Another day of Speech Therapy today. We left the house at 9:20 to get to our 10:30 appointment (taking the bus turns a 30 minute speech therapy appointment into a 2 ½ hour trek across our city!). Esme did so well waiting for the bus today – no crying or running away at all. While we waited, we practiced saying farm animal names. So far, Ezzy can say: horse, cow, chicken, duck, dog, cat, mouse and owl. Her pronunciation and prosody (the stress and intonation of her words) are far from where we would like them to be, but the fact that she tries to repeat these words is huge!
When we got to the office, we had a 30 minute wait until her appointment. The waiting room is filled with toys, so Esme sat down with the school bus and filled it up with Little People. I read two year old Reader’s Digests. After a few minutes, Ezzy came up to me with a stuffed dog and pushed it onto my lap. She started crying and wildly waving her arms around, contorting them in odd positions. She does this when she wants something but has no words to tell me what it is. Luckily I speak fluent “Esme”, so I knew that she wanted the stuffed dogs clothes to come off (it was wearing a baseball uniform. Of course). If there is one thing Esme cannot stand, its stuffed animals (and some dolls) wearing clothes.
When it was our turn to go in, Esme started freaking out, screaming “Bear, bear!” (We had left the dog out in the waiting room and she wanted it). She was also tired after waking up at 6:30 am! Once she settled down, she started working with the farm animal magnet board. The speech therapist would hold out a magnet and Esme would have to say the name of the animal. She tried her best to avoid having to say the names (despite our practice session while waiting for the bus!), but the lure of those little magnets won out in the end and she named all of them. Her favourite was the bee! When she saw the bee magnet she laughed and yelled out “Bee! Bee!” without any prompting at all. The next activity was following the direction “Get ______ “ (eg. Get Bee). Esme has so much trouble with this. Even though she knows what the bee magnet looks like, she cannot / does not follow the direction. She needed some hand-over-hand help, but after a while she followed a few of the directions. The problem is that she would rather get the magnet she wants to get, and really she couldn't care less if the Speech Therapist wants her to “Get Bee”. She wants to Get Cow.
All in all, it was a good session. Our speech therapist says that she is amazed at how far Esme has come in only a few weeks. She works so hard, at therapy, at the therapy we do at home, and just in her day–to–day activities. It’s not easy for her, but she keeps on trying!