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Monday, May 23, 2011

Therapy is a family affair...

I've posted in the past about how important I think it is for us to share therapy as a family.  To work together, to learn together, and to help each other out, because the difference for a child is not made during that one therapy session a week; it is what you do with your child every day that helps them the most (at least that is my biased opinion ;)).  Yes, therapy is extremely important, and we love our therapists to death, but the biggest difference we can make is working with our children every day and integrating what we learn in therapy into our daily lives.  Usually I talk about Madi's therapies, but today, you get to see a glimpse of Conner's therapy world. 

Conner started speech therapy about 10 months ago. At 3 years old, he was really only understandable to us and my mom and our pediatrician felt that that it was time to get some extra help.  We tried going through the district but we were not getting the support we needed.  I learned afterwards the district we live in is well known for that.  We tried for months to get him evaluated, and finally found an opening at Sunrise, which is the company Madi gets her occupational therapy through (though hers is in-home and Conner's therapy is at their center).  When he started, he was testing as having a moderately severe need, and is now down to moderate.  He tests again in a few weeks, and we are praying that he is able to test out because we have to pay out of pocket for his therapy, and well, at twice a week for 30 minutes, it adds up fast!!  His self-confidence has soared, though, and that is priceless.   

Madi comes to the majority of Conner's therapies and it has really helped her out as well.  She is talking more and more (actually, she never stops :)) and is getting more understandable every day.  It is really cute because Conner "teaches" her at home as well using strategies he learns in therapy.  He's a great big brother.  Miss Patti, Conner's teacher, always makes it Conner's choice if Madi is included or not.  She lets him choose if Madi gets to listen to his words with him, or play a game with him.  About 90% of the time, he chooses to share.  He is always taking care of his sissy!  Miss Patti is great with Conner and makes therapy fun for him.  Though I will not say he loves practicing his words at home, he is really starting to self-correct himself and is VERY proud of himself for catching and fixing his mistakes.  If I make a mistake, or at least he thinks I do, it gives him even more pleasure to catch mine.  Sometimes I mess up on purpose, just so he can correct me.  They say we learn best by teaching others, right??? 

Conner has come really far and I'm very proud of how hard he tries.  He's a very determined little boy, and pretty much everyone can understand now, which is huge!  He used to get very frustrated with people not understanding him, and though we taught him a lot of sign language, many people do not know sign language, so it was hard for him.  I could just see the disappointment in his eyes when he could not get his message across.  Now we get to see his excitement instead, and it is wonderful!


Lisa said...

That's really special that he likes to include Madi. I love reading your blog! and AM LOVING the new name!

Jill said...

Totally agree that the best therapy sessions are between therapy sessions! So adorable to see them working together and so glad to hear how his speech is improving. Keep up the good work you guys!!