Monday, April 18, 2011

my little genius

A few weeks ago I posted about how Maya was working with her speech therapist on matching pictures to a picture board.  This last week I decided to take out the See and Learn Language and Reading materials that I purchased a while back.  By the way this is all free to download from their website. How cool is that!

I could make up some excuse about how busy I am or how I thought Maya was not quite ready for this activity, but I really have no excuse except my laziness.  Maya has over 100 signs, she has been working with flash cards for a long time and she loves reading/looking at books.  I know these are all parts of the foundation in learning to read.

So on Friday I took out the 50 sight/picture cards from the first word pictures, packet.  A photo of an object is on one side and the word is on the other side (IE: spoon, apple, cup, brush...etc.).  As I handed the cards to her she started to sign the word without me even saying a thing.  She automatically told me what was on the card.  This is actually one of the first activities you can to do with the cards. It was as if she knew what was coming.

Next I took out the 15 picture boards from the packet.  Quickly I placed the first board on the floor.  I handed Maya the little picture card so she could match it to one of the four photos on the board.  I have to tell you that I was so freaking impressed with my daughter.  Wow!  First off she was matching the picture card with the boards faster than I could find the next card, she did all of them and only missed two, and she even signed the word to me as I handed them to her.  

In more ways than one, this exercise blew me away.  I was so proud of her work but at the same time it made me wonder, "Do I not give her enough credit?".  Because she isn't speaking maybe I forget that Maya knows so much more than she can communicate.  She CAN understand these kind of tasks.  Just because she isn't talking doesn't mean she can't put two and two together.  I tell her everyday how she is smart...and now I have to tell myself that too.  She is capable of learning just like everyone else, she just needs it to be shown to her in a different way than most.  

Now more than ever she seems thirsty to learn and ready to try anything new.  My job is to challenge her more so she can excel.  Next we will work on the second packet, first written words.  I can't wait to start and tell you all about it.

matching action images

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Change is good.

Today is the last day of Maya's second week at school.  It may be my imagination but I already see so much progress.  I'm  happy to report that she hasn't cried very much during this whole experience. The first week seemed to be filled with a little crying during class and one big cry when I was dropping her off on Friday, other than that she has been quite happy to go to school.

To my surprise I wasn't in tears either.  I didn't worry as much as I thought I would when I saw her cry, or when I left her with total strangers.  I think in a way I had made my mind up that this was going to be a good experience...maybe with a few bumps along the way but nothing out of the ordinary.  I also want to be strong for her.  When I think about how I grew up I think that fear was instilled in me through the action of my parents.  By no fault of their own of course, but still I was sent a signal to fear everything that requires change.  I don't want Maya to have that in her life. I want her to welcome change and different experiences.  I do truly believe that I have to be a role model for her, not just tell her that it's going to be okay but really show her by the way I react to things.

Thursday, last week,  when I went to drop Maya off she was fine, but when I went to pick her up she was crying even before I got there.  One of the aides was holding her and brought her to me.  She said she was really tired for the last half hour and kept signing "all done" and saying buh-bye. I thought to myself, well at least she's able to communicate what she wants.  As soon as I held her she stopped crying.

Half an hour later her speech therapist for her session.  She brought over a new activity, a matching board.  From Maya's evaluation I knew that Maya could match up to two pictures but she had never done any of this work at home.  So when the therapist brought out the matching board and started to give her the little cards to match, we were both stunned to see that she matched 6 in a row.  Maya was so pleased with herself, clapping and exclaiming, yay!  She continued to another board and matched all of those.  With hardly any prompting Maya did this all on her own.  It was so cute the way she held the little picture in her hand and looked at the board, back and forth...trying to decide where it went.  She was making decisions right in front of my eyes. It was a good day.  And the next day was even better.

This week, Maya matched 5 boards in a row.


On Friday, Maya fed herself toast in the morning, not throwing it once.  Wow!!!!  That was a first.  I'm contributing this to the fact that at school they eat snacks together.  Perhaps she is seeing that other kids don't throw their food on the floor.  Perhaps she doesn't get the food back if it is thrown.  Whatever the case it is starting to click in.

Maya helps put on the butter.
Eating toast all on her own.
And last but not least, Friday at music therapy, only one week of preschool under her belt, Maya started to vocalize more than ever during her session.  A comment was made by the director, as she listened from her office, that she is singing so well. 
Saying "eeeee" for the word "me".

This week, Maya didn't cry once during class.  Now she takes off, almost running into the classroom. One day she went straight for the rug and sat there waiting for circle time, she was ready to start her day.  She is flourishing in more ways than I can count and it's only been two weeks. Yes, change is good.