Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Speech Therapy

So, we had speech therapy today. She gets a one hour session, once a week. Today I decided to take Murphy with us. Teaching him to sign with her, and to "listen" to her sign, is quite challenging (like when she wants him to move or stop, for example). She is pretty easy to ignore - especially for a 5-year old boy. So, I thought a little instruction by our therapist would help.

To give a little background - these sessions are exhausting for me. I sit there and let the therapist be in charge. Sounds almost relaxing, right? WRONG! To see her try and get Harlie's attention - and then keep it, is frustrating. Harlie's just like any other kid, if she doesn't want to acknowledge what you're saying, she averts her eyes. Kind of hard to show her a new sign if she won't look at you. And then Michelle tries to get Harlie to finish her sentences by anticipating what comes next (like in sequencing an event like taking a bath - first you pour the water in, next you put the baby in, etc.). The whole time I am willing Harlie to cooperate. I sit there and think, "c'mon Harlie, you know that sign. You can do it! SAY IT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD"!

It's the willing her to do what she's supposed to do that sucks the energy right out of me. Today, Michelle tried to get Harlie to tell her who Murphy was. She asked her "Who's this"? Harlie didn't really care to introduce Michelle to her big brother. And that whole little lesson made me start the session in the hole - energy wise. Honestly, I don't know how these therapists have the energy to get through the day, seeing patient after patient.

The rest of the session was more of the same. Murphy's attention span is short, and Harlie's is even shorter. Michelle played a game of bingo with them. That was good, because they had to take turns and it's more structured. And you'd be surprised how many signs you can use playing a game.

But, I gotta tell ya - the thought of teaching all my kids and my family sign language is absolutely overwhelming. And really, I think the word overwhelming is an understatement. It's all fine and good teaching her (tiring, but good). But that's because she knows she needs to learn to tell us what she wants. Murphy? HA! He can talk. Why should he learn? And Cooper? We have to start all over with him. ugh. A simple thing such as saying goodnight. "Murphy, tell Harlie night-night". Murphy says "night-night Harlie" (without signing at the same time) and then I have to say, "Murphy, use your signs while speaking to her". To which he either does, or doesn't. And when he doesn't I have to tell him again to sign while saying night-night to her. And make them go through the whole process again. Oh my goodness. All those words and energy for two lousy stinking words - night night! WHICH WE'VE BEEN SAYING EVERY NIGHT FOR I DON'T KNOW HOW LONG! Holy cow!

Has the energy been sucked out of you yet? Because I would totally understand.

But Michelle said that Harlie is getting more aware of who understands her and who doesn't. So I'm sure she's thinking "what's the point"? So, instead of signing to Murphy to stop or move or whatever she wants to say, she grunts (very loudly I might add) and pushes to get your attention. Although I will say that Harlie will sign "share" - that's one that they certainly use with each other. Not that either of them (or any child under the age of seven) actually understand and practice it. They only know share when the other one's got what they want. But I digress...

While, for the most part, I have found signing "fun" (but really only because it allows me to communicate with my daughter), I can't help but wonder when she'll be able to talk. And I think life will be so much easier... one day.

Changing the subject, I took Cooper to an appointment today. He weighs 22 pounds (Harlie weighs 25). He measured in the 10th percentile for height (meaning that 90% are taller than him) and the 95th percentile for weight (meaning that 5% are fatter than him). So, by my measurements, he's ROUND. Nice.


1 comment:

Beverley said...

Watching the therapist try to get their attention is the most exhausting thing to experience!