My youngest son has speech therapy on Friday mornings. Yesterday we decided to try a new way of therapy and have me stay out of the room while he was getting his speech therapy. His therapist and I had been talking and we felt that he kind of uses me as his "safety". I am the one who understands him, I know what he wants, I am the one who tells other people what he is trying to say when they don't understand him. Because of this whenever she would ask him to do something that was hard for him, or that he couldn't do he would cry "no! mama!" and come over to me. If she was asking him to attempt a word he could refuse and just climb up on my lap. If she didn't understand what he was saying, instead of trying again to say it, he would look at me. Because of all these reasons (and the fact that it's SO hard for me to watch him struggle the way he does with his Apraxia we decided maybe if I stay out of the room there would be less crying, less meltdowns, less tantrums. If it didn't work we would re-evaluate.
So yesterday we got to the therapists office and I walked Avery back into the room and then after a minute I told Avery "I'll be right back baby, I'm going to be right out there." and the therapist said to him "mommy is going to step out for a minute." I was totally expecting Avery to meltdown and refuse to stay without me there, but he did great with me leaving! I walked out to the waiting room and made myself a cup of coffee and pulled out my iphone and started playing bejeweled and checking my facebook. I texted with my sister a little bit and as I was doing all that I was listening to them in the room. They were laughing and playing and all I heard was giggles and play going on. No crying, no tantrums, not even a single scream of "NO!"
At one point Avery and the therapist came out and I heard her say "there's the potty, hold on I'll go get mommy." When she told me "he said he has to go potty" I told her "He's a liar! He doesn't use the potty!" LOL I asked him if he peed in his diaper and he said "no", I asked if he pooped, and he said "no!" I looked at the therapist and said "see, he's a liar! He just wanted to see if I was still out here!" LOL
After the hour long session, the therapist came back out and told me to come back to the room. When we got into the room she looked at me and said "What a difference!" She told me there were no tantrums, no screaming, no crying." I told her how I didn't hear any and how happy I was. She told me he was the perfect kid without me in the room. I told her obviously that's just what we're going to have to do from now on. Obviously having me in the room is more of a hinderence then a help for him. He's using me instead of trying to do the exercises and therapy.
I then asked her for her opinion on the preschool situation. I asked whether she thought he should go to the developmental delayed preschool or whether I should put him in a normal "typical" preschool. She told me that she feels Avery would do very well in a normal preschool. She said he is very smart, and he plays so well in a sharing way. She told me that you can tell he has older brothers and that his play skills are very much developmentally on schedule. She told me that it would really depend on which preschool the county places him in as to whether he should go there or to a normal preschool. She told me that the county would place him based on where he falls with the evaluations and assessments they did. She told me that when we get his placement I should ask to see the classroom and the children in the class.
"You'll know just walking into that classroom if that's where he belongs, or if that is not the right place for him" she told me.
She told me "Avery is the model apraxic child!" She went on to say that she is amazed at him in the fact that he is only apraxic. She told me that there is nothing wrong with Avery, he just has Apraxia. She said his receptive language is so on target and he really gets his point across with what he wants non-verbally. If you don't understand him he points, acts out what he's trying to say, shows by pictures, etc, until you know what he is trying to say.
I asked her about Augmentive Communication Systems and if she thought it would be something to look into for him. She said she believes he would do very well with a communication system and she really feels it would facilitate his speech. Although, she doesn't think it is something to look into for home right now. These systems are thousands of dollars and she feels that we shouldn't be spending that kind of money on something for the house right now. She said once he gets into preschool she would work with the preschool to get him one he can use while at school. She said that maybe one of the cheap systems (like the tap to talk for the nintendo DS, or proloque2go for the iphone) would be ok for him for the house or for like when he goes to grandmas. But she thinks it would be easier to get the school system to agree to one for the school then it would be for the insurance to cover one for the house.
So his speech appt went very well yesterday! Now I don't know if him being a "model apraxic child" is a good thing or a bad thing LOL, but I can't imagine my life without him!