OMGoddness it's been a while!! First I need to say MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL. I have been very busy since Kendra came into our world that I have not had the time…or I guess I should say have made the time to blog. Between Kendra's arrival, Rylee and Sienna both starting school, children sick from the common colds, building our new house and Christmas it's been crazy around here. So here it goes!!
Sienna welcomed a little sister on September 14, 2010, Kendra Lou. She is now 3.5 months and growing fast.
Sienna began preschool at Ecole Heritage, the Francophone school in town, every Tuesday and Thursday mornings. She began at the beginning of October and settled in very well. We were well taken care of from the start. Her teacher, Mme Marthe, is an energetic educator who understands children with disabilities especially one with a hearing loss as her son had a hearing loss on one side. At the beginning of December, PUF enabled them to hire a full-time aid for Sienna to help her with her language skills. I am very pleased with the dedication and teamwork involving as many as 6 adults including myself…all working together to help Sienna reach her full potential. I'm in awe to see that these people are so dedicated in seeing my child succeed and will do what it takes to ensure that. However; I am sad to say good-bye to our speech language pathologist, Lindsay. Sienna had weekly speech therapy with Lindsay for almost 2 years now with only a few breaks throughout. What doesn't make sense to me is that because we are accessing PUF funding now, she no longer gets her weekly speech therapy sessions with a qualified speech therapist, one who has worked with Sienna weekly for just about 2 years. Through the school, she is now seeing a SLP from Edmonton who will visit 3 times during her school year. The expectation is that her aid will do her "speech therapy". Don't get me wrong, her aid is eager to learn and wants to see Sienna succeed. It's just that she was doing so well with Lindsay that I feel like we are taking a step back from the speech therapy. I could hire a private SLP who could see Sienna once a week but seeing that we live in a northern rural area, there are none to be found. Since beginning preschool, Sienna has made so many gains and I am very excited to see what kind of gains will come. Apart from the speech therapy that she will receive at school; Sienna is learning to socialize, to be more independent, and to follow classroom routines. School is by far the best thing for her, it's just I wish the government would see that things are different up here in Northern Alberta; we don't have the resources or the qualified people like the cities do.
Sienna has come so far since August, it's not even funny. I look back at her SLP's goals and we have achieved them in so little time. Our goals were and still are:
Speech Perception Goals
- Sienna will identify 2+key words in the middle of a sentence. Ex: What is flying in the sky? (key words…flying and sky). 2.
- Sienna will discriminate between two words with only a single sound difference ex: cat vs hat
Speech Production Goals
- Sienna will be able to correctly sequence the sounds required to produce a C1VC2V word ex: piggy, doggie. Sienna was repeating the initial consonant in the middle of the word like mimmens instead of mittens or moomie instead of movie; words where the middle consonant changes.
- Sienna will correctly produce the initial consonant in one syllable words. Sienna is doing much better at this but we often need to have her repeat the word with the correct initial consonant.
- Sienna will be able to answer questions about herself. Others would ask her name, or her age and she would look at them with a blank face. Now Sienna is beginning to answer how old she is and what is her name?
- Sienna will be able to verbally answer what and where questions. Sienna was having difficulties answering questions; she would just repeat the question. This is expected as we have been encouraging her repeat everything we say for the past year. Now, she answers simple questions and she is actually asking questions herself, like what are you doing? Where's dad? What is that?
She is now speaking even more clearly, so clearly that others besides me understand her. She is playing with her older sister, not just side by side but they actually play "pretend". She is speaking in short sentences like, "ouvre la porte Rylee," "Merci pour souper," "aide-moi mom s'il vous plait." I am so proud of her accomplishments and have to constantly remind myself that she has only been hearing for close to 1.5 years. She does still get very frustrated when she is not understood and tries so desperately to express herself but sometimes I just can't make out her words. She screams and has tantrums when she is not being understood. So I just remind her to use her words, to calm down and tell me what she wants.
We wish you the best of luck in the NEW YEAR!!