I have always hated speech and language therapy for my kids. It’s hard and it hurts (me) and I am always exhausted and upset after it. The therapist pushes the kids and pushes me to push the kids. It’s how they learn, apparently. But I hate it. Hate, hate, hate it.
Recently I had a session that ruined me slightly (massively).
“You have to sign and say EVERYTHING you do. Pretend you are a radio commentator. Describe every movement. Tell her exactly what you are doing. ALL THE TIME.
No, don’t answer the phone. Look at her, tell her the phone is ringing, sign phone to her, tell her where you are going. Get up, bring the phone to her, put it to her ear, let her hear the ring, tell her that it’s ringing. Then you can answer it.
Let’s run a bath. No, don’t run it when the kids are eating or watching TV. Stop! You can’t just walk up the stairs. Wait at the bottom, tell her where you are going. Sign stairs. Sign up. Sign bath. OK. Now go up the stairs, saying and signing up as you go. Take them both into the bathroom. Point at the taps, say taps, sign taps. Turn them on, turn turn turn. Say it, sign it. Say hot, sign hot, say cold, sign cold. Say water. Sign water. Do this for the entire 15 minutes it takes to run a bath.
Make food times about language. Eat together. Don’t just lift your fork to your mouth, put it down. Sign fork, sign food, sign nice. Smile. Maintain her attention. She won’t take her hearing aids out if she’s distracted. Keep her distracted”
And so on.
I want to try hard to teach my children.
I want to give them the best chance at life, at communication and at speech.
But sometimes, sometimes, I just have to have the space to breathe. To just pretend, for just a second, that our lives are not utterly about communication. That we are normal.
Fucking hate speech and language therapy.