Tag Archives: speech therapy

Weekly photo challenge: Beginning


The beginning of a new friendship

Since my daughter started doing hippotherapy (therapeutic riding) this past summer, she has a new found friendship with each horse she rides. Though in the picture she is seen leaning in to kiss a horse named Peaches, she usually rides another horse named Gilly.

Hippotherapy has helped her open up more with her confidence in horses and most other animals, as well as helped her open up with her speech. Up until the age of three she had barely an eight word vocabulary, whereas most kids that age has three times that many words in their vocabulary.

Hippotherapy helps keep her calm and relaxed to the point where she can use that energy to focus on other things, such as seeing the world around her and telling us about what she sees. When she isn’t riding, she is mostly focused on one thing and has to have help in redirecting her attention to something else.

Now that she is four years old, she has started talking more and is using actual sentences. She still babbles a lot, but it is the effort in trying to say what she has to say that counts.

Autism and Ignorance

Two things that are often paired with one another, autism and ignorance. There are many people out there who are ignorant on what autism is. You can’t just look at a child and say, “They don’t have autism” or “Oh yeah, they have autism alright.” You have to either be familiar with it, or get to know that child well enough to see the signs.

Some look at my daughter and think there’s nothing wrong with her, that she’s just quiet and reserved. Some tell me that she’s just slow because she couldn’t sing her ABC’s to you. Some tell me that meltdowns are a part of her being a child and that I’m not doing right by properly punishing her and letting her get away with bad behavior. If there was a class to learn about what autism is, I would suggest it to these people, but unfortunately there isn’t. There isn’t a class for us parents who have autistic children, to learn how to deal or cope. There ARE support groups, but not enough out there and some aren’t even nearby.

There are many sides to autism, not every child with autism are the same, it’s that broad. That’s why the doctors call it, autism on the spectrum. One child may display anti-social behaviors, while another child many not be anti-social. One child may like to hug, whereas the other child doesn’t want to be touched completely. Lack of eye contact, inability to understand emotions, delayed speech, all those that I’ve said above are all autistic behaviors.

My daughter has progressed so well since having started therapy. I commend each of her therapist as I’m starting to understand my daughter better and she is able to understand me better. After picking her up from daycare each day I’ll ask her, “Did you have a fun at school today?” It took her many months before she would reply with a yes. A small word that many parents may brush off as being normal, but for me that’s in a sense, moving mountains.

Just yesterday at breakfast we were eating eggs and toast, our usual breakfast meal as she would only eat just that. She looks up at me with cinnamon on her face and says with a big smile, “I like toast.” It threw me for a second as this is the first time she’s ever confirmed liking anything. Better yet, this is the first time she’s used a full intelligent sentence with every word being understandable and clear. She usually talks in babbling sentences with one or two words that are understandable or mumbled to the point I have her repeat what she said just so I could try and figure out what it is she is trying to say. This is where it gets upsetting, her inability to communicate clearly and my inability to understand what she’s trying to say.

Another thing ignorance doesn’t see is that majority of children with autism are very, very smart. Every day I can see just how smart my daughter is. She may not be able to communicate very well, but she does not forget anything, especially if you told her something this morning, she’ll remember it at the end of the day. She can put a puzzle together really fast on her kindle. She can understand three different languages, even say a few words in another language. She can even count to ten in Spanish without missing a beat.

A person should never judge the capabilities of a child with special needs. That child may look at us as the one with a special needs. My daughter continues to amaze me every day. I have never judged what she can and can’t do. I myself will test that, just to show others that you can’t tell me I can’t do something. My exact response is always, “watch me!” My daughter will learn this from me, and I will be there to encourage her every step of the way. Autism isn’t a disability or something to be afraid of. Autism isn’t a label. It just gives a child their own uniqueness. The ability to show those that are ignorant around them that they are just that, ignorant for not believing in what they can do and for judging and doubting them.

I’m a toddler and I’ll cry if I want to

My daughter has been seeing a speech therapist; actually the therapist comes to visit my daughter at her daycare. Since she doesn’t talk that much and has a hard time with words, or asking for something, or doesn’t have much of a vocabulary, she has to visit with a speech therapist once a week. I was told that after next week the therapist will be seeing her twice a week, she didn’t explain to me why. I have seen a little improvement in her speech as far as using actual words when she talks, rather than babel.

Today when I picked my daughter up from daycare the therapist was still there, giving my daughter her lesson. One of the teachers directed me to the room they were in and I poked my head in the door to see how they were doing. I could tell right away that it wasn’t going that well long before I reached the room as I could her my daughter crying. The therapist looked up from my daughter to see that I was standing in the doorway and asked me if she usually cried for long periods of time. I told her, yes, sometimes longer.

My daughter is three, so it’s a toddler thing to cry endless for something, especially when you tell them no. No matter how nice I tell her no, even when not using the word no, she will cry and throw a tantrum. The therapist finally told me why she was crying, she wasn’t done playing with a ball before the therapist took it away wanting to move onto another lesson.

My daughter finally calmed down after the therapist let her play with a matching game on her cell phone. At this very moment she is playing a similar matching game on my kindle. I find it keeps her occupied until she decides she’s hungry. When she comes home from daycare I always have something prepared for her to eat, but she begins crying for maybe an hour until she decides she’s actually hungry and will finally come to the table to eat.

I am just now going through the terrible toddler stages. She didn’t have the terrible twos and has only had one week of the terrible threes, which was several months ago. I have been blessed with a wonderful child though, so I guess I’ll see how long this phase will last.