Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Apr '09

Hallelujah. And then some.

Wesley gets visits from three different therapists four times each month: physical, occupational, and speech. Sometimes these visits are exhausting for me because they remind me how much work I have to do with Wes. And other times, like today, they make me gush with joy to realize what great progress Wes is making.

I have to first point out Wesley’s MAJOR MILESTONE: His first sign.

Let me just say that I’ve been using signs with Wes since he was about two or three months old. When I take him to the library Sing and Sign Time I’m always amazed at the little seven-month-old babies that can sign “milk” like it’s no big deal, and here I’ve been working on it with Wes for over a year, and NOTHING.

Since he was little I’ve been SHOWING the signs to him, and in the last few months I’ve been making him DO them himself (by taking his arms or fingers and making him sign). In the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed that I only have to bring my hands towards his elbows, as if I were about to help him move them to make the sign “more,” but when he sees me coming at him he’ll move his arms himself. Even that was great progress.

Then today, for the first time, all I have to do is say, “Show me ‘more'”–and he does it! All by himself, without me helping him at all.

His sign for “more” is a bit of a convoluted mix between the “milk” sign and “more.” But hey, it works. And he gets this wide, goofy grin on his face every time he does the sign. He really knows he’s communicating with me.

I guess success tastes sweeter the longer you have to wait for it. Because I’m feeling super excited by this. I’ve waited OVER A YEAR for it!

Now he does his “more” sign for everything–milk, more toys, snacks, pretty much whatever I’m asking him about. But that’s OK. Let’s get him settled with one sign and then maybe he’ll figure out there’s more than one in the world.

Check out these videos of him using his signing skills:

More video 1

More video 2

Anyway. Back to the therapists. Today his speech therapist came and Wes did great. She asked me if he’s using his pointer finger to point yet and I said no, although we’ve been working on it.

Well, then she pulls out these flash cards with pictures on them and flips through them with him, and when she says, “Where’s the _____?” he would use his pointer finger to point at the picture. Yeah. I know. Little stinker was holding out on me. He doesn’t curl his other fingers down, but clearly I can see him using his pointer finger, even though his other fingers are outstretched.

She also brought a toy that looks like a lawnmower with little balls that pop up as you push it. That toy gave Wes such a big smile! He loved pushing and pulling it around. AND as he played with it I saw him back up. Walking backwards is something his physical therapist has been wanting him to learn how to do. She just came last week, and when she came I didn’t think I’d ever seen Wes back up while standing. But in the last few days I’ve seen him do it several times, including today with that toy. If the therapists didn’t come I wouldn’t know what to look for. I wouldn’t even know to rejoice in the fact that Wes can walk backwards. But hurray! He can.

So I’m happy for Wes today. He’s getting things. When he wants to, but still, he’s getting them.

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