Changes are headed this way in terms of Emily's therapy. I am so happy to see that she's progressing, but like any good teacher (or therapist), the time has come to push Emily to the next level. So far she's not too keen on what she sees.
For the past two weeks, Emily's music therapy has been ok. She wasn't talking as much as she had been, although she is still playing her instruments and singing with a lot of gusto. She is getting better on the guitar, which is just plain cool. However, it's hard for me to sit, unseen, in the other room and listen to the other kids speak up. She does ask for crackers and juice, but she hasn't learned many new words to share in a social context since. She certainly doesn't speak up for herself when asked who wants to go first, but since the last shall be first and the first shall be last, I'm hoping she's practicing a spirtiual path. Maybe?
Speech last week was just a diaster. Oh my tantrum time. In order to get Em to communicate a little more one on one, Miss Shelly introuduced a picture card system. Instead of having Emily resort to pointing and grunting at things she wants, like the cabinet with the snacks inside, she is going to learn to hand me a picture of what it is she wants to eat. This is going to help her learn to express what she wants and pay attention to the person she is communicating with, rather than focusing soley on the object of her desire. We tried this in the office with some Fritos. To say she hated it is an understatement. She pulled out all of her tricks, the hair pulling, the hitting and scratching my face, throwing herself on the ground in a fit. Luckily the floor was softer than I had anticapted.
She didn't like it, but that doesn't mean we are going to stop trying. She was frustrated by the extra step, the step involoving the other person. Miss Shelly decided we are going to make a book with the picture cards inside of it, and we are going to have pictures for food, toys, people, and places. Once this system catches on, she will be able to both "talk" to everyone through the pictures, and I will be able to "tell" her about her daily schedule and activites so there isn't such an element of surprise. That should help with some of the transition issues we've been having as well. (Transistion issue is code for throwing tantrums whenever we have to leave one place to go to another place).
I'm in the process now of taking photos of family and friends and homes to create the pictures in the book. I am hopeful, but I have a feeling this might be a bit of a challenge.