Three cheers for Benjamin – he is 18 months old! What a cute, funny, stubborn little dude. He has done amazing in therapy; after 6 months of regular visits with an OT, he has progressed beyond his age range. It astounds me, considering at 1 year, he did not use his left arm much, could not roll a ball or point to anything, let alone find his own nose. (He was born 2 months early.)
Last month, he went from being unable to stack anything, to stacking blocks 5 or 6 high, in a matter of days. At his age, stacking several blocks is expected.
He is also working on stringing beads using a large wooden needle. It takes a few tries, but he gets it eventually.
His OT visits are finished (hopefully for good!), and now he is starting up speech therapy. He says about 15-20 words, which isn’t too bad for his age, but they all sound similar. He doesn’t say “Hi” or pronounce his vowels very well. For example, he says “sticker”, “cookie”, and “snack”, but actually, they all sound like “…kk…kk…” And he definitely should be saying “Hi” at this point.
I’ve asked Luke to stop speaking for Ben, and that’s really helped. Ben gets quite pissed, and then has to make the effort to communicate with me, instead of Luke saying, “Um, Mom, Ben wants _____.” We’re also doing a lot of exaggerated noises, exaggerated facial expressions, and massive praise.
After a week of putting the speech therapist’s recommendations into actions, we have definite progress: Ben verbally demands “cheese” and “grapes”.
“Hi” must be pretty low on his instant-gratification scale.
There is always lots of learning to do, but, all things considered, Benjamin has made wonderful strides at 18 months. Happy one and one-half years, Ben. Only six more months till you’ve earned a cake.