September 2, 2016 · 4:30 am
Mr. Man has always loved music. Some of my favorite memories, and home videos, are of our late night dance parties. Sleep was never “normal” in our house. It never failed, as soon as mom and dad were ready to collapse into bed, Mr. Man would be up and ready to party. We started playing music and he would dance around the living room. We hoped this would burn his energy, so we could go to bed. There was nothing funnier than a mop of blonde curls be-bopping around the room. He could barely walk, but he had moves!
I will never forget taking him to see the movie Frozen in theaters. He wasn’t feeling particularly well and spent most of the movie with his head on my chest. But during the songs, he would perk up and bounce along. Of course, after that the soundtrack became part of our daily routine. I remember the rage that became Elsa. I remember watching Facebook videos of my friends’ children belting out Let It Go. I would watch Mr. Man dance along, silently.
It hurt….a lot. Why? Why couldn’t he sing, like the others? After all, children far younger than him could at least say “Go” at the end of each line. It took a long time, and Mama is far from patient. But Mr. Man started to sing.
Children with Apraxia have a difficult time planning speech. So a conversation can be difficult for them. They have to form the words in their head and then muscles have to make the speech occur. It is far easier for them to say things that don’t require a lot of forethought, things that come automatically, like singing. When you sing along to your favorite song you don’t have to think about what comes next, you know. It’s automatic. I have noticed Mr. Man can follow songs in a way he could not otherwise do while trying to maintain a conversation. He feels successful, and Mama sure loves to hear his voice.
Now, at 4, Mr. Man still loves music and asks for “songs” the second we get in the car. His favorites include Frozen (of course), Veggietales, Lego “Awesome”, and selections from Home, Zootopia and Despicable Me. But nothing….nothing….makes this Mama’s heart melt more than hearing him belt out Redbone’s Come and Get Your Love. So, if you pull up to me at a stoplight and see a huge smile on my face, it’s probably because Mr. Man and I are dancing in the car.
We choose to celebrate every success. Every.Day. So, sing baby, sing!
Filed under Journey
Tagged as Apraxia, Singing, Speech
September 1, 2016 · 4:54 am
So, most parents have stories of their kids getting in trouble for talking too much. Oh, to have those problems! Mr. Man CAN talk now (boy can he…when HE chooses to) but he still makes a lot of speech errors and can be very difficult to understand. His teacher, from last year, told me it took 4 months before he was comfortable enough to talk to her. 4 months! This year, he is 1 month into school (new class, new teacher) and he’s just starting to talk.
Alright, so here’s the situation that happened a few months ago (I am VERY slow at getting my thoughts typed). Our family was getting a new pet. We had a terrarium and I asked the boys what pet we should put in it. Mr. Man was adamant….. we needed a T-Rex. I tried to explain that a T-Rex would not fit in the cage and that one probably wouldn’t be happy living with us.
We got a snake.
A small, little corn snake. Mr. Man named him Ekans, because “Ekans a snake, not dinosaur”. Mr. Man went to school, excited to tell everyone about his pet. That afternoon, one of the assistant teachers came to me and said that Mr. Man told her a story all about his new pet. Of course, I was thrilled. He’s talking, willingly!! But she said she just had to check with me because she couldn’t tell if his story was true or if he was making things up.
At this point, I was confused. Why wouldn’t it be true? I told her yes, he had a new pet. She said yes, he was very excited and kept telling her that. But she just had to ask me…what kind of pet did he get? At this I paused, and asked what he told her he’d gotten. She laughed, “A T-Rex!”
He’s getting there. His dreams are big, and I can’t wait to see were they take him.
May 30, 2016 · 9:22 pm
Some days are bittersweet. Today we made the decision to pull Mr. Man from the priority preschool he has been attending so he could attend a “regular” preschool full-time. This means he won’t be receiving speech therapy or OT. I REALLY hope this is the right decision. His teacher thinks it will be fine, that the benefits outweigh the loss, but still…
There are several reasons we made this decision. We had already decided that he would not attend next year as the class was afternoon only and, emotionally, skipping naps is not an option. Also, the gap between him and the other children in age and ability has become so large that he is bored. The other children don’t interact with him and he has started to have behaviors in class. He’s only at the school for Speech and OT, so being with more severely delayed children just doesn’t make sense.
I had hoped to have him finish the year, but the outbursts and meltdowns that occur during the process of getting him to school became too much. He use to LOVE the school, but has begun to hate it over the past month, or so. This has been concerning but he can’t really explain why. I don’t feel it is anything overly alarming but finally decided it was time. In July, the idea of him going was overwhelming. Now, I drive away a little sad, but with the strengthened realization that, for Mr. Man, we need to refocus and get back on track with our original plans/goals.
Filed under Journey
Tagged as Apraxia, Preschool