Friday, February 15, 2008

Play and Speech Therapy Begins

Cami is enrolled in both speech therapy and play therapy through our
county's Early Intervention program. On her first day of the play therapist coming to our
house, Cami tried her hand at finger painting. This photo captured MOST of the fingerpainting Cami did because she really didn't like the feel of it on her fingers. She was very interested in washing up. She washed the therapist's hands along with the tubs of paint. She seemed surprised that anyone would WANT to get this goop all over their hands.

Is it sensory? Did she miss an important milestone and now she doesn't like fingerpainting? Or is it just her personality? Will we ever know and will it ever matter?

Besides the painting, Cami and her play therapist worked on colors and counting. They did an animal puzzle and read a couple books. At first glance, play therapy is not alot different from what I do with Cami all day long. But there are many layers to it not immediately seen. I learned new ways to extend the learning in the activities we do together.
For example, Cami loves puzzles. The therapist had Cami work the animal puzzle, but she also talked about all the animals and helped Cami make all the sounds the animals make and then they counted all the puzzle pieces. It was fun. Cami is open to her new "playmates" as long as she is sure I'm not going anywhere. As long as I play along she is relaxed and happy and cooperative.

We also started speech therapy this week. Once more, Cami surprised and delighted the speech therapist with her language abilities. Basically, Cami doesn't have all the parts in her mouth yet that she needs to make all the sounds, but "she's doing a whole lot with what she has", according to the speech therapist. We will have a better idea of her speech needs once her palate is repaired. She will have to learn to use that new palate. But for now, she seems to have good muscle tone in her mouth and very good coordination.

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