Friday, January 10, 2014

Awesome Opportunites for 2014

I've spent all of November and the first half of December in what I call fierce Mama Bear Mode.  Sometimes it entails lots of research.  Sometimes lots of phone calls.  This time, it has included lots and lots of paperwork, forms to be filled out by our pediatrician, recording speech videos, lots of phone calls and playing phone tag, and of course, research.

But, I am happy to report I am finally getting new therapies and other things for Kiddo and myself settled into place.  Here's what's on the docket:

Awesome Opportunity Number 1.  Kiddo is enrolled in a preschool!  You can read my previous post about how it all fell into place and how his first day went.  The second day he cried for a while when I told him he was going to school, which surprised me because I thought he had so much fun on the first day.  He cried for 15 minutes after I dropped him off.  But day three, no tears at all.  Now when we tell him it's time to go to school he rushes to get his backpack.  He seems to have adjusted well, and had his first speech therapy session at school, which I heard went well.  We are so proud of our little preschooler.

Awesome Opportunity Number 2.  Kiddo was accepted for the spring (and I'm hoping the summer) session for equine therapy/ hippotherapy /therapeutic riding/ horse riding therapy.  It may have many names, but all the research I've come across has indicated that children with motor planning difficulties make huge progress receiving therapy upon horseback.  Horse riding helps with balance and coordination, flexibility, core strength...the list goes on and on.  Doing therapy-type activities on horseback adds to the fun, the challenge, and the progress.  So anyway, we'll be going once a week for a 50 minute therapeutic riding session from February through April at Storybook Farm.  It's about an hour away, but it's an awesome Christian-based facility that works specifically with children with special needs and I am so excited to see how this will help Kiddo with his gross motor skills, overall coordination, and his speech.  Plus, he LOVES animals, so I think he's really going to enjoy it.  Can't wait to post a pic of him on his horse soon. :)

Awesome Opportunity Number 3.  I recently had an hour long phone consultation with Lynn Carahaly, director of Foundations Developmental House in Arizona.  She's an amazing speech therapist who works with children with apraxia, and rather than focusing just on speech and articulation like so many speech therapists do, she also focuses on how their brains work to help them build up their language skills as well.  I've heard rave reviews about how great she is, and she offered many ideas about how to work with Kiddo after she watched a few of the speech videos I sent her and she read the very thorough questionnaire I filled out about Kiddo. I ordered the manual she wrote, The Speech EZ Apraxia Program, which teaches hand cues (something I've wanted to learn for a while to help Kiddo) and strategies for working on language, articulation, and a whole lot more.  Can't wait to receive the manual and start implementing some of her ideas.  For those interested, she offers week long apraxia intensives, which we considered, but for now will pass on, due to the logistics, cost etc.  Maybe next year...

CASANA NC Full LogoFinally, Possible Awesome Opportunities:
The 2014 National Conference on Childhood Apraxia of Speech sounds like it'd be awesome to go to.  The best of the best speech therapists who specialize in apraxia speak there, including Jodi Kumar, who we met last summer at CHAMP Camp, and Lynn Carahaly who I spoke with on the phone, and a bunch of others I'm excited to meet and learn from.  This year it's taking place July 10th-12th.

We're also contemplating CHAMP Camp again this summer at George Washington University.   I learned a lot from it last summer and Kiddo learned a new sound and several new words after a week of intensive speech therapy.  I would highly recommend it for anyone whose child has apraxia or suspected apraxia.  Info about it and applications are available here for anyone interested in going.  Applications are due at the end of February.

Fun times ahead folks!  Stay tuned for updates.  God has really blessed us with some awesome opportunities in 2014.  :)

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