Speech Therapy Drop-Out Has Explosion of Language

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.)


7 thoughts on “Speech Therapy Drop-Out Has Explosion of Language

  1. Fantastic news. You are such a great writer I can hear the excitement in your voice and Matthew’s! I never thought about signing with dirty hands. Thanks for sharing and bless Matthew for being stubborn and secretly so smart.

  2. Ahhh, nothing better than some adorable Matthew with morning coffee! I have to say, I absolutely loved where as soon as Matthew started bouncing on his therapy ball, Micah stopped his bouncing to clap for Matthew! What a great big brother! Hugs to all!

  3. I can see the smile from ear to ear on your dad’s face when he said by by bam pa! . I will never forget the first time your dad told me about Miracle Matthew. I feel so honored to be able to say I am related to all of you! I pray I get over to Walla Walla this summer to see you! Some may say, how can you miss someone you hardly know. But, that doesn’t seem true. With your blogs and e-mails…God has put a real love for your “our” family in my heart! Give everyone hugs from me! Loved the video!! .. Love Paulette

  4. Pingback: On Homeschooling | Matthew Nicholas Vawter

  5. Pingback: Therapeutic Riding | Matthew Nicholas Vawter

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