How do you know when it's time to make a change? When it's time to try something different--a new SLP, a new program, a new schedule, a new approach? We LOVE our SLP but she's on maternity leave. And quite frankly, Logan's not particularly interested in working for the new SLP. Instead, he finds it amusing to see how much he can determine the direction the sessions take. Frustrates me to no end, and honestly, I'm not sure how to approach it with the new therapist. She's a nice gal and she probably does just fine. There are some things though that don't work with Logan. One thing that gets others regularly is telling him to do something, then tagging an "okay?" at the end of the statement. All of a sudden, in his mind, you've offered him the choice of cooperating or not. He typically chooses NOT. Then what? The new therapist does this. I pointed it out to her but she didn't seem to make the connection between her words and his behavior. We'll see...
In the meantime, she's changed his speech goals. Again. So now we're back at square 3 again. (Yes, I know it's supposed to be square 1, but we're beyond that. At least a little.) He's re-doing many of the things he's already mastered, and some he simply can't do at all. She has modified what he has learned and now he's frustrated--it worked for 2 years with our beloved SLP and now it needs to change? Why? He's making those sounds well. Plus, his SLP at school is elated that he's making some sounds in isolation. But they're sounds he mastered nearly 2 years ago. That's probably why he doesn't understand and share her excitement--he can do those. I am beyond frustrated by the lack of coordination and continuity. HE'S frustrated with the perpetual back-tracking. Bottom line, I'm not sure what we're doing is making a difference any more.
I understand that speech therapy for kids with apraxia/dyspraxia is slow, that progress is measured in inches. It's common to have things he can say this week that he can't manage next week. Training the muscles to work together is not simple, especially when they are so disorganized that the dyspraxia (the inability to coordinate complex motor activity) affects his gross and fine motor skills as well as his verbal and oral skills (like chewing and blowing and licking lips or ice cream). I get that. But some days I feel like he's just a number, another patient to be seen, rather than a child who needs individualized help. Plus there's the whole thing of "How much of the speech problem is related to the dyspraxia? How much is hearing loss related? How much has to do with an auditory processing issue? And how do we address the whole complex matter?"
There are some things I know:
1. What we've got going right now doesn't appear to be helping tons.
2. His frustration is mounting.
3. I would like to see him get more speech therapy, particularly from one single person working on a plan. Coordinating two sets of different speech goals is hard.
4. I'd love to have someone who sees me/us as partners in this. That's one of the things I LOVE about our SLP on maternity leave. She's awesome at this. The new SLP is okay with it too, but we've been with the other SLP for nearly 2 years. The school SLP is terrible with this, and it makes things harder. Logan's not exactly forthcoming with details about what he's learning in speech, in part because he can't articulate those things!
I guess this is an exercise in processing for me. I am not sure what to do next with him. There's a place about 15 miles from home that specializes in a specific method of speech therapy that I think might be helpful for Logan...but I'm not sure. I don't know how to find out. Add another session each week with a third therapist and see how he does? Cut our ties with the current therapy center and pray a new one is better? Take a break from it all, then jump back in in a few weeks/months? If so, where? How much? How often?
Tonight I hope to have a chance to sit down with Jim and get his input. He lives here too :) and sees things from a different perspective than I do. I still suspect that in the end, I will have as many unanswered questions and a decision to make. At least I'll get a dessert date out of the deal. That sounds delightful!
Unanswered questions. Seems to be the story of my life these days. Funny, I don't remember asking for more patience. Apparently, though, it is an area of character development that is lacking in my life. Ugh.