FYI Update

It's 3:05 am. Am I having a major stress-fest? It's just that Coke I had at Midnight. Maybe I should stop doing that, ya think?

Two days ago, Monica took three steps! It was completely adorable and has prompted me to finally go and buy a tape for our camcorder. Why do the days fly by so fast? I wish I could just stop time and hold onto these baby stages a bit longer - they are just so fleeting!

Elijah is still is in his speech delay funk but he put two words together today, which is a good next step. He said, "No Bob!" as in he didn't want to watch Spongebob. I find that they times he comes our with new words is when he is mad or frustrated - why is that?!

Jeremy has been super busy putting together a kick-butt proposal to snag some schools in the Anchorage School District for fall pictures and such. Please pray we get this because it would be a huge boost in our income.

My huge feat was teaching Elijah how to sign his alphabet. He learned mostly by watching YouTube videos. There are some nice ones out there. We browsed through YouTube for awhile watching old Sesame Street videos and this one was soooo adorable I had to share! Made us laugh every time!

Click here!


  1. Hey Amanda,

    I didn't know that E has a speech delay. I work with lots of kids who have speech delays and autism. Not sure what your SLP is doing w/ E but have you guys tried or heard of PECS or VIA? (Picture Exchange Communication System/Visual Interaction Augmentation, they are very similar, however in my opinion VIA is more natural as it requires more motherly talking and eye contact)It sounds like E is very visual (likes movies/pictures, picks up fast from them). Both PECS and VIA are picture exchange systems that helps kids learn to talk. They bring you a picture of the item that they want and in return you give them the item. With many of the kids that I have worked w/ this has really jump started their communication and many have begun talking/making more sounds.

    There is also another technique that I use as well, it is called Mand Training. This blog has a quick overview of how to do it. http://verbalbehaviortherapy.blogspot.com/2009/05/mand-training-for-non-or-less-verbal.html

    Mand traning is very easy and you can do it all the time. I did it w/ Liam when he was first learning how to talk.

    If you need/want anymore info, I've got several docs. that I can forward to you. Good luck!

  2. To be honest I don't know what method I'm using. The SLP came once a week up until this past Nov then I stopped it.

    I'm not worried that he has autism - I don't believe in the spectrum. I think society has gotten into over-labeling, but that's an entire post in itself.

    To encourage talking, I stay at home with him and talk to him as much as I can, which is hard; I'm a quiet person and I sometimes `1234567890 ```He's so smart <- he just typed that while I was changing Monica.

    Anyway, I do look up and use autism teaching methods. I keep things out of reach, I stop playing something he loves until he says something, and I read to him endlessly. It's a lot of fun but gets tiring when I don't see a lot of progress. Having him put those two words together really renewed my energy. At least he doesn't throw tantrums - he just cries and not even for that long. Most of the time he understands what I'm saying to him.

  3. Kudos to you for working so hard w/ E! It can be draining having to do it day in and day out, especially w/ 2 kids. It sounds like you are doing a lot with him. Don't lose heart, eventually the language will come, just keep up the hard work! It will all pay off. :) It is definitely motivating to hear a child speak after you have worked so hard for it, even if its just a few words.

    To try and get more language I would definitely try the "manding" technique. Start off w/ highly motivating items like food. Break a cookie up into a bunch of tiny pieces, hold it up to E and say cookie. If he isn't able to say the word, try shortening the word to maybe just "c". After he says "c", you repeat the word cookie, give him lots of praise and the cookie piece. Do this over and over. The more times he practices the better. (If he doesn't elicit the sound, he doesn't get the cookie. If after a couple times he still doesn't, have him do something like find a body part, then give him the cookie as a reward) Once he gets the hang of manding "c" for cookie you can up the ante and lengthen the word to cook or cookie.

    You can use this technique with toys, the computer, food...pretty much anything. :)

    Have you thought about having the school district evaluate E? Usually if a child has a speech delay, the school district can do an eval. and provide speech. Early intervention really helps.

  4. Well I'm aware that the school district can evaluate him and do some early intervention but we plan on homeschooling so I don't think we'll be going that route. Not sure. It's hard because I just feel like I'm educated, I'm an educator, I can figure this out myself and do it and if I can't then I'm stupid (just how I feel). It's hard to ask for help right now.

    And I guess I do that manding. He doesn't do a lot of things without saying it first. I don't go unless he says go, we don't play spongebob unless he says bob, etc. but he gets lazy and knows what's good enough, and he won't go further. He's very stubborn. What's most frustrating is that he has said some words, and as soon as I praise him, he never says it again! Over Christmas, he repeated clear as day "Papa Noel" and then shut his trap when we all reacted so surprised and happy.


  5. You're not stupid and you shouldn't feel that way. It is much easier to teach someone else's kid than your own sometimes. There is that emotional bond with your own child and it pulls at you when you see your child struggling and frustrated. I go through this all the time with Liam. It puzzles me that I can potty train a child that I work with in a week where as we have been working w/ Liam for months and he still won't go anywhere near the toilet or real underwear! I know I can potty train kids, but with my own kid its just harder. Sometimes it takes someone else's perspective (someone not attached to your child) to step in and help out. It is not that you can't do it, its just that you are so connected to E that he knows how to push you. He knows what he can and can't do and how to get his way. Kids are so smart that way.

    Speaking from lots of hands on experience, taking this on by yourself is an incredible task. It can be extremely emotionally draining on you as a mom. Results take forever, it is always 1 step ahead and 2 steps back. You're strong and you can do. However, remember that there is help out there and don't be afraid to ask for it. It doesn't mean that you have failed E or failed as a mom. It just means that you love E and want what is best for him. It takes a village to raise a kid.