I want to be as open and transparent about our experiences as I can but at the same time, maintain some privacy for safety reasons for my kids. However, I thought a weekly update into the boys’ activities, progress, or setbacks may be interesting for people. I’ll also include a tip of the week that I notice either at school or their therapy sessions that is easy to implement. I’m not mentioning the boys by name but using the names doctor’s gave them prior to birth – Twin A and Twin B. 🙂
I may skip weeks occasionally but here goes:
Progress: Saw some key accomplishments for the boys this week
Cars 2: Our younger twin (Twin B) is very possessive. We alway buy double of everything so you can imagine if there is a ‘hot item’ for the holidays, we’re running to a number of stores tracking it down. This holiday, the boys kept asking for Finn McMissle and Holly Shiftwell from Cars 2. . . . . so glad they were relatively inexpensive choices but we did hit 5 different stores before finding two Holly characters. We always give them a choice of bringing a car or two along wherever we go and it’s always, without fail, Holly and Finn.
Anyway, Twin B lost his Finn Car prior to us leaving for Grandma’s house and went two days without finding it, without taking his brother’s car, and WITHOUT THROWING A TANTRUM. We had him look through the house with us and when we couldn’t find it, explained to him that we’d continue looking since it was so important to him but right now, Finn was missing. He actually made eye contact, composed himself and seemed to accept the fact that he wouldn’t have Finn and his brother would. . . . .He said, “Ok – we will look later” and settled on an alternative car. That was a big step forward for him and it was great to see. I mean, this is a big step for any little kid that is missing a favorite toy and I was so happy to see this from him.
Empathy: Related to our lost Finn McMissile, Twin A realized that his brother was without one of his favorite cars. When we were telling Tutu (Grandma) the story of Finn and how we would continue looking for it the next day when we returned home, Twin A said with a reassuring look to his brother, “Yeah – and me, mommy, daddy and sissy will help find the car, don’t worry (brother’s name).”
My wife and I looked at each other and I could see how touched she was that here, Twin A had figured out how worried his brother was and was showing not only genuine empathy, but had also formalized a plan to help his brother that included people he knew would help.
One of the things their teachers have been working on during school is emotions, both showing and understanding and this was a breakthrough for us. I look at their schooling curriculum and I know that the boys are picking up on things from their lessons and transferring it over with much more regularity now. . . . great to see.
Speech Therapy: We had our first session since mid December and it was a blast. I feel so bad that the boys come into speech and since it’s at their sister’s school and a new place, they are always just bouncy and energetic – ideal for the playground but not so much in a learning session. This week if you combine that with the fact they haven’t seen their speech therapist for three weeks, they were jabbering away about holidays, presents, new movies, and the plot of the Despicable Me “Banana” Short they love.
Honestly, their speech therapist is awesome and she has great conversations with the boys and always has a fun and interesting activity for them that the 30 minutes flies by. The focus for this week is to increase their tongue and jaw strength to get their tongue movements correct for certain sounds and vocalizations.
So the tip of the week is her suggestion to use straws more and focus on keeping the straw at the tip of their lips and tongue versus, as they usually do, sticking the straw farther down their tongue. This helps them build the muscles necessary to move into more advanced sounds. She suggested not only using straws a little more frequently, but using thicker liquids (shakes, smoothies, etc) since that will help them use more muscles at the same time.
Both boys were up early this morning – the moon was still out and it was pitch black and cold but our week has started! Have a great week everyone and don’t forget about the upcoming concert and festival!