Fridays at the John Tracy Clinic always go by so quickly! Since we are done at noon, and the kids neither eat lunch nor nap there, the morning just flies by. After spending the first hour with Lucas in his classroom, where we practiced the tip of the day (sandwiching a word by always beginning and ending with auditory-only input) we attended a session on informal speech acquisition. We discussed such ideas as using vocal play and the learn to listen sounds to encourage language acquisition.
We also got to see a video of Lucas and us working with his speech and language teacher. JTC has done a really great job of using our kids and our sessions with our SLTs to illustrate certain concepts that they are teaching us. They showed an example of an experience book that Ms. M. made for Lucas about locational prepositions, using his favorite stuffed bear, Knut to illustrate various locations. Nate and I were really nervous to see the video, because of how Lucas has been working for M. The presenter showed a segment of the video, where Lucas is completely off task, talking about leaving the room to dump the trash from the trash can into a trash truck (he saw one on the previous day behind his classroom), instead of talking about Knut sitting next to the trash can (as was in the book). Whereas Nate and I were a bit frustrated that Lucas would not stay focused on the book, she gave it a positive spin, showing how much more language the book led Lucas to use. It's always nice to have a different perspective.
We finished our short Friday with support group, where we were given the opportunity to write love letters to our kids. The idea was to write a letter to the older children in the sibling program, and those letters will be read aloud to the siblings next week. If you don't have a child in the sibling program (like us), then we wrote a letter to our children in the program. Nate and I both sealed ours up, and I will tuck them away in Lucas's baby book for a time when he is old enough to read them himself. I will be interested to read it myself again one day too.
After school, we had half a day to explore, but Lucas desperately needed a nap. So, he took a quick nap, then we headed to Exposition Park, which is within walking distant from our apartment, to visit the California Science Center. We were thoroughly impressed by this free museum. There's a rather new exhibit on the world's Ecosystems, and there is so much to do there for little ones like Lucas! One of the areas is a Kelp Forest, with a glass tunnel to walk through hosting kelp, sharks, eels and various fish. It was like a mini aquarium. Lucas thought it was pretty cool too.
We can't wait to go back next week, because we didn't have enough time to see it all. We made a trip to Yogurtland with one of the other families then and called it a night. We're really looking forward to next week, although we're a little sad that our time is winding down. Some topics that we're looking forward to are a school age panel of d/hh kiddos, U.S. laws and deafness, the IEP, and mainstream & inclusion. Stay tuned!!!