Monday, July 27, 2009

Pick Your Battles

So if you've been reading The Daily Dakin for any amount of time, you might have noted that this boy is a stubborn one. Don't get me wrong--I have said it a million times and firmly believe that Dakin is still breathing because he is too darn stubborn to have quit the night before he 'crashed,' and I am grateful for that hardheadedness. Occasionally, though, it manifests itself in strange ways--with the eating battle, for instance. And the new battle is over vocalization. Dakin should be talking more than he is: cognitively, he is perfect, and his none of the necessary musculature has been affected by SMARD. So why is the boy not talking?!?!

We have come to a few conclusions:
  • This is one of the very few things he controls (along with the eating). So it has to be under his conditions before he'll choose to say words. He does have a large vocabulary, but if you ask him to say something, he won't (he can, so it's not apraxia or anything like that) because he's choosing not to.
  • For a child with a neuromuscular disease, he moves a LOT. Speech Therapist thinks that he is concentrating on that at the moment--when children learn to walk or crawl oftentimes the vocalizations will cease somewhat until they get it down--they can't do two things well at once.
  • He is constantly surrounded by people who cater to his every whim, so all he has to do is grunt and look at whatever he wants and he gets it (not a great thing, but as he can't get toys, etc. himself that's just the way it has to be).

So, we (Speech Therapist and I) have decided that he will talk talk whenever the heck he feels like it, the same he did with the eating issue. I think the key here, though, is not to force him or fight him about it, as he proved with the eating that approach does. not. work.

Boo. I really want to know what's going on in his head. Guess I'm going to have to wait.

6 comments:

BLove said...

The only advice I can offer is that when Austin learned he had a voice and how to use it, we couldn't get him to shutup. I know you want him to talk so bad, and I hope once he does talk that you wont be wishing him to shutup. Good luck with him. See ya next trip to White Oak!

Keri said...

UGH! I completely and totally get your frustration. Granted, our kids fight a different battle but share some similar issues. Logan does not speak one word.

I was also told that talking takes a back seat to mobility. However, Logan had gained mobility but no vocabulary. Guess I have to keep playing the waiting game. ERRRR!!!!

I'm always thinking of you two!

Jodie said...

Dakin will be talking before you know it. Just be patient. I know easier said than done! I so wish I knew what was going on in Sara's head.

BabinBlogger said...

Devin, since we are raising our children trilingual sometimes we get our own share of speech strike in any particular language. What works with my 3 year old is when she cries or grunts to get something, I don't give it to her until I have clearly enunciated what she should have said. "Mama, can I have some milk please?" for example, and no matter if it's long or short, easy or difficult. I model the correct speech and encourage her to repeat. If I see she's really crabby I do it while getting her what she wants and with a calm, strong voice and a smile. She often surprises me with a smile and repeats back what I modeled even when she is crabby. It takes a lot of repetition and when you're doing a lot of things for your child it makes things a little slower, but it works. I know that it's not the same situation, but if you know Dakin is physically capable, push him a little. I never force by the way, but I am relentless in modeling correct speech and in my famous phrase "Can you say....?" And of course, oodles of praise when they do speak!

Mandy said...

I think you are wise in not pushing him!! I think kids will do a lot of things when they totally decide to do them!! Tucker has also been like that in various things. In his life there are very few things he has control of also so he really works me over in so many areas and they told me he would be hard to raise and boy were they ever right and it totally revolves around control!! Now that he is almost 10 I just keep wanting him to let it go and realize mom knows best but NO he continues the battle with so many things!! I am praying that the older he gets the better it will get but still not getting my hopes up too much!! Good luck with it all!! They sure have a mind of their own!! He is so cute how could you make him do anything!!? :)

Mandy said...

I totally agree with babinblogger also!! We had to do this with Tucker also!! It is good for them to be pushed a little they will always go the easy way out but we are here to climb mountains!!