I didn’t want to post this until now because, you see, I hate to say something in case it was just a fluky day. You know, it happens once never to happen again? Piper seems to thrive on keeping me on my toes in that way…
Anyway, several weeks ago Piper’s OT met us at the park to play. Our ST decided to join in the fun and have a joint session. Seems logical, right? Becky, our OT who Piper has had since she came home from the hospital, had Piper talking and signing all over the place. And then our ST got there. And the talking stopped. She didn’t sign at all. Not. a. thing. Frustrating? Yup.
It was nothing against our ST; I actually really liked her. But, for some reason, Piper was just not clicking with her. Period. So I asked our service coordinator if we could try a different therapist and see if it was any better with someone else. I was honestly not sure if it was SPEECH or the therapist, ya know? So our coordinator put out a request and we got a slot with another therapist.
Her new therapist specializes in kids with Ds (!!!), so I was totally thrilled to meet her and see how things went. Last week was our first session- Piper, right off the bat, loved her. She’s usually a look-don’t-touch kind of kid; she likes to wave at people, but anything more committal or involved than that is reserved for people she knows well. I took that as a good sign.
We met with her for an hour and I think Piper would have continued to work for a long time after that. The therapist had Piper saying about 15 different words, trying all kinds of different sounds, and working really hard. Piper loved it! It was so exciting to see therapy actually working.
So this week I was really excited to delve back into things, but also a little nervous that last week went so well simply because things were different.
Once again, Piper totally knocked my socks off. Can you believe it? Piper LOVES this woman; I think that they’re a perfect fit.
And now that she’s seen Piper a couple of times, we have kind of figured out a plan-of-attack. She’s not concerned about apraxia, which is a definite relief to me. Her oral motor skills look really good- we’re not going to focus on oral motor, then, she’ll just give us an occasional pointer to help if she sees something that’s a little off. She said that she’s almost certain that he hesitation to speak is strictly a confidence issue (huh- have I heard this before???). The really great thing is that she’s cognizant of that fact, and was reading Piper’s body language to figure out when she was pushing too hard. She acknowledges Piper’s signs, but doesn’t reinforce them- we want to keep communication as a positive thing, but also want to encourage vocalization instead. She was impressed with her use of language in things like answering open-ended questions, spontaneous usage, receptive language, and beginning counting (I didn’t mention that she said “seven” in context this morning- where that came from, I don’t know… She'll count “one, two”, but she doesn’t have the speech pattern for “three”, so I’ve never expected anything beyond there. Apparently “five” and “seven” are fun to say…). Her syllable structures are correct and she’s trying, although not perfectly doing, lots of different sounds.
I am so gosh DARN excited, I can’t even tell you. I think that she is a perfect fit for Piper. And I’m hopeful, once again, that Piper’ll be talking well for preschool in a year. How cool is that???