old friend. At one point, Bobby even sat in her lap (briefly) which I never would have expected. We're looking forward to a positive relationship with her.
Since implementing some of the techniques that the assessors recommended, we've noticed some changes in Bobby. I took away his sound toys, which were his favorites. It killed me, but they felt that he went back to these toys whenever he was frustrated. Instead of working on his frustration, he just let it go and played with something he knew he'd have in the bag. Can't express what you want? Just let it go, and play with your map toy. You can identify the states now without even working hard at it! So, away the electronics went. He searched for them for a bit, but then began playing with other things... and verbalizing more.
For example, he has rarely said yes. He would repeat things, but getting a yes answer was pretty much a no. Now, when asked if he wants something, he'll answer yes if he does. Big step.
No is another no-no. He never says no. Ever. The other day, he shook his head when he didnt want something, rather than just ignoring us or fighting us on something. Amazing.
They are small things. He's a laid back kid, and we havent had a lot of the issues that parents have when a child isnt verbalizing. Our struggles have been minor, comparitively. But it's crazy to see that some small changes have brought forth bigger ones for him. Even today, when he was struggling to verbalize something to me, instead of flipping out, he came over and hugged me. He was frustrated- we both knew it- but, instead of lashing out, he just buried his head against me and snuggled. It's a step in the right direction. I keep telling him that I'm trying and that, one day, it will be easier. It seems like he's understanding that now. And we're all getting better.
It's still tough to explain to Maya that she cant talk for him, that Bobby has to do it himself. She has been his voice for months and months- she still wants to be (and, frankly, he doesnt mind). But, just like Peter and I havent done him any favors by giving him what we 'know' he wants instead of having him verbally ask for it, she's not really 'helping' him by not making him do it himself.
It's a work in progress... But, thankfully, it feels like we're walking in the right direction.