At Jimi’s three year well check with his doctor we (well James, I had to work ) addressed our concerns with Jimi’s speech. While his vocabulary, comprehension, and ability to formulate complex sentences is outstanding, his pronunciation is not. Jimi leaves off the final sounds of most words. While we (James and I) typically understand him, most other people have a hard time if they’re not accustomed to Jimi-nese.
Our super amazing and supportive pediatrician Dr. Katsh referred Jimi to a speech evaluation at Seattle Children’s Hospital’s division in Everett. After the evaluation they noted that he was advanced in most areas but was behind in his termination sounds. The therapists there recommended that Jimi see a speech therapist once a week.
We had a lot of difficulty scheduling issues and were not able to send Jimi to the speech therapists with Children’s because we need a late afternoon/evening appointments and they did not have any weekly appointments currently available. We were fortunate to discover Bothell Pediatric and Hand Therapy which was able to accommodate our schedule, is only a few miles from my work, and has late enough appointments that I am able to attend his therapy sessions too.
Each week Jimi meets with his therapist, Danny, for “play sessions”. At Jimi’s age one of the most effective ways to help his speech is through regular play and activities he does everyday. The therapy center has a big train set that Jimi asks to play with every single week. While Jimi and Danny are playing, Danny works with Jimi when he hears Jimi dropping off the sounds of the word he ask him to repeat it and works on helping him figure out the sound. Before we started going to therapy we had been trying to work with Jimi to learn how to finish his words but he often became resistant and upset with us. Jimi loves going to speech therapy each week and has never put up any resistance towards Danny.
At the end of each session Jimi is sent home with some “homework” consisting of a terminal sound to focus on.
Jimi began the weekly therapy sessions in late November and I definitely feel like we are seeing some improvements. While Jimi still needs some prompting to finish his words, he frequently does so without prompting and is less frustrated with our attempts to assist him.
I know that Jimi is young and he would have likely developed his speech over time without assistance. But I also know what he is gaining confidence in his speech now with some assistance. There may be critics of early intervention in such forms as speech, but if we’re help to help eliminate some of his frustrations and give him the tools he needs to be a clear speaker early on, than I am all for it.
Last May we registered Jimi for preschool at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. Jimi was baptized at the church, my mom used to teach preschool there and it’s a great program, so the choice was pretty easy about where to go. I just didn’t think time would fly so fast before his first day.
Two weeks ago we had orientation at the school so he could see his classroom meet his teachers and get a feel for the school. For the following week Jimi kept asking me when he could go back to school. Well his chance finally came this week.
Jimi was so excited to go to school, it made me even more excited for him. I know that he will learn A LOT while he is there and that he will also develop many friendships, but no one except for family members has ever watched him so it was a little difficult for me to leave him behind. I thought I would cry a little but I think his enthusiasm for school helped me keep it in. I definitely felt emotional but I know that he is ready for this next step and that he is in good hands at the school.
Sitting in his spot at circle time, waiting for class to start.
When Cecilia and I picked him up from school, he greeted us with the biggest smile and hug. I think he mostly took away the playing and making friends aspects of school for the first day, and that’s ok, he is supposed to be doing those things.
Post-first day special lunch!
Since his first day of school, he has thrown two tantrums wanting to go back, asked what type of cereal and chips he can bring for snack, and continuously brings up school when something reminds his of it. I am so glad he had a great time and wants to go back. It’s also a little bittersweet for me though because I will be entering the workforce once again on Monday and I will no longer get to spend all of these special moments with him. I know that we will still have our special moments together but I am definitely going to miss doing the everyday routines with him, like taking him to school. I’m sure he will hardly notice I’m gone though.
Here’s hoping for a successful year of preschool for Jimi.
On Saturday before we headed to Roslyn, James and I checked the mail. I had a large envelope in the mail from George Washington University (the school I’m currently enrolled in). I had no idea what I could be receiving from the university. You can imagine my surprise when I opened the envelope to find this in there:
I’m already several weeks into course work and half way through my first course, but I’m glad to know I’m still admitted to the school (I received my inital acceptance letter via e-mail). Thankfully there was no important paperwork for me to fillout in the packet. I guess the school is just a little behind with their snail mail correspondance… Today I got a letter from financial aid explaining how to apply for loans because I had expressed interest in the school….
It’s official, I have submitted my application for the Masters in Paralegal Studies program at GWU for Spring quarter 2012. That means, I’d be starting classes in January if I am accepted. I love researching, preparing documents, and office work (seriously, I do) so I think it’ll be a good career for me. Also, it’ll make my BA in History slightly less ridiculous.
I’m pretty nervous about getting in and being able to do all of the work if I do get in. I barely have enough time to get things done as it is now with Jimi running around. But I know I’ll be able to do it once I put my mind to it. They’re still waiting on one of my old professors from CWU to submit a letter of recommendation and then they can process my application. Keep you fingers crossed!
And just because he’s cute:
He waited for me to finish folding the laundry and then climbed in.