Monday, December 01, 2008


Salamander use of words/language once again is shifting.. and yes, I DO think that the intense symbol imagery/phonemic awareness instruction he has been getting for the past 2 weeks has something to do with that....

He is "getting" that words in and of themselves can have texture, smell, flavor, sound; he is starting to "see" in his mind the emotions and/or sensory images that words can evoke. And he has been playing a lot with the "music" of words the past few days; coming up with a couple of permutations of a silly expression and then selecting the one that 'sounds the best' to him...

I am really excited by this, as I truly believe that communication is so much more than being able to speak words. Yes, Salamander has always had the ability to speak (TG for that). And this past year I have seen incredible growth in being able to move from 'just' speaking words to using words to communicate emotion. To using words in the context of functional, true two-way, give and take, communicative language.

And now that next step is starting to happen.. It's hard to explain what I mean.. I wish I could upload a few sound clips of what Salamander sounded like a year ago (fairly monotone, dry language, very black/white, little to no elaborations, little to no adjectives) and what he sounded like this morning in the car when we were joking around (lots of voice modulation, adjusting vocabulary to the situation, definitely getting 'the grey', much more expansive word use, and lots of unprompted elaborations - I no longer needed to 'pull' the language out of him).

I noticed this weekend that he is becoming more expansive in his writing too. It is incredibly hard for him to get his thoughts and ideas out on paper, it definitely does not come naturally. But man, when he gets that 'look' on his face and the sentences start to roll out of him (I was scribe at the keyboard).. he is an incredible story teller.

I need to get him into journaling....


At 6:40 PM, December 01, 2008 , Blogger Renee said...

Awesome! I am so excited for you and Salamander!! I hope my guy gets there too.

At 10:53 AM, December 02, 2008 , Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

Congrats on all these amazing gains. May you get some sleep!

At 8:45 AM, December 03, 2008 , Blogger Petra said...

Thank you!!

I am thrilled with what I see. And I absolutely adore the therapists/instructors that are working with him. They get 'it' and they get HIM!!

He really is a lot more self confident already, not just with the reading stuff. I see it with math now. I see it in tackling unfamiliar things in other academic settings too.. there's less 'omg. this is something I've never done before. freak-out' going on.

It's only been 2.5 weeks/21 hours of instruction at Lindamood-Bell, so I should not get too overly optimistic. But right now, I am putting the Seeing Stars program on my short list of 'very successful interventions' for Salamander. That list now reads "Dietary Changes (waay beyond GFCF)", "Intense, Integrated OT/AI program at Project Chilld in Beverly, MA", "Dr. Yasko's biomed protocol", and "Instruction at Lindamood-Bell". I've done tons of other stuff too that turned out to be beneficial (and some that turned out to be COMPLETELY the wrong thing for him), but these four helped Salamander achieve his most dramatic improvements..


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