Talking About the Weather

One of my daily tasks is taking the Monster to the school bus, since it no longer just stops in front of our house.

Last year, when the Monster was on IEP transportation to get to Garrett Heights EMS, our daily procedure was that he waited inside, and I tended to either watch from my study, or go outside to stand on the curb myself to watch for the bus going up the nearby street on its way to us.  This year, though, there’s a couple of centralized pick-up locations, and so I drive him around the corner to one before I zip off to work. Continue reading

Two Way Communication

We’re four weeks into the school year, and things are slowly stabilizing.

The biggest thing that we miss from last year was the communication log that we had with Ms. A regarding the Monster’s conduct in class.  Certainly, there is behavior charting in his folder, but the Monster has never been a problem in that sense.  (Ms. H, his teacher this year, does it for all the students.) Continue reading

Pulling Teeth

The Monster’s verbal inclinations – whether regressing or not this summer – really do tend to send us into loops of repetitive questions.

The real problem is when we try to give him choices.  Anything beyond a yes-no question lately tends to be a failure unless he’s highly motivated to give a more direct answer.  Inevitably, once you get to a certain point in the conversation, the loop begins. Continue reading

Failure to Communicate

It’s been that kind of weekend.

So yesterday, we had a get-together for the wife’s Mommies’ board, and we were then off to a cookout at her sister’s house.  This seemed fairly straight-forward and fun to me – we’d go over to the get-together (where the kids could get into bathing suits and splash around, and have cupcakes) and then zip down the 90 or so minutes to the cookout where they could gorge themselves on hot dogs.  What’s not to like? Continue reading

In His Own Way

It’s taken a while, but in his own way, the Monster’s found a way to make sure that we understand what he’s trying to convey.

As I’ve tried to explain to a lot of folks lately – the big issue isn’t so much the Monster’s receptive language skills as his expressive language skills.  He clearly understands more than he can express, and a lot of the time, he just doesn’t have the words for what he wants to say. Continue reading

Differences of Opinion

The Monster had another speech evaluation yesterday.

I find it interesting, as we go from therapist to therapist, at the differences in opinions as to his level of function.  (For a basic level of evaluation – they require a ‘greater than 25% deficiency’ in function here for services.)  He is currently just shy of 55 months, which means that he needs to be speaking at less than a 41 month level to be getting speech services in the schools. Continue reading

Future Tense

While I’ve mentioned over the last few entries that the Monster’s been showing improvement in some of his verbal skills, one thing that is clearly not improving is his grasp on tense.

The Monster grasps present tense and continuing tenses quite well – he can tell you what he’s doing at any given moment and what he is in the process of doing, even to the point of ‘very near future’.  (“going to grandma and grampa’s” would be an example of this.)  Ask him where he was, or where he will be, and he gets lost. Continue reading

Push The Button

For anyone who didn’t see the 60 Minutes segment either the first time it aired or on this weekend, it’s available online here.

When the Monster was 2, he really wasn’t verbal in the slightest.  Certainly, he had a good mass of words to pull from, but was using a single word at most for communicating his wants and needs.  Baltimore City Infants and Toddlers Program put him into the PIES program, where they introduced us to the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) which was a marvel to us – suddenly, he could follow a schedule, show us what he wanted within a selection of limited choices, and it helped to foster his development of the canned phrases he’s using today. Continue reading