Clark’s Speech Therapy is taught in a pre-school setting. His class has 5 other students, his teacher, and the teachers assistant. Clark was very shy at the beginning of the school year, but he has slowly warmed up to his classmates and is now making friends. We’ve already been on one play date after school, and will hopefully have more to follow.
Once a month his class has show-and-tell where the kids are able to tell the class about a special toy or book. They also have a “cooking” day where they make their own snacks. This usually consists of decorating a cookie, or making an animal face with a slice of bread, m&m’s and pretzels. Clark takes great pride in his projects, and loves to eat them afterwards. The kids work on enunciating words, sounds and full sentences while they cook, create art projects, sing and read stories.
Clark has come a long way since starting speech. He is now a little chatter box! I often need to ask Clark to repeat himself, but his language is becoming more clear each week. And because I understand what he is saying (most of the time), his temper tantrums have drastically reduced! We are all happier for it.
Generally Clark takes physical therapy once a week, for 30 minutes. Unfortunately his therapist broke her knee while skiing. Clark’s therapy is on hold, but will hopefully be back to class by late spring. At that time, we are planning to double up on some sessions to help Clark catch up.
Physical therapy is one-on-one with his teacher. They go to a “gym” with mats, swings, steps, balance beams etc.. This is play based therapy, so Clark has a great time. It’s even more fun than going to the park!
Clark is very strong, and has great muscle mass. The reason for his therapy is due to his balance and coordination. Even though Clark started climbing at a very young age, he was delayed with sitting up, walking, and jumping. Clark has an occasional shake (tremors). We don’t know what the cause is, but occasionally his legs and hands will start to shake for no reason. The tremors, plus his lack of depth perception due to his limited eyesight seem to be leading causes for his physical delays.
While we wait for PT to start up again, I have enrolled Clark in gymnastics. Clark loves practicing his somersaults, balancing, and jumping. And I love the fact that it is a structured class, and he has to follow directions. :) I don’t usually compare Clark’s activity to other kids since we are already doing what we can to help out, but watching him participate with other kids of the same age, really makes his delays stand out.
Since starting, Clark can jump farther, and can safely climb the stairs. This is huge, especially since we moved to a house with stairs in July. When we first moved in, I had to hold his hand every time he needed upstairs. That quickly changed to watching him, and now he can independently walk up or down on his own. We still encourage him to hold the railing, because accidents can happen at any time.