My regulars know we’ve been seeing a speech therapist weekly for a while now. I usually sit during the sessions and observe, wanting to absorb whatever it is I can but not get in the way. Her vocab rocks now. I’ve stopped trying to do any kind of word count, but she’s easily over 100 words and is finally starting to string 2-3 words together. It still seems more natural for her to pull us around the house by a finger rather than just saying what she wants: juice, cracker, outside, video. I think that naturally she’s just a physical kid. I also now feel pretty sheepish for flipping out when her pediatrician started mentioning autism. I truly gave myself an ulcer. Do we still have some verbal catch up to do? Yep. But we’re getting there, and getting there quickly. I’m going to take the positive stuff I’ve learned here and make sure I don’t make similar mistakes – mistaken judgments, really – with this next baby.
ANYWAY, at the end of each session, I always ask our therapist what I should be working on so that we have some unified goals for the week. For the longest time, she said “body parts.” I tried. Will tried. My kid did not want to learn body parts. She can identify giraffes, gorillas, elephants. She can sign and say sun, moon, and star. She knows her cereal from her cookies from her stinky chips from her cheese from her mmmm-pizza. We know triangle, heart, square, circle. We’re getting really good at colors. We know lots and lots of numbers. She just would not, could not learn her own parts.
Kids have this amazing talent for deliberately ignoring you. At least mine does. Someone ought to invent a verb for that, if it doesn’t already exist.
Finally about 3 weeks ago as I was trying to put her to sleep, her little hand shot out and poked me in the face. I heard “nose!” Then she tried to rip off my glasses as she informed me what those were. I would have been irritated about that, except right as I rescued said glasses she poked me in the eye and shouted “eye.” At last. She was willing to learn the face.
The funny thing is the way that this has evolved. Physically, it’s dangerous. It’s like a live-action 3 Stooges episode. She also seems to prefer naming parts of the face at night during bedtime. Don’t know why. It just is that way. She also doesn’t care for the mouth. If you try to force that, she looks at you like you’re an idiot and waits for you to show her the good stuff: The Teeth. I can’t wait to see what she decides she wants to learn next. After all, we are very clearly operating under her syllabus rather than ours.