Vent fest

Monday, April 26, 2010

I know it's been a couple of months since I've written ... I apologize for the silence! We've been knee deep in normal life stuff, lots of therapy, lots of doctors appointments and a vacation. I will post later this week with a full update on where we stand with our progress, but this is just a post so I can bitch and let off a little steam.

You all know how much I love Dylan. Adore might be a better word. I think he's fan-freaking-tastic. He's so sweet and kind-hearted, yet a little mischief mixed in gives him that impish grin. I love, love, love all those things about him.

What drives me crazy is his stubbornness. Yes, I'm sure all of my family is giggling at this because they know exactly where he gets it from! However, it's really beginning
" to impede our ability to "help" him at home. I think this would be the case with or without CAS. He's so stubborn that he doesn't want any help. With anything. I'm sure much of this is general 4 year-old stuff; however, where Dylan needs the most help at this point in his life is with his talking. And this is an area where I've got many, many skills! (And so does Bryan - especially after 2 rum and cokes!) However, Dylan thinks every time we correct him we're beginning a 30 minute therapy session so he immediately shuts down.

Example from dinner tonight: Dylan, naturally, didn't want to eat what was served. From the grill - salmon burgers and a special burger for him, grilled mushrooms (at his request) and clementines. Should be the kid's dream meal, right? So, while attempting to convince him to just try the food I decided to help him properly say hamburger. He says something like "dadwoowa". We know what this means because the kids generally loves hamburgers, but it's taken us a long time to identify the word. I said it properly and very slowly, asked him to repeat it after me. He said "No mommy, I not do dat. I done now." And that was it. Multiply that times 300 and that's a typical day at our house. He speaks. It's garbled. Since I'm very proficient at speaking Dylan I usually understand it. I repeat it properly to him. Nine times out of 10 he says "No. I done."

How in the hell am I supposed to teach this kid how to speak when he won't work with me? He's been in therapy for almost 3 years now. He TOTALLY knows what it's like when he's "working" versus just playing or being normal. And he only wants to work when he's with a therapist or when he actually feels like it. Which I think is for about 5 minutes per week.

He does great in a therapy setting, but we all know that's not normal life. So, to me, it seems like the moment he walks out of therapy he falls right back into step with where he was before. I do my best to model properly for him, but if he won't repeat it and won't try then I feel like I'm failing.

Anyone have any suggestions for situations like this? I'm all ears.


Outnumberd by Men! said...

Carrie - I am sure that can be extremely frustrating and exhausting to feel like all of your effort is going into a vaccuum! I feel for you sincerely! Something I try at home with things like learning math and other things that seem 'boring' to kids is I turn it into a daily song every time I can make it fun... "Who wants a HAMburger? I like HAMburgers....HAMburgurs HAMburgers we all eat HAMburgers! if you don't eat a HAMburger you may turn into a mean lets all say HAMburger! HAMburger HAMburger" Or something similiar sung to a familiar tune....over and over I sing it out loud when I know they can hear me...sing to them in the car....during baths and even add a few random tummy tickles in there. Maybe over time the correct prounuciation will stick in his head like the song we all can't get out of our heads at times and something will morph for him. Love you guys! Go Dylan you can do it!

carrie myers jaynes said...

Thanks Nicki ... Good advice. We do try to turn lots of our "learning" activities into fun events ... and definitely reward good behavior .. but haven't made many songs. I'm trying this out today!

Speaking of songs ... I'm beginning to go a little crazy listening to "Dylan's music" in the car. He found a CD a few weeks ago that has the ABC song, Head Shoulder Knees & Toes, etc. And every time we get in the car he wants to listen to it. It's great because we're all singing and he's learning, but it's driving me CRAZY! Do you know of any educational kid music that is a little more modern sounding?

Vicki said...

Singing is SUCH a good trick! I used to babysit these kids who were generally well-behaved but the young one, who was still in diapers, freaked out every time I changed his diaper. I think it was because we went from having fun to doing something that wasn't as fun. So I just made a song out of it (they're Australian so I had to say nappy instead of diaper): "I put the nappy ON, and we sing a SONG! I put the nappy on, and you sing ALONG!" By the end he and his brother were singing and it was over with WAY quicker than when I was struggling the whole time. Plus, you know, singing is just awesome.

Also, and I'm just totally throwing out an idea here, but you know how I LOVE microphones? What if you give him a fun microphone that lights up when he talks or something, so that whenever you're doing "therapy" and trying to get him to talk, he looks forward to it?