Thursday, February 18, 2010

Emily's Group Therapy

In addition to speech therapy (ST), Emily is in a weekly group therapy setting held in the home of Ms. Angie. The whole angel in disguise comment from the last post applies to this woman as well, who happens to work with uncommunicative and socially unsure toddlers when she's not taking care of her triplets. (Makes you rethink what you're doing with your life, doesn't it?) She is friendly, funny, super nice; and Emily adores her.

Emily has been to Ms. Angie's for four sessions. Just like with the ST, she is responding really well. At the beginning of the session, the children play with toys and are encouraged to talk to each other and share. After each toy is finished, everyone has to pick up. This is something emphasized in speech as well, picking up and putting away. I can't begin to explain how much I love this aspect of "therapy"; if nothing else at least our home will be a little more tidy!

The real fun with Ms. Angie comes when the musical instruments come out. Ms. Angie plays the guitar and sings, and each child gets a turn strumming the strings. There are other instruments too, bells and moroccos and such, that the kids get to play. All of the songs are very short but completely catchy. They sing a hello song and a good-bye song together for each child, and some songs in between. I find myself singing "Shake shake, shake the moroccos" for days on end. There is a snack session too, and Emily learned to say cracker and juice during this shared meal.

In the few weeks Emily has been doing this, it has become pretty apparent that she responds extremely well to music. I have been singing the clean-up song at home when we need to put the toys away, and she puts the toys away while smiling. I sing the good-bye song when Ryan has to leave for work, and instead of having a full-out tantrum she just cries and whines for a minute. I've started playing more music in the background when we are making pictures and doing puzzles, and she is starting to learn the words. She loves They Might be Giants and Dan Zanes and Friends. We have a few albums by these artists that are fun for kids and adults. So its not unusual to hear me singing the Alphabet of Nations as we go about our day. I'd like to add that Emily does a great job as my back-up vocalist.

To watch the video for They Might Be Giant's Go Go Go Go for G! Click this link

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