Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Drawing People

 Owen's person.  He decided to put the eyes where they are on purpose-he likes to be a stinker sometimes.  I also think I mismarked the body-I think that's the head.


Chase's person next to my example
Close up of Chase's picture

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Speech Class

Many of you know that for about a year I've had concerns with the boys speech and language development.  As a speech-language pathologist it's been an interesting road to be on with my own children.  I guess I assumed my children would be typical to advanced in this area given my background.  Ha, I guess God wanted to humble me.  Since my expertise is in the area of speech-language development it has been, well, to be honest, difficult, to see my children not develop their language and speech as others their age.  Some could say I was worried because I know too much about development, I prefer to think I was vigilant due to what I know. 

We had a first speech-language evaluation done in April last year.  At the time the boys did not qualify as their receptive language skills were above average and their expressive language skills were in the low average range.  I was a bit disappointed because I knew speech would benefit them greatly.  Then, after a school screening done in August it was determined they should be assessed again for their articulation.  Maybe I'll take this time to provide some education on the difference between speech and language for those of you who may be wondering. I know most people think I just work on speech sounds all day; helping kids with their /s/ or /r/ sounds.  Not so.  It's much more broad than that.  (I know my dear speech path friends out there can skim right over this (Lindzy, Ann, Amy, Steph, etc.)). 

Understanding Speech VS. Language Disorders

ARTICULATION
An articulation disorder (also called “speech”) would make a child’s speech sounds (r, s, l, ch, etc.) different from other kids. Kids are often difficult to understand because of the errors in their speech.  Examples:
• “won” instead of “run”
• “thun” instead of “sun”
• “wady instead of “lady”

LANGUAGE
Language is different from articulation. Many of the students serviced for “speech” are actually served for language disabilities. Language is a code made up of a group or rules.

EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE DISORDER
some children with language disorders have problems expressing themselves in speech. They don’t know the rules of language to share their thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely. Their disorder is called, therefore, a developmental expressive language disorder. This disorder can take many forms including:
• Delayed vocabulary
• Inability to initiate conversation
• Weak grammar skills
• Inability to categorize objects
• Difficulty defining word meaning
• Word finding difficulties
• Inability to complete sentences

RECEPTIVE LANGUAGE DISORDER
Some people have trouble understanding certain aspects of language; this is called a receptive language disorder. Because this is a disorder of understanding language, it can affect reading and math because of the comprehension involved. It may include difficulty with:
• Following directions
• Reading comprehension
• Understanding written/spoken language
• Auditory processing
• Sequencing events
• Visual relationships

Anyway  . . . . we had another evaluation done in September and the speech pathologist who conducted it was just fabulous.  The boys qualified for articulation services to focus on their speech sounds!  Yippee.  I was so happy.

 Owen and Chase on their first day of Speech Class
Look at those ultra cool backpacks. :)

Speech Class began on Monday October 24th.  C & O go two times a week for 1 hour classes.  They get to use a Smartboard, read books, make art projects and of course, work on their speech.  I was so happy to have them seen in the district I work in because I know the speech pathologist who they work with!  She is fabulous and the boys have a great time.  They get to bring a back pack and the best part . . . they get to ride the bus!  I drop them off in the morning and they take the bus back to Kelly's after that.  They LOVE the bus, it's been a dream for them to ride it, so when I found out they would get to ride, it was the icing on the cake.  When they were getting buckled in the bus the speech teacher hear them saying, "Fun!" to each other. :)  When they got off they were super excited to be at daycare to tell everyone about their ride and speech class. They were thrilled to tell me when I picked them up and also say I am not allowed to ride with them.  It's just for "boys."
This picture was actually staged.  They had already gotten off the bus and Kelly had them get back on to take a picture for me.  Isn't that great!

Owen says he's going to "Peech Class" (Still working on those s blends).  I drop them off before going to work and get to give kisses and wave goodbye.  They are by far the smallest kids there (and cutest if you ask me).  I love to hear them yell to me, "Bye Mommy!" as they walk into school and I walk to the car. 

I visited my fellow speech pathologists on our teacher planning day.  There are 3 of them who work in the classroom where Chase and Owen go.  Because we have monthly district speech meetings I have gotten to know these women and they are great.  I started talking shop, not wanting to bring up the boys, but soon the conversation turned.  I guess the boys are quite entertaining!  Melissa, my friend, said, "We don't get anything done when the boys are here because we are too busy watching them, they are just adorable."  Well if that didn't ruffle my feathers I don't know what would. 

Each child sits on the rug on a colored square-except for Chase and Owen.  They sit together on one colored square. :)  If one lays on his tummy, the other lays on his tummy.  If one goes to the bathroom, just as he is coming back, the other needs to go too.  Their little personalities are so precious and funny! 
The speech room and rug.

We have speech homework that we practice at night.  We are supposed to sit down at the table and do it, but let's be real, that's not happening.  So, while we play cars, make houses, whatever, we practice our sounds in words. We practice our phrases and sentences and Mommy gets to use all the good skills she's learned over the years.  It's nice to have materials I can borrow from work, too. 

So, to sum it all up, speech class has been great and Mommy is very happy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sleeping Together

We painted Owen's room a few weeks ago and it was pretty smelly.  We decided to have Owen sleep in the guest room (a.k.a. Nana and Papa's room).  Well Chase decided he was going to sleep there too, which didn't sound like a good idea at first.  We got them all "cozy" as they like to say, read a few books and tucked them in.  As we left the room I heard them say, "Ni Night Brother."  I was sure there would be playing, getting out of bed, talking, etc.  I went up about 10 minutes after we put them down and they were fast asleep already!  It was pretty cute.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Camping

When we went camping back in September, Shannon took some great pictures.  These pictures are from her and I wanted to have them in my book of memories.
Chase helps hold up the poles for the tent.
Owen on the first morning, jammies and shoes.
Our family at the rock hunting location

Owen playing around

The cars and Chase


Chase after a messy Oreo
Owen and Abby playing in the water

Three little munchkins

My boys' cute little toes

Owen on the dock looking at what lies beneath the water
Jeff preparing to launch the Mean Machine.
Owen after his nap
"Blast off!"  Chase is covering his ears.

All of us, except Abby, watching the rocket go up.


"The Boys" in the woods.
Our campsite.
It was so cold this morning I could hardly stand it.  I look terrible and that is how I felt.

My sweeties in the woods.

Chase and his one mitten.  We had them wear mittens, not only because it was cold, but because they felt down so much.  It protected their hands from the ground. Some how one got lost.

Best friends munching on a snack and looking at the slug on the ground.