A new year
Lily is 4 years old now. Many things have changed since Lilybird’s Freedom was created. Lily still has Apraxia of Speech. We have started her at a special school which specifically treats Apraxia with multi-sensory techniques that include learning to read, write & speak at the same time. It is widely known as the Association Method. By using certain symbolic logic you can teach a child to recognize symbols as sounds that grow into words and then into the speech we use as language. We will talk more about that later.
Christmas just passed and we added a hotdog swing to our OT equipment. It rotates so it gives Maggie a challenge although it’s pretty challenging moving in a linear line also. After I set it up at 2 points for Lily and lowered it to the ground she got right on it. She is also allowing me to lift it off the floor and ride it with her and her sister also.
Additionally, Lily is getting in her Purple people eater swing which is enclosed and well looks like this:
It’s a pretty big deal for Lily to get into a moving enclosed object. Especially since she has to step up into steps and heave her body forwards into it with it moving–so she has to steady it. It started with her getting into it with her sister. Now it’s evolved into something she can do by herself. She doesn’t mind the rotation either.
Huge things are happening in the areas of occupational therapy right now. Lily is now going up the ladder and into her outdoor treehouse and going down the slide for the first times ever just this month. She finally figured out the sequence and followed through instead of rewinding and going backwards to repeat. So the treehouse is pretty big.
Other things like riding her tricycle is becoming automatic. She gracefully gets on & off without bumping her legs against the bike. She can move her legs & feet on the pedals in union to steering and actually do so without me prompting the movements or the verbal cue.
Lily is playing with toys. No. Really. She’s really playing with toys. Not just any toys. Dolls. People. And she is verbally acting out little presentations in her head and doing her best to expressively put that into words to narrate her little moments in our world. Lily has developed pretend play skills. She is acting out everyday life situations like potty time and washing your hands or brushing your teeth. She shows the ability to exhibit soft gentility towards things like doll babies and know the difference between a hard plastic toy that is a chair in comparison. She picks them up differently. That apathy shows.
Things like self-feeding is becoming something Lily knows how to do although it is not automatic because if left to simply eat by herself with a fork or spoon she would forget the meal & her senses would lead her somewhere else in the house with only the reminder of the empty stomach later. So I feed her. But I egg it along with getting her to feed herself a bite then helping her pick up a piece of toast so the butter doesn’t get on her hands (even though she likes the taste). Lily has no problem picking up a glass of liquid now but she does still spill.
I can say that Lily has had a dramatic improvement on her regulation skills & that has much to do with her new speech therapy. Now that she is beginning to speak in spontaneous sentences she is becoming more resilient and can use her words instead of her emotions to get her point across. Part of why I created this site is to have a running tab on her new language additions. She says things today like:
1. It’s not working
2. I want the round & round (which means I want to download a new program to my iPad)
3. I want to see the Xmas tree.
4. No mama. In revolt against eating lunch (had to leave the Xmas tree)
These examples are so few but they are examples.
More importantly, she gets it. She knows her words have meaning and she’s using them. She stops at a poster today ‘living room items’ to recite to me each item on the poster. Looking up. Seeing my reaction. Knowing. Everything she needs to know right now. It feels to know she’s watching.