by Tara, Contributing Writer
Two months ago, we started The Listening Program with our four-year-old boy. We had such high hopes! I had read so many positive reviews and couldn’t wait to get started.
So far NOTHING different.
I keep looking for any tiny sign … any tiny difference … any tiny glimmer of improvement.
Our son does the program through his occupational therapist twice a week and then we do it every day at home as well. (I’ve been a drill sergeant about it at home).
We are continuing with it for now, but as I’ve discovered a thousand other times on this journey, what works for one child certainly may not work for another.
Of course I knew going into The Listening Program, just like any tool or any set of cards or any type of program, there are no guarantees. There is definitely no magic wand when it comes to apraxia (or sensory processing disorder).
Do you know how many times I’ve dreamed/wished/hoped for a magic wand, though?
Haven’t we all?!?
My daughter is very into princess stuff right now. Everything is princess. Can’t I just borrow one of her wands and make this all better in an instant?
Clearly we are not in a fairytale.
So we keep trudging forward. Both of my kids are working very hard on /f/, /sh/ and /s/ sounds at the moment. I’ve been making all kinds of matching games that we do every night after dinner. When they get a match, they have to say the word twice (once for each card).
I’m always searching for new ways to keep the kids interested, if only for four or five minutes at a time, so we can drill words.
Believe me, many times there is also just plain old bribery. When I was pregnant I SWORE I would never resort to bribing my children. HA! HA!
Both kids also have a list of 10 weekly words from their SLP’s that we go through at least once a day. When they’ve practiced their words, they earn a sticker. If they are antsy or don’t really try with their words, they don’t get a sticker. I’m firm on that.
The system has worked better than I expected! Let’s be honest the last thing most kids (or at least my kids) want to do is sit down and drill words/sounds. Not exactly a rip-roaring great time.
But, once the kids earn 10 stickers they get a reward and that has been a huge motivator for them. Sometimes for my son it’s as simple as taking a ride with Daddy on the metro train downtown. For my daughter, it’s often painting her fingernails with purple sparkles or picking what song we get to listen in the car first.
Another day, another round of ideas to add some fun into a situation that feels like a never-ending marathon.
Bio: Tara is the extremely proud mom of two kids who could both put the Energizer Bunny to shame. She spends her days chasing, running, chauffeuring, refereeing, counseling, scheduling, coaching, doting, teaching, cooking, playing and loving. Her little boy and girl are diagnosed with apraxia. She lives in Minneapolis and is “temporarily retired” from her days as a TV/Radio journalist until her kids are a bit older.