We are 2 weeks in to double therapy on Tuesday and Parker seems to be adjusting well. It will be interesting to see if being there 3 days a week will affect him more. I also wanted to share some highlights of progress we are seeing. Some of these may be directly related to therapy and some may be due to a heightened awareness that Jimmy, myself and Parker's caretakers now have.
We are 2 months (!) into speech therapy. Prior to starting, Parker would only make noises to communicate and most of the time we were not able to figure out what he wanted or needed (if he was trying to tell us something at all.) He is now communicating to us through actions and directing us to what he wants. He will grab at my shirt or hand to indicate that he wants me to come with him. The following places are where he currently communicates wants/needs:
The back door: wants to go outside
The gate in from of the stairs: wants to play in the basement
The storage ottoman: wants a new toy taken out
The fridge: is hungry or thirsty
This has significantly improved our ability to understand him. I am so excited to see what other things he starts to show us.
His overall understanding of the back-and-forth aspect of communication is also greatly improving. He is more easily recognizing conversation. He is sitting still for a few different activities, which has never happened in the past. We always sing "Jesus Loves Me" before going to bed. I have often rocked with him while singing this. If he isn't in my lap when I start singing, he will immediately come over and sit down. He has also become a rock star at prayer time. I have always put his hands together in the common prayer position, but until the last 2 weeks he has always pushed my hands aside. I was so excited last week when he let me hold them for the whole prayer. He is also starting to recognize "Amen" as the end.
A few other fun things:
- New consonant sounds, "g" and "b"
- His eye contact has also started to improve, even with less familiar people.
- He is playing with toys purposefully more often. We still see a lot of focused play, but it is getting better.
- He is REALLY close to waving goodbye. At least, I feel like he is. I wave goodbye every day when I drop him off. He was disinterested for a long time, but now waits for it. Yay! I will probably be a crazy ball of tears when he actually does it.
That ended up a bit longer than plan, but I guess that is a good thing. I hope you are all having a fabulous week (even in snowy, cold MN!)