Thursday, December 9, 2010


School report: OT - Obstacle course & eye-hand coordination balloon activities. Worked on name printing at wipe off board & practiced cutting.
Speech - Greetings, what ? with & without pictures, very imitative & good volume.

This morning I took the kids to the Arlington Pediatric Therapy clinic for Nikko's first private speech visit. We must have entered through the back door because we were guided all the way to the front, whatever the front actually looked like from the outside. The hallways were painted very vibrant primary colors and there was a flurry of activity because it was in-between periods, I was told. I even saw the mom of Tommy and Shamus, Nikko's classmate. She saw me, too, and we smiled across the craziness of the lobby. We met Lisa, Nikko's speech therapist, and were led back down the hall to a speech room with table, chairs, mirror on wall, and toys placed high up on shelves. Lisa was very calming and inquisitive as we sat and chatted about Nikko's history. Meanwhile, Ronin and Audrey were tearing apart into Duplo blocks and causing a small ruckus. Nikko was busily playing with some block cars and jargoning to himself. At the halfway point, Lisa suggested Nikko try the slide in another therapy room so we trekked down the hall again. Only Nikko was allowed to go inside so I hauled Ronin and Audrey back to the room, kicking and screaming because they caught a glimpse of the therapy room outfitted with slides and swings and mats, and of course they wanted to go there, too. I was anxious about leaving Nikko in that room with Lisa and other random strangers for the first time, but I didn't hear his usual whining and protests when we left the room. Then again, Audrey was screaming bloody murder all the way back to the room so she could have drowned Nikko out.

Lisa and Nikko came back into the room and Audrey decided to melt down horribly. It didn't deter Lisa from talking to me about Nikko, saying that he actually had so much potential. He didn't protest at all in the therapy room, didn't like the swing but was interested in the slide. In fact, he tried to open the door once they were back inside the room and Lisa had to sit in front of it to keep it closed. That upset Nikko and he whined and started to cry. Lisa said that he's in a good spot because he's scripting and can actually say words, but something is keeping him from fully utilizing speech. He seems to not have made the realization that speech will get him what he wants. He also doesn't want to work too hard, would rather resort to the other forms of communication he's currently using like whining or pulling me to get what he wants. But Lisa was still very optimistic about Nikko, saying he's on the verge, that all that language is right there ready to come out. She went ahead and recommended Nikko for speech 2x/week to start. We can see how it progresses and then reduce it in the future.

The kids were being so challenging in the lobby while I tried to get my checkbook out to write the co-pay that I whipped out three lollipops and told each of them to take one and GO SIT DOWN. And they complied. They actually looked like little angels sitting in their chairs slurping on lollipops. When I finished, I whisked everyone back into the Pilot and headed home for lunch. It was a lot of work making this outing and I am exhausted looking into the future of doing this TWICE a week. I guess it wouldn't be any different if the kids were taking a swim class during the day, or any other classes to be chauffeured to. It's still a draining thought. I got the kids fed and literally turned them around to get them ready for the bus to school. After we shipped them off, I decided to take Audrey to gas up the Pilot and get some quick things at Costco. I could tell she wouldn't survive another trip to the grocery after that so we headed home.

The boys came home from school and then Nikko had ABA with Jenna, another good session according to her. We chatted at the end and we both concluded that Nikko seemed to just have a bad two months, October and November. He seems to be on an upswing in terms of behavior. We'll still have a meeting next week at the school to adjust his programs to be more language-based. Nikko has been pretty jolly lately, and for that I am really grateful.

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