Saturday, November 9, 2013

"B is for Beer"

Allie has been working hard on her ABCs.  She wants to read her alphabet book first thing in the morning and last thing at night.  She sings the ABC song to any song that is on the radio.  I think she thinks that is the only song people sing.  She sings it while she washes her hands, while she walks down the street, and while she rides in the car.  She still drops some letters occasionally but she's getting pretty good.

Her alphabet book is fun because she gets to slide a little window to show an animal that starts with each letter.  A is for alligator, B is for bear, C is for camel, etc. She is also getting good at identifying the different animals and learning to say all their names.  She has a little trouble with the B animal, however.

We were at her OT appointment last week and since Allie is so in love with doing the alphabet, the OT got out a wooden letter puzzle for Allie to try to do with Righty.  She had a little trouble maneuvering the pieces, as expected, but picked up a B and proudly declared "B is for BEER!"  The two OTs in the room gasped and looked at me like I was the worst parent ever.  I burst out laughing, turned bright red, and said "She's saying 'bear'.  I promise."  I'm not sure they believed me.

On the note of awkward pronunciations, her speech therapist is really concerned with Allie's word articulation.  During her annual assessment, she scored well on her receptive language (what she understands) and expressive language (putting together words), but scored at a less than 2 year old range for articulation even though she was 2 years and 10 months old at the time.

Allie has some strange word substitutions, such as "das" for "sky", "bite" for "bike", and "max n cheese" for "mac and cheese", but Jonathan and I don't believe that Allie is as behind as the test indicates.  When she's at school, she seems pretty on par with most of the kids in her class.  Her speech therapist is recommending that she transition to a speech-impaired preschool, which would be 2 days per week for 2.5 hours a day and would only include kids who have difficulty communicating.  Then she would get carted to her regular preschool by Jonathan or me.  This all seems like an awful idea to us.

I brought the idea of the specialty preschool up with Allie's teacher, whom we love, and she said that she never would have considered Allie to be delayed and that she seems to communicate fine with the other kids and the teachers.  I know she's not a speech specialist but she has spent the last 15 years or so with 2 year olds and that should count for something.

We pushed back on the preschool idea and instead increased the frequency of her current home-based speech therapy to once a week with alternating weeks at home and at school.  We also got her in the queue for outpatient speech therapy at the Children's Hospital where we currently do outpatient OT.  I look forward to having the Children's speech pathologist weigh in on the articulation.  It bothers me that she scored so low and, even though I think it's wrong, I don't want to just stick my head in the sand and ignore it if there really is a problem.

I'm currently in Japan for work and Jonathan is at home taking great care of Allie.  Here are some of the recent photos that he sent:

"Oh, hello Mama!"
Friends at last

I talked to her on the phone before she went to bed tonight and she informed me that I'm in "Jaaa-PAN" and that she had "1... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6... 7... 8... 9... 10 (slices of) pizza" for dinner.  Jonathan contests that it was only 7 of the 4 square inch pizza slices but Allie held firm.  Maybe she snuck some home in her pockets for later.

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