Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Little A has started lessons with a new speech therapist recently. This one is trained in what appears to be the newest thing - oral motor therapy.  The first few sessions did serve to make my son more aware of what his mouth can do, as I would see him in front of the mirror making faces, and his sound output increased.

This summer, however, the teacher has shifted to a different tactic. One session Little A was frustrated and couldn't find the words he wanted to use in his communication book. Teacher pulled out is iPad and asked my son to type out what was on his mind. The result was this, with my notes following the dashes:

jump swim nick jr seal

i want watch  nick jr nelvana
-- Teacher told him there was no internet. Later, Little A indicated he wanted to use the toilet so he went, and when he got back to the therapy room the teacher asked him what he did:

i pee
i wash hands
-- Teacher asked what Little A wanted to do next:


watch watch nickelodeon

-- Teacher said there was still no internet so Little A got mad and spat on the floor (one of the unfortunate side-effects of oral motor exercises, he does this now when he is angry.) He promptly got a tissue, and Teacher asked him what he did next:


i am angry

i want to see mommy

letis go home

-- Teacher was very pleased to report the outcome of the session to me. I asked him to please email me the transcripts after each session, and questioned him closely about the level of prompting given to Little A in crafting his replies (none to reply, but sometimes Teacher would spell out a word correctly.) I told him Little A could figure it out phoenetically with minimal help.

This seems to be the pattern their sessions will take over the next few weeks. While it may be far from the regular chatty six-year-old conversations, for now, this is enough for us. Let's hope it can be sustained.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Skater Boy

Two Christmases ago, Little A was obsessed with skateboards. There were two skate shops near our flat, and he spent afternoons hanging out with the skaters and watching them practise.

It made sense then, to get him a "training" board for Christmas. I'd been eyeing one at the hardware store, that came with a sturdy handle, making it a scooter of sorts that could later be converted into a proper skateboard. Big A and I managed to get the very last one in the city.

Come Christmas morning, 2012, Little A was more interested in the ribbon tied round his present than the actual scooter/board. He did a few experimental rounds inside the house, but by and large the board was a sitting mat for most of the following year.

In December 2013, however, something must have clicked. One day Little A took interest in his scooter and wanted to try it outside. He practised and practised, and soon got his balance on the board and figured out how to turn and stop. This became an afternoon ritual, on coming home from school, and on weekends. Whenever he needed to take a break from his devices, playing outside usually meant being on the scooter with me or the Au Pair chasing after him.

In a few months he's nearly outgrown the handle, which sadly does not adjust its length the way those Razors do. But he's still enjoying his board, and hopefully will carry on when it turns into a skateboard. Now to buy a helmet.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Cat and His Boy

I recently read the most tedious homage to CS Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia. It ranked as one of the top young adult sellers on Amazon the year it was released, and I couldn't see why. If it wasn't for my inability to put down a book without finishing it, awful as it may be, this one would have been consigned to the rubbish heap within the first few chapters.

Still, I appreciate how this author was so strongly influenced by Lewis's children's classics, a series I hope Little A enjoys one day.

In the meantime, in the few days of holidays he had before summer school, Little A and his cat had some fun. Once summer school started, he came home and looked for the cat first thing, as he did on waking up, before going to sleep, and countless times in between. He wants the cat to always be within his line of sight, if not arm's reach.

Meanwhile despite having been neutered, Kitty is quite aggressive and fancies himself a dog. He play-attacks people coming into the flat for the first time, and pounces on their belongings. The Au Pair is his especial favourite, followed by myself, and we both bear scars on both legs from scratches. With Little A though, he is never aggressive. I suppose in that relationship, he knows who is the master.