Monday, March 26, 2012
Dear Noah....after TEN years you have finally finished speech therapy!
WOW...this day has been a LONG time coming. You have come so very far with your speech, speaking, reading, talking, expressing yourself, etc. You still have a ways to go. We often look back at old videos and are amazed at how far you have come in talking. Even you cannot understand some of your old videos where you were talking.
I think speech therapy would still be continuing on had I allowed them to continue with social skills questions and scenarios for you...because you never quite met those goals....according to them, but I felt that was not really speech therapy's job..it was my job...or your dad's job..to teach you about social scenarios and what is an appropriate response and how to react. I never agreed with allowing speech therapists to try to teach you those things, but for some reason all your former teachers and schools tried to always have it "included" as part of speech therapy's job. I know it was because of cost. They had NO social skills classes or teachers or instructors for social skills or anyone qualified, so they figured they could save time and money and let speech therapists handle it all. They actually told me this at your former school.
SORRY...I do not agree...because this then also takes "time away" from speech therapy, AND on most IEPs like yours...you only get so many minutes a MONTH for speech therapy...and if too much of that precious time is spent on social scenarios instead of speech...your therapy can go on forever.
NOT to mention the fact that you may always struggle with social scenarios. People tend to forget that autism is not something you will outgrow. YES you CAN LEARN and YES you CAN IMPROVE and YES you CAN practice responses and situations....until YOU learn a way to COPE better for you in those particular instances and situations and learn how to respond. Does this mean you are no longer autistic or have outgrown it? NO...because it is a neurological disorder...your brain processes things differently than others and likely always will. What comes as second nature to us.....you will likely still always have to search your brain for prior similar instances or scenarios for the appropriate response or reaction. It will not come as a knee-jerk reaction to you....but slightly delayed after a little thought. BUT those synapses in exposure to a situation to your response CAN get faster with time.
So...after I had speech therapy END the social skills aspect on your goals....as I felt socially you were fine and had nothing on their list left to accomplish....they focused more on the speech therapy part...and voila...you have finally MET your goals.
So Noah, after 10 years...you have finished your speech therapy! CONGRATULATIONS!
I love you!