Friday, June 10, 2011

The Weekly Review: Week Thirteen

Favorite Blog Post of the Week - Men and their New Baby Toys

Amalah shares a story about getting a baby swing for her newborn Ike. My favorite quote from her post was about why her husband chose this particular swing, "It's like somebody attached a cradle seat to an iPad and taught it to fry bacon."

Sibling Moment of the Week:

Last week I taught the kids how to play a modified version of "Red Light, Green Light." We were each holding a hand bell and when I said, "Green Light" everyone shook their bells as fast as possible until I said, "Red Light" when everyone stopped. Then the kids would quiver in anticipation until I said "Green Light" again and the cacophony could resume. They loved it. Next we tried giving the red bell to Ava and the green one to Michael and the person with the red bell got to say "Red Light" while the person with the green bell was the "Green Light" person. They loved that too. We passed a fun and extremely loud half hour and played the game a couple more times over the course of the week.

A few days ago, I was in one room desperately searching a laundry basket for enough clothes to make up outfits to send the kids to school in. The children were crouched over something sitting on the kitchen floor. Two heads bent over a single object. I don't actually know what it was, because I was only half paying attention. All of a sudden I heard them playing "Red Light, Green Light". I have no idea what the game was exactly, but they were playing together and initiated the game entirely on their own while being ignored by their parents. It was a brilliant moment of sibling independent play.

Michael's Update of the Week:

Michael was moved up from one room to the next at his preschool. He was pretty happy in his old room. He always seemed excited to be dropped off and was reluctant to make his way over to me when I came back to pick him up. He liked his teacher and she loved him too.

His new room is more of a formal preschool room. Their routine is a lot more structured and their expectations are higher. He also moved in to a room with a group of rather rambunctious boys. In the two weeks since the move, I have noticed that he doesn't want to go into his room when I drop him off. He clings to my legs and is reluctant to let me leave. He's also practically waiting at the door when I come back to pick him up.

I'm not sure what to do about the problem. I spoke with his teacher and she said that many of the new children are having some trouble adjusting. She'll keep a closer eye on him, but suggested giving him some more time before deciding to be officially worried about the situation.

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

Project of the Week:

This week I'm getting structured home therapy set up for Ava again. I made a speech bag, printed some articulation cards, and prepared a reward chart. We've had two 15-20 minute sessions so far and they are going fairly well.

I've been unhappy with the comprehensiveness of the articulation card sets I've been able to find online for free. Each set will have 20-25 cards, but I have to leave some of them out because they are too hard. In particular, I leave out the ones that are two syllables or include a /k/ or /g/. So we end up with only 10-15 words to practice.

I decided that I can do it better myself. I'm now working on making my own sets of picture articulation cards. My goal is that each set will have 40 one-syllable words that should be familiar to a young child. I am also trying to make sure that each set includes at least one word with each of the American English vowels and diphthongs. That way, the targeted consonant gets practiced with all the vowels. That's important for kids with Childhood Apraxia of Speech because the motor planning is different for each different vowel. You have to practice each different combination to make the motor planning automatic. So far I've made an initial /b/ set and a final /n/ set. I'm going to try to figure out how to share them soon and I'll make more sets as I have time. It takes me several hours per set, so it'll be a slow process, but I'm pleased with the results so far. If any of you have requests for specific sets, let me know and I'll move those sounds to the head of my list of ones to work on.

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