Tag Archives: speech / ASL / ST


Both boys did a great job at classroom this week (2 hours for Little on 2 different days, and 3 on one day for Big).  Little Brother was willing to attempt sounds in ST on Thursday that he has previously not been willing to; not even Monday!!  Light bulbs are flashing for him; new skills are popping up daily it seems like.  He is so diligent and so much more responsive to direct interaction, it is amazing.   His Sign Language is exploding too; today he signed HELP to me, for the first time (on his own) correctly. 

Since Big Brother is so close to meeting his IEP goals; the team decided to have him attempt classroom 2x a week, not just once.  Momma agreed to this because this is going to be the end of his classroom time until he is much older and we transition him to a brick and mortar school (4th?  5th?).  Since Big Brother has met all his skill goals, and is almost off the IEP and now just needs “practice time” he is going to go 6 hours a week, not 3, until the end of the semester.  Then next fall he’ll kindergarten with just momma (and possibility Childserve) not an IEP and no classroom!!   I am so proud of him, and so excited. 

The boys and I practiced our counting and ABC’s this week as we bounced on the trampoline.  This made for a lot of giggles and a lot of fun.  Little Brother doesn’t actually “say” all the letters or numbers but he ‘gets the idea’ and chants along with us.

I am going to sit down this month and plan out March and April for us; I have a new approach I want to try; in connection to the modified workbox systems (actually I guess a new approach to what I want to put in to the workboxes).  I’ll post it as soon as I get it done.


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A normal MONDAY !!

Little Brother was excited to return to classroom (he attends classroom 2x a week, 2 hours each time) he had missed Mrs. D his teacher and Miss Em the SLP.  Last night I asked him about it, and he ran and got his shoes and coat right then, he is making great strides in attempting to communicate (ASL, gesture, pictures, and attempting speech) and the time in the classroom 9and his one on one time with both Mrs. D and Miss Em) has really pushed him in that area – or maybe a switch finally just flipped on in his head and he just matured in to it; either way it is an exciting change.  It vas stunning to cut thought the school hall, over head Little in Speech with Miss Emily and hear him clearly say CAR.  His speech is developing and his willingness to try is improving. 

Here at home he is intrigued by ASL and quickly picking up signs.  Not all of them are useful in daily communication (hippo for one doesn’t come up too often) but his interest and the spark is carrying over to other terms (cheese for example) that does help daily communication.

In classroom today, Little Brother went yup toe ht S on the Alphabet poster and made an ssssssss sound, the teacher was all excited and Little Brother showed her a few more.  Currently he can identify all 26 letters (when shown the letters can point to the one requested) and make about 12 of the simple phonics sounds independently.  The SLP and the classroom teacher were both impressed. 

Big Brother did a great job on his school this morning, he and Momma get two devoted hours on Monday’s while Little is in classroom, then Big goes to his ST appt when we picks Little Brother up.  Big is demonstrating a really strong ability to correctly identify the beginning sound of words.  Once we finish up the rest of the sheets I already have mode for “starting sound” I am not making any more.  At some point I will again, for blends, but not at this point; endless images of cats and hats, lizards, tubs and whales and he gets the correct starting sound each time.   Big Brother has also shown competence in matching the upper case and lower case of the same letter.  Again, once he is done with the sheets I have copied or printed for him thus far I do not expect to make any more until Little Brother is ready for them. 

One thing Big Brother does not excel at is numeral recognition.  We do counting activities and he can count the correct number of objects, but above 6 or maybe 7 does not recognize the current numeral to choose.  A current goal for Big Brother is to get him counting to 100 (both counting and able to count 100 manipulative) and also to recognize the written numeral.  Big Brother has the ability to do simply math in his head – 2+2 and 3+4 and so on; the lower math facts; but he is unable to do them written because of his lack of ability to ‘read” numbers consistently and also he is still limited by his handwriting. 

Tonight Daddy and Big Brother talked about positive and negative charges (like batteries) and played with the magnets to demonstrated charges that “pull” and ones that “push”.  I am considering this painting with magnets activity as a tie in, for tomorrow.  I do not have magnet marbles (my dad does, I bought them); but I may be able to come up with something; I have the wands.

Finally tonight, Big Brother wrote, all by himself this note:

It says “I love you”.

Ah Big Brother is really growing up. 🙂


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1.10.11 happy day

Oh happy day.  Big Brother has ST with the school SLP today (we all love her).  Big Has been working with her since before he turned 3; so she is a solid part of his life.  Miss Em today told me that she is going to be able to exit him from Speech soon, he is not going to qualify again this spring when they do all his re-assessments for his IEP renewal. 

I am so excited.

Miss Em reports he now has all the age appropriate speech skills.  He needs more work on USING all the skills; more practice at endurance (that is speaking clearly at the end of a statement as well as the beginning) and he still needs to learn to use his skills (apply the skills to daily life) but he has the skills, and he has met all the goals to be on the level of his peers!!!

He will finish out the semester with her, and that will give him time to adjust to the idea.  He herd us today and quickly asked me “I don’t get to see Miss Em any more”.  She is going to spend most of the rest of the semester in the classroom with him working on applying the skills.

He has been doing speech since he was just over 2, so this is really exciting for us all, for him to be ‘age appropriate’.

What is really exciting, is that this means he will be off his IEP before Kindergarten. 


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2011 changes part 2

This is part two (see part one here).  I am discussing changes in the works for 2011 around here.  All these items are actually sub-parts of one bigger “goal“ for the start of 2011. “My first goal for 2011 is a more structured day / more intentional approach to school”.  Also, please do not fear for me, I am not jumping in to all this at once and most of the changes will actually be grown into slowly; some may not to be ‘seen’ for a time, but these represent my “intent” 🙂  my path.

BIBLE.  For Christmas Big Brother received The SuperHero Bible.  It is a “NIrV is an easy-to-read version of the New International Version written at the third grade level.”  Big Brother and I are endeavoring to read though it – Genesis to Revelations – together.  I talked about that here.  I want Big Brother to have some experience the Bible as whole, not just the stories (though he knows many of them well).  I want to start “forming hooks” for the boys both, but really Big Brother, to have for future learning; I want to start to demonstrate the Bible is a “whole” not just selected stories.  I am in the process of looking for a Bible Time Line to hang on the wall so that we can start laying a foundation of the Bible as a whole; so we can visualize it all and the connections and the ‘flow’.  This is something I intend to make a repetitive habit for the family; even once the boys are in school outside the home, we will continue reading the Bible, as a family, over and over again.  I chose this version (not that it is a great translation) as a good starting point to make the language more assessable to the boys and also as one Big Brother (and eventually Little Brother) can transition in to reading on his own soon than say the NIV or the King James (both of which, of course, are better actual translations of the Bible as an tool of faith and the voice of God given to us). 

Big Brother really is showing signs of reading readiness (sounding out the words on the products in the hardware store to “read what daddy needs”).  He can sound out all the basic phonic sounds, and a few blends (ch, th, sh, st).  He is at the place where he can sound out all the letter in the word, but it does not “become a word” for him.  Any day now.  I am so excited.  Since Little Brother is going to start going to classroom 2 days week (2 hours each day) for more intensive speech time; Big Brother and I are going to use that time, an hour and 45 minutes after drop off and pick up of Little, for “school”.  I am hoping that we can make good use of that block of time he and I have alone.  I don’t plan to drive home and back, so we will see if the local library is open, or go to the bakery.  A little phonics, some math and handwriting.  Then he will earn, maybe PBS.com time on my lap top or maaaaybe once in a while youtube videos of superheroes (his love and reason for life right now).  I am not going to push, he is after all just turned 5, and fundamentally I am opposed to an early push in academics.  Nevertheless a little one-on-one time with momma to read, and do some phonics and the ability to practice his handwriting without Little on top of him, may be just the right thing for him right now.  If not, we’ll change it. 

Quiet time is going to start.  Here is a blog about it many many families do this, a regrouping time in the afternoon.  This is still a really fluid concept for me and I am not sure either what it is going to look like here in our home nor am I sure how I am going to start.  I envision a time in the afternoon for all of us to sit – no media – and read and relax.  Little Brother gave up naps well over a year ago (sadly for momma as family nap was really helping me) but both boys seem to really lag in the afternoon and need a recharge; and I am thinking a chunk of time with books is a good habit for us as a family.  It can grow into something more in years to come.  Stay tuned I am still not sure this is going to work.

One day a week shall be stay home day – even PJ day.  I have been scheduling the first quarter of 2011 and sadly so many days are already booked.  Big brother has ST and OT and other appointments.  Little Brother has ST.  Both boys have classroom; we try to get to library one a week and I value their weekly playdates (this is momma time too since I get to hang with the other mom(s) and since I truly care abut the other children and enjoy time with them too.  So I am starting to make off days on the daytimer as HOME.  I feel strongly that the boys NEED time to be kids; time to play, to be lazy, to be mostly undirected.  Entire days to wear PJs all day if that is what they want to do.  I am not sure I can do it each week, sadly, but it is important to me to make sure the boys have time to be kids. 

There shall be less TV.  Very little else needs to be said, this is all momma.  We limit quality and content quiet strictly, but quantity needs to be cut back (and content a bit too but not so much).  This is feel is going to be a natural happening as there is more routine and more structure and more “other” in the day. 

More memory work.  The boys are both at that great parrot age – they love to repeat they love to learn the ending to things.  Big Brother is entering the Grammar Stage and is already committing random stuff to memory.  I intend for us to start learning (as a group, all three of us) more nursery rhymes; longer ones and then bridge into short fun poetry.  From there I hope to start in on shorter Bible verses, and that of course I intend for them to continue, committing more and more of God’s revelation to memory as they years go on.  Eventually I will broaden our outlook to longer poems or more serious poems (as opposed to rhyming silly children’s one).  Momma will be doing this along with them.  That is, of course, the long term plan, over years.  For now I intend to start with more nursery rhymes and longer ones. 

Yoga.  The boys are, at some point, going to be doing yoga on a mostly daily basis.  Now, right now – we have done it once in the last 2 week, and the time before that I can’t remember.  So this is a long path for us, but some day I do want us to be ‘regular yoga practices” (exercise ONLY, not the faith or philosophy).  Big Brother’s OT therapist suggested yoga for him; for body control, for core strength and for self-soothing and, learning to control breathing and emotions.  I got him a 3 DVD set for Christmas when he was 3; and we’ve never done much with it; so we are digging that set out and going to try to “practice” each day.  I have wanted to learn yoga (exercise only) for years so I am excited to drag the boys along with me; I do admit the challenge factor of yoga (or anything like that) is greatly increased by adding a couple of pre-schoolers to it.  

Stay tuned – there are a few items left for a part 3 🙂 


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2011 changes part 1

2011…A new year, a new start.  🙂  With luck, and pray, 2011 is to be a year of BIG changes for our family.  Only time will tell, but I am full of anticipation and thus energy and have to do something.

A mood of anticipation drives me well; it embodies me to make changes, get off my butt and challenges me.  This list is not exhaustive, some ideas are still too fluid in my mind to express, and some will develop out of other changes; but these are the basic, starter set, a jumping off point.

The first goal of 2011, while by no means a BIG difference from 2010 is more a “push into growing”.  In truth, many of the other ‘changes” could be seen a sub-set of this umbrella “change”.  Most change is growth and it is a slow process; but it can be encouraged and “pushed”.  My first goal for 2011 is a more structured day / more intentional approach to school.  These are not exactly the same thing, but they are still hard to totally separate.  The boys are so young, and so “school” is either all of our day, or no part of our day – based on how you want to view it.  For example we read at least twice a day, that is either “school time” or not depending on how you frame it, but it is a core of our day.  Thus, I am not going to split hairs on the “more structured day” vs. “the more intentional approach to school” goal(s). 

Mainly we need a more structured approach to our time; we just are not getting done all I’d like to see done.  The boys are not getting all the opportunities I’d like to be able to “expose them to”.  It is all momma, lazy momma.  As the boys’ age I feel (personally) that we need a day with a bit more meat to it; especially as we face the fact that Big Brother will be legally kindergarten age in the fall.  (not that we are worried about THAT, but it is a ‘milestone’ to be aware of).  Also the are both blooming right now;  and I really know  in my heart I should be feeding the growth more than I am.  This is a wok in progress and I realize it is 95% momma; not the boys.

Changes in the works:

Little’s ST

Little will be going to classroom 2x a week.  This fall semester he attended the local school district’s preschool one day a week for 2 hours.  His speech delay is effecting his communication much more than Big Brother’s delay has ever effected him.  Thus the decision was made to put Little Brother in the classroom 2x a week, 2 hours each time, to allow him more time with the SLP and also to allow him more time with the Special Education teacher on communication skills.  This is a trial.  Monday is the new day; Monday and Thursday’s from 8:30 to 10:30.  we will have to see how this goes before we decide for sure to keep it (frankly I am still on the fence about the boys being in the local pre-school at all, not the team, our team is great, but there are issues and on a fundamental level I am still troubled by it).  

Little Brother is also going to have a full, private, speech and communication assessment at Childserve where Big Brother goes to OT).  we held off till he vas three for this assessment despite the fact there is no question he is delayed (maybe more so than Big Brother as far as communication is considered); but under three it seems a bit silly to try too much assessment; I knew he simply would not cooperate and so nothing would be gained. 


Daily (6 days a week goal) practice.  We are going to work on mastery of the material I have and that the local library has.  I talked some about this here.  I am also going to make tiles (3 inch by 3 inch) of all the ASL letter signs (we already have tiles like that of all the written letters, both capital and lower case) to add to our letter collection.  Then we can all practice out ASL alphabet in memory and matching games like we currently work on capital and low case matches and sound matches. 

 see part 2 here

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Today is day 8 of the Pray For Your Husband for 30 days Challenge.   Today’s challenge:


Day Eight:
“…but who can find a faithful man?” Prov. 20:6b

Faithfulness is a wonderful but rare quality today, especially in regard to marriage. Do you understand how important this quality is? Your challenge is to continue to root out all negative speaking, and plant seeds of encouragement instead. You may be amazed at what will grow.

Contemporary culture often entices men to be unfaithful to their wedding vows and spiritual commitments. Appreciate your husband’s faithfulness – how he is loyal to you. Let him know that you are glad he has “stick-to-it-iveness” in your marriage. Appreciate his faithfulness to God. 

New cool web site find — this site is really really cool  it is a digital on-line library.  You do not have to sign in or sign up (it is FREE either way) but if you do you can “remember” books and so on. Children books, from all over the world, in all languages.  Read them on your computer; it is kinda fun.  ok it is on the computer, but there are so many neat ones and a ton of search options.  Being on the computer is a disadvantage I agree, we limit screen time for the boys and do no go any “computer learning” with them.  But it is cool to be able to see, flip the pages of, and read so many books.  Many are public domain now.  When you read a book there are several viewing options.  Pretty cool and fun. 


Also – something I don’t usually share but I really liked this blog post.  Check this out!!!  Many of you recognize the name Rick Riordan.  He is the author of Percy Jackson & the Olympians series (New York Times Bestseller list) and others like the Kane Chronicles, the Tres Navarre mysteries.  This is his official blog — and this post is about the choice to home school their son!!!


Both boys had Speech with Miss Emily today, and it was so nice out that the other got to play on the school playground for waiting, and then I let the two play for a while to get that all important sunshine time.  Both boys did a good job in Speech; Little Brother made a better effort than any day before and mimics over 15 words.  I watched though the window a little while and he seemed to be having a great time looking at farm animals with Miss Emily.  Big Brother started with OT with Miss Laurie and practiced his handwriting and using one hand to manipulate things “around” then he worked with Miss Emily.  Big Brother is speaking so much better, but has got to slow down.  Miss Laurie, who saw each boy with the Speech Teacher Miss Emily, complemented the boys of their attention and told me that after his time Big Brother got up, and thanked Miss Emily.  Nice to hear good reports about them. 


We made a rare afternoon library trip today.  Big Brother went for “known” and I don’t think he choose anything new at all.  We came home and looked though out Dr Seuss books and checked off all the ones we have.  We read To Think I saw it on Mulberry Street; the first book Seuss wrote and had published.  I talked to him about the fact that book was written when Grand Pat and Pa Pa were children, not sure he got that. 


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Today was another good “just a momma” day.

I love these days, these are the days that give a momma confidence.

Set off the rockets!!!  Little Brother tried to say the word BLUE today.  I am so excited.  Joy exploded from my heart!!  I heard choirs of angles!!  The boys were playing play-doh today.  Big Brother really loves it, today he played for over 90 minutes – just sat there nice and still and attentive.  It is by far the one activity that Big Brother really attends to, consistently.  Little Brother climbed in a chair at the table and wanted to play too.  He is just so cute when he mimics Big Brother.  I offered him blue or red “do you want the red or the blue” he grabbed the BLUE play-doh and said “b-u” it was loud and clear. I hugged him, kissed him and even Big Brother said “good job baby”.  Big Brother noticed all on his own, I didn’t have to point it out to him.  “When daddy gets home, tell him what baby said”.   He is not even three yet and that was a real attempt at a real word!!!  I am so excited.  I was also impressed that Big Brother even noticed it!!

Cute story.

Big Brother said “I didn’t know you when you were married, where did Daddy find you”.

My boys love frogs.  We have a ton of small dark colored frogs.  We routinely see 3 to 5 or more each day in our outside time.  The boys catch them and take them to the marigolds.  That is the routine catch and release.  Today Little Brother opened the toy shed on the front porch and started to yell and giggle; there were 43 bigger frogs in the toys, and boy did they scatter fast.  These frogs are different; they are bigger and much lighter in color and faster, a lot faster and more reactive.  Our normal frogs will sit and let even Little Brother (2 years, 9 months) squat by them and look and squeal and lean in – as long as the boys do not touch them, then generally sit still.  These frogs today, the bigger lighter colored ones, sprang away if you leaned towards them.  I actually had a challenge to catch them.  Interesting, the one we caught and put in the flowers, Little Brother cried and went to look for him (or her) he has never even acted like he cared one way or the other and has never cried about them or went after them.

This morning Little Brother went outside to work out with Daddy before Daddy went to work and Big Brother and I took at 40 minutes to sit together and read.  We read daily; usually a couple of times a day.  However Little Brother is not as big a fan of reading and Big Brother and I are, and he doesn’t always tolerate it nicely.  So it was really nice to sit, cuddle, and read longer stories without fighting for the book, being climbed on or being screeched at.  I liked it a lot; I think as often as Daddy can take Little Brother out in the morning Big Brother and I will take that time to read.


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