During one of Solly’s therapy sessions this week, his therapists got really excited when he used his right hand to move a bead across a track, so they cheered, “Solly, you did it!”
And Solly replied, “I did it!”
Now, I haven’t heard him say this exact phrase yet, but I completely believe that he said it. I’ve long thought that Solly understands everything we say to him and part of his sensory issues (i.e., excessive biting, throwing his head back, flailing his arms) is simply him expressing frustration that he can’t find the words to respond to us. It’s like the words are in his head, but he struggles with which word to choose and how to get it out.
This round of intensive constraint therapy has completely solidified this theory as one of the completely unexpected side effects is huge gains in speech. (If you’re just catching up, we’re at Virginia Tech, participating in a 4-week-long ACQUIREc therapy.) Over the past two weeks, we’ve continually heard Solly utter new sounds, stringing different syllables together. At the end of week one, he’d begun to say “aaah gah” for all done and “mo” for more. These words are now a solid part of his vocabulary. He’s able to make the sounds of all the letters of the alphabet, and he tries his hardest to repeat everything we ask him to. His ability to begin to express himself is a relief for both him and us – and it’s something that we’ll continue our hardest to work on.
Besides that amazing progress in speech, Solly also worked hard on pushing and pulling objects with his right hand, and opening and closing his right hand around objects, like toys and silverware.
It’s all pretty awesome stuff. Here are a few videos of Solly hard at work:
Working on pushing:
Working on fine motor skills:
The best part of this past week was a surprise visit from Solly and Bea’s Nana and Papa. We’ve had a weekend full of play time, snuggles, and pancakes. It’s been the best way for us to all recharge and get ready for week 3 of therapy.