Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Hannah's speech update

Hannah has started speech therapy so I thought I would give a little update (as my title so creatively implies). Mostly, this is for my own record so that *hopefully* I can look back at her progress with happiness and satisfaction because it is slooooow going and (if I am being completely honest) kinda frustrating (for both of us). But before I get to the update, OH MY GOODNESS...test time is definitely imminent. Like just a little over 48 hours away. How do I know?

Because, as Joe likes to say, the wheels have come off! We are falling apart right before my eyes. It started last night at about 10pm (as I was getting into bed), Charlotte woke burning up with a fever. At the same time Joe was in bed with a stomach ache so Charlotte and I camped out on the couch (and watched a lovely PBS documentary about the Amish) until midnight. Then I put Charlotte to bed (or so I thought). The night went a little something like this...12:30 AM Charlotte wakes up crying. I stumble into her room and settle her back to sleep. 1 AM Charlotte wakes up crying. I stumble into her room and settle her back to sleep. 1:30 AM Charlotte wakes up crying. I stumble into her room and settle her back to sleep. That nasty cycle continued until 3 AM when I brought her into our bed. She slept great. Joe and I hardly slept. No surprise there. So I brought her back to her bed. More crying and comforting. At 5 AM I finally realized I could (and SHOULD) give the poor child more Tylenol. Medicine administered and I stumble back to my bed and I foolishly tell Joe that I am SO thankful that Hannah has not woken once during this hub bub. Famous last words! Five minutes later, Charlotte has a potty accident, Isaiah wakes up from a bad dream and Hannah is crying in her crib from all the commotion. Eventually we got the girls settled (Isaiah was up for the day!) and crawl back into bed just as Joe's alarm was going off. GOOD MORNING to us! We chose to ignore it. It was a snooze button kind of morning. At 6 AM Charlotte (who was snugly between us in our bed) asks for her water bottle, I stumbled into her room waking Hannah in the process, only to remember the water bottle is in MY bed with Charlotte! Isaiah chose this moment to run into our room announcing he saw a snake under his bed which causes Hannah to cry louder! There was NO snake. It's at this point we give up on sleep and the boys head out to shovel the driveway because as luck would have it we got dumped on during the night. Good morning indeed.

our snowy abode today

my sick girl

So speech? It's happening. 

Once a week for an hour a speech therapist comes to our home (which I LOVE) and works with Hannah. It's play therapy. So mostly it's fun. Or at least Hannah thinks so for the first 15-20 minutes. Then she gets frustrated because Ms. Julie makes her use her words before she gets to play. And Hannah is a girl of few words. She's much more accustomed to loudly repeating "eeh, eeh, eeh" and getting what she wants/needs. A lot of times she will just outright ignore Ms. Julie when frustrated. Sometimes she looks to me for support. She gives me this look like "This lady is crazy mom. Can you help me?"  Cracks me up every time! Lastly, when she is very frustrated she will pull at her hair (or her sister's if she is within reach). 

But progress has been made. And for documentation purposes, here are Hannah's current words:

Signing (with prompting):
Thank you

Yaya (for Isaiah & Charlotte)
Ba or ba-ba (for ball, bear, bye and baby)
Yea (for yes)
Uh oh
Aye (for eye)

She also now barks like a dog and meows like a cat when asked about animal noises. 

So that's 8 more words than when she was referred to speech. Which in some ways feels like a HUGE improvement and at the same time feels like nothing at all. Charlotte has been Hannah's biggest cheerleader, role model and teacher...


At the end of her last session Ms. Julie told me she thinks Hannah is doing great. But she hasn't yet made the association between making sounds/words and communication. Basically Hannah sees no point in learning to talk because she doesn't need to. She already knows how to get what she wants/needs by screaming or grunting. Which of course means, I have been/am her biggest enabler in not learning to talk. Oops! 

So I have been trying to ignore the grunts and screams and only respond to signing or attempts at talking. But it's so hard. It's hard for me and its hard for Hannah. But we keep trying. Baby steps.

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