Maria’s speech therapist got a clinic job so that means regular work, benefits and so on but no Maria. So we are yet again on a search for a speech therapist. We hope to find one who specializes in augcomm devices since that is Maria’s biggest need right now.
We went to a conference on cerebral palsy in Scottsdale last weekend. It was kind of interesting although much of the stuff wasn’t necessarily relevant to Maria. It was of course a bit depressing hearing some of the challenges she has to look forward to in the future but we have plenty of time to worry about those things later.
An interesting thing happened a couple of weeks ago. I was out on the patio with Maria when Cathy came out. She said Maria’s name and Maria zeroed in on her immediately. She then started struggling to get out of my lap so I figured she wanted to do some walking. We walked toward Cathy but as we got close there were ants on the ground and Maria was barefoot so I turned her around. Maria got very agitated when I did and kept trying to turn back. It wasn’t until a bit later when I thought about it when I realized she seemed to be deliberately walking to Cathy. Later I was walking with Maria inside. Cathy was sitting to the side and Maria had her head turned toward her. I turned Maria so we were walking toward Cathy and her paced picked up immediately.
That’s a huge development because until now walking has just been a game. If she understands it’s actually a way to get from Point A to Point B she will have more motivation. Sue has been working with her in the walker, holding out toys to inspire Maria to move forward. It’s been working somewhat so we should try to do that more often. It’s just so hard to work all these little things into the day.
The OT was thinking Maria is ready to learn “yes” and “no”. We worked out these exaggerated signs for her and the idea is for us to have her make these signs when we ask her questions so she figures out they are a way to control her world. I really like that idea although it’s easier to work “yes” in than “no”. We basically have her say “yes” to whatever we are going to do anyhow. Still, it’s another path to communication.
It’s now less than two weeks until Manolis comes back and everyone is very excited. It’s a pity he couldn’t be back sooner because the house next door was bought by a property flipper and he could have had a painting job but they’ll be done by the time he gets back.