Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The King's Speech

Christian has finished his speech therapy. He chats up a storm about anything and everything with anybody and everybody. He is almost as proud of himself as we are. We had a wonderful experience with First Steps, Indiana's child services department. Our therapist (a.k.a "MY Mike, according to Christian) was amazing. Every week he showed up full of enthusiasm and energy. His approach was straight forward and simple. His philosophy was that he will grow at his pace and we shouldn't force him or put undue pressure on him. First phrase to leave our vocabulary was "can you say ....". No, he couldn't, as Mike said. Why frustrate him? Make therapy fun and easy. Let Christian set the tone and pace. We started with imitation of sounds. Christian got a big kick out of this. As a result, food is now "num nums" and my Dad is now called "Boppy". My dad may think this is an improvement over his other name - Grumpy. Luckily, he answers to both. It is such a relief to be able to understand my son. I felt like a failure because I couldn't understand what my son was trying to tell me. It was a vicious cycle. He got frustrated and upset which made him even harder to understand. I got frustrated and upset, too. Now, when I pick him up from school, he can tell me what he did there. The first thing he tells me is "Mommy, I no hit Nick. I nice". Sara enjoys playing with him more, too (except when he tells on her). I think she views his improved speech as a mixed blessing. I view his completion of speech therapy as a mixed blessing. He made real improvements. But, we will miss our weekly sessions with Mike. He is an amazing therapist and man. He spends all day helping other families and their kids. Then he goes home to his 7 kids, feeds them, bathes them, plays with them and coaches their sports teams. We were blessed to have him and we are thankful for all he did for our son. We will miss him.

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