Friday, October 24, 2008

An Update on Kibby

A few posts back I wrote about Kibby and her communication delay. Well, it seems that whenever I get ready to haul her in to be evaluated, something happens that makes me stop and say, "Hm. Maybe we should wait."

Lately, Kibby has started answering me when I ask her a question. (However, she still will very very rarely say "yes". I think she loves saying the word "no" - which I see as part of normal 2-year-old talk!) This had been the most frustrating for me, but I am seeing improvement. She is now beginning to look at me more when talking to me, too.

So I am going to try a couple of things. The first one is to "wean" her from her thumb!! She has that thumb in her mouth all day long. She takes it out to eat (barely). The skin looks terrible. When I tell her to take her thumb out of her mouth, she does, immediately. But within 30 seconds, she forgets and it's right back in there. I remember when Ethan was her age we tried some of that nasty flavored stuff to get him to stop sucking on his fingers. I don't think it helped. We used to put socks on his hands, because his fingers would get so raw. I don't really want to do that again! Ethan used to take the socks off, so we had to use tape to keep them on! (No, we did NOT tape them to his skin!!! We taped around the sock on his wrist so he couldn't slide the sock off, and then folded the sock down over it so he wouldn't pick at the tape.) But knowing Kibby - she would just scream and scream... until she got the sock off.

Ok, so that's one thing.

The other is to read to her more. Up until recently, she wouldn't let you read to her. Well, not in the traditional sense at least. You couldn't hold her on your lap and show her the book for longer than 5 seconds before she would tear it away and jump down to look at it on her own. And we usually just let her. At least she was looking at the book. Now, I can read to her somewhat. She doesn't listen as well as Ethan used to (but then Ethan always loved reading, and was reading at age 3) but she is getting better with sitting on my lap or next to me and pointing out things on the pages.

At my MOPS group yesterday one of the ladies shared an idea for encouraging reading at home. They draw a tree on posterboard and then make leaves for it out of construction paper. Whenever someone either reads a book themselves or reads a book to someone else, that person gets a leaf (cut out ahead of time) and writes the title of the book and their name on it, and attaches it to the tree.

I mentioned this idea to Seth last night and I think we are going to give it a try. I am hoping that it will encourage my kids to read more and to want to have stories read to them. Ethan is all for it! He read a book last night and asked if he could put a leaf on our tree. (We each received a styrofoam cut-out tree at MOPS, and then for our craft time we traced, cut out and laminated some leaves that we can attach to our tree with velcro. The idea was to use dry-erase markers on the leaves and be able to use them over and over!) Well Ethan was all set to start last night!

I am hoping that these things help her learn to communicate better. It certainly can't hurt. If anyone has any other ideas for us to encourage Kibby's speech, or to encourage any communication with her, please leave me a comment! Thanks!

I would also love to hear some ideas for helping her quit the thumb-sucking!


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