"Walking man go to the Z-O-O- Zoo! See lots of animals." Animals came out more like, "amanals" but close. Shea was very talkative at dinner and seems to have a verbalization boost in the evenings.
Articulation is still challenging and I find that I still do a lot of translating for him. But, at least he is trying. I wonder if I should just shut up and let people figure it out.
Bubble lady (our speech pathologist) makes a concerted effort to really push him. He will say, "hard one" or "hard word" and not want to even try. She spends a bit of time telling him that it may be hard at first but then it does get easier. She used the "Little Engine that could" story as inspiration. Sometimes he will give it a try, sometimes not.
I celebrate the successes he does have no matter what and try not to dwell on his frustration. I wonder if I am protecting myself as much as him. I focus on how wonderful it is that he can say his alphabet and count to 30 (or so). I was dazzled when he started singing the "Happy Birthday song" the other day. When did he pick that up?
Not being able to talk as well as your friends has got to be a very frustrating, humiliating daily occurrence. I bleed for him and naturally try to protect him. But, for his own good, I need to broaden his relationships. Our OT is suggesting one-on-one play dates, which will give him needed practice. I shouldn't be but I am nervous to reach outside of our protective little universe; of rejection for him and me, setting him up for ridicule, inviting someone into his life that won't be as understanding as his family. But, I have delayed long enough.
This morning I made a necessary step. I called the mom of one of Shea's little buddies at the developmental preschool who is a "typical peer" meaning he is not "special" or doesn't have an IEP. His mother was lovely and said "yes, let's get those boys together." Even though the weather has been cold, I will suggest a meet up at Ober park to play before afternoon preschool. I will spend a little bit of time telling her about Shea's challenges just so that she can ask any questions or clarify the reality for herself and her son. Then, I hope to jettison that part of the conversation and just let them be.
Visions of regular weekly play dates flit through my brain. Summer activities and Shea having a "best friend". Hold up, mommy. Gotta walk before you can run, speak before you can sing.
So, here is to finding your feet and your voice, little man.