How is that for a headline? It may not make national news, but it’s BIG news around here!
A few months ago, we made the decision to pull Matthew out of speech therapy. There weren’t any major problems … just no progress. Matthew shut-down in therapy, stubbornly refusing to talk or follow directions. In fact, the only sound he made would be to put his finger to his lips and make his best “shhhhh!” sound, to shush his therapist.
The poor thing. (the therapist, I mean.) She worked so hard to win him over. She is a sweet, young, energetic and positive teacher, and we could tell she was working extra-hard with Matthew, doing research on new techniques to try, bringing out all of his favorite things … but it just wasn’t working. He would sign … a little bit … “all done.” “bye-bye.”
His therapist and we agreed that giving him a break might be good. We were hearing new words at home. It was slow, but steady progress. We agreed to keep in touch, and re-visit therapy when Matthew was a little more … ahem … how do we say this? … able to understand the teacher/student relationship? He is only 3 years old, and has a stubborn streak a mile wide.
A couple months ago, we were getting ready to leave my parent’s house. The boys were loaded in the van, and before the door closed, a little voice said, “Bye-Bye Bam-Pa!” I was absolutely shocked, as I’d never heard that many syllables come from my little Matthew. Grandpa was pretty pleased to be the recipient, too.
. . .
Skip ahead to the last month or so …
Matthew is saying SO MANY THINGS. We can’t believe our ears as we hear sound after sound coming from our not-so-silent-anymore little boy.
After dinner, Matthew often requests to cleaned up in the bath tub instead of the ol’ washcloth routine. When he’s done eating, he pushes himself back from the table, signs “all done,” then signs “bath.”
However, recently he pushed himself back, and SAID, “Bu-bble Ba-TH!” Then, giggled uncontrollably with pride for his accomplishment. You better believe he got lots of bubbles that night! (Those of you who sign with your kids realize the mixed-blessing of signing things like “bath,” or “please,” when your kid’s hands are covered in applesauce or yogurt.)
He has also started to say animal names as well as sounds, letters of the alphabet as I sign them, and will point to his name on his wall and correctly identify the letters. Like I said, it’s big news around here!
You know who else he’ll talk for? Yes … Rachel Coleman. We hear more words from him while he’s watching a “Signing Time” DVD than any other time. And, as she says in one of her songs,
“Sometimes I think you’re stuck for such a long time. Days and days go by with nothing new. With lists of things you’ll never do … until one day you do! And, you do! You do. You shine.
… And Matthew will do what Matthew will do when Matthew is ready to do it.
And he’ll do it in his own time.”
(O.k. … she doesn’t actually use his name, but I think she should have.)