An intriguing thought was presented to me the other day, and I have found myself thinking about it all weekend.
I have always had issues with being excluded from the J-man's therapy. Philosophically, I have felt that it was important for me to learn what to do with him. Also, I have just had a gut reaction to the idea... I just have never thought it will go well. However, our newest speech therapy location does have one-way mirror-windows so that I can sit and observe. Our speech therapist there tried to 'encourage' me to step out and observe, instead of sitting in the room with Jonathan during therapy. I didn't like the idea and neither did Jonathan... he basically melted down every time we tried. So, we have backed off for the summer...
This week I spoke with the Apraxia expert (JJ) who evaluated Jonathan a few months ago. I contacted her because I had recently watched a video from the Childhood Apraxia association. One of the experts interviewed on this video stated that if your child is not making "progress" in speech therapy within a 'short' period of time, you need to seek out other therapy or switch up the techniques or strategies used. My question to JJ was how do I know if he is making progress? What defines progress? Obviously if he is talking up a storm... well, there you go! But if not? Are 5 signs in a year and a half progress? Is that enough?
Anyway, we spoke at length about Jonathan. Where he is, what we are doing, where do we go from here....? I won't bore you with the details. What stuck with me from the conversation was her take on this 'separation during therapy' issue. When I explained the problem, this is what she said:
"(paraphrase)... Well, of course he needs you there! For him, you are his interpreter in a confusing world where he doesn't know how to express his needs or concerns. You provide information and understanding, and he trusts that you ... trusts YOU....will help him. No one else will be able to do what you can for him, and no one can be as effective as you for making the changes in communication he needs. He knows this, and so do you. That is what your gut is saying..."
I like her. We might have to switch therapists again... dang it.