And I will admit that I was completely skeptical of sending Big Guy to Speech I mean really - A child who doesn't speak to anyone. ever. anywhere. In speech? How could this possibly work?
I don't know how it worked - but it did. While Big Guy never spoke to his Speech Therapist he started speaking at home. He started talking to me. And most importantly his time at speech meant everything to him. He looked forward to going and playing at Speech every week. He was only 4. He is now 6 and he still talks about Marie, his speech therapist and how much his time there meant.
They played games together, Big Guy 's world opened up a bit, his eyes were bright - he got to choose the games they played and he loved it. Mister Potato head became a big hit - Feeding Cookie Monster cookies even got the odd laugh out of him.
His SLT taught us so many wonderful coping mechanisms. One of which was to ease Big Guy's anxiety about new situations we should use social stories. We googled like crazy - we found a ton of amazing resources on the internet and used those as the basis for writing ours.
Sometimes I feel angry
All kids feel angry at one time or another.
When I feel angry, I will try to take one deep breathe nice and slow.
I will count to and try to calm down.
Then I will find an adult such as my teacher, Mommy or Papa
I will take them to our special Speaking Place.
I will tell them why I am feeling angry.
I may draw pictures to help me be able to explain what is upsetting me.
This will help me feel better.
Sometimes I get mad.
Sometimes I think people don’t understand what I am trying to tell them.
Sometimes I don’t understand what people are saying to me. This makes me mad. Sometimes it makes me really really mad.
We put in a picture of Big Guy every time our story said I or me and clip art images for all the key words (like angry, mad, people, safe place or speaking place). We made stories for starting school, going camping and going on our train trip across Canada. He loved them and we took them everywhere with us. They made a great road trip activity - we laminated each page so not only did we have a story to read together we also had something that we could draw all over and then erase.
By the end of summer of 2013,Big Guy's time at speech was over. The program run through the local hospital was only for children before they started school - the schools would then take over, but for Big Guy that meant no more speech, his school didn't have access to a Speech Language Therapist.