Today was the first day of speech therapy for the fall semester. Charlie is back to her four day a week therapy schedule. Summer was nice while it lasted.
Charlie attends speech therapy twice a week at a local university. It is much more affordable than private speech and has been more effective than EI. Since it is a teaching program, SLP students conduct the therapy session under the video supervision of an instructor.
Each semester, the student assigned to Charlie changes. Charlie met her speech therapist for the fall semester today. She did well with Charlie. I think this is a promising semester.
Afterwards, I took Charlie to Chuck E Cheese’s for dinner.
I think I’ve mentioned Charlie LOVES Chuck E and all things Sesame Street. The excitement of both things brings forth those elusive words. Activities that involve Chuck E Cheese or Sesame Street are frequently on our schedule.
If it’s timed right (off times when it’s empty), it’s a therapy dream. With minimal effort on my part, she can work on: sensory (loud noise, bright lights, motion from the rides), feeding, OT (put coins in slots, push buttons, work the toddler games), PT (builds strength pulling leavers, climbing up on rides, dancing), and speech (she mastered the “eee” sound by saying “Chuck E”).
This evening, Charlie and I went about our usual routine at Chuck E Cheese’s: we chit chatted with the manager while we ordered food (yes, the employees know us by now), we worked on feeding (the video distraction makes for longer feeding attempts), we watched and talked about the video loop (Charlie: Doggy! Me: That’s right! What’s the doggy doing? Is the doggy singing? Do doggies sing?), we danced (with Chuck E and to the video loop), we played games (she likes the Feed The Pig game), and she rode rides (she loves the carousel).
At the end of it all, Charlie and I went to cash in her tickets. This part has been a challenge.
She asked for something the last two times we redeemed her tickets. However, I couldn’t understand her. It was the same sound both times but I couldn’t make out what she was saying.
Both times, she was satisfied with whatever toy she happened to receive. But, I felt bad. Charlie was trying. Despite her best efforts, she couldn’t get what she wanted because I failed to understand her.
Tonight, we stepped up to the counter and Charlie said, “Appy”. The same sound she said the past two times. I took a fresh look at the glass case as she said, “Appy” again. I glanced at the employee (the staff is amazing) with an expression that begged for help. I didn’t want to waste his time but I desperately wanted to figure out what she was trying to say.
The last time, it sounded like a question, “Appy?”
I scanned the case again and IT CLICKED!
I blurted out, “Airplane! Do you want the airplane?” Charlie said, “Yeah! Appy!”
I passed the little plastic airplane from the employee to her hands. She took it and pretended to fly it among the games and rides.
Once again, I had to fight back tears.