**Update: In odd timing, Thomas' clinic supervisor just called saying that they are going to switch grad students for him. They don't think it was the best match, and will now be putting him with a second-year student. I agree with that - except (and I voiced this concern - very kindly!) that we are paying for these sessions and I don't want to waste more of them while he starts over. $$! I think we'll be able to work something out. So, happy news, I guess!
Listening to him on headphones while he works with his speech teacher.
Have you ever spent time looking at your child through a one-way mirror? It's very strange.
There's no separation anxiety (on either end) for us, but it's been a little frustrating to watch someone who is inexperienced and doesn't know my kid try to work with him - when she doesn't know my kid.
At least not yet.
We were on the waiting list for... a year? for this speech program at a local university. They have grad students working with patients, supervised by their teachers (and parents (*ahem)). It's twice a week, and reportedly the best speech around.
The poor student they matched Thomas with is so sweet and nice, but doesn't have ... preschooler skills, if you know what I mean. I was seriously wondering if we'd continue after the first couple of sessions. Paying for someone else to be learning from the experience is frustrating. Yesterday, she was open to a couple of suggestions that I made to her before the session started, and she did better with Thomas. Plus, watching the session I could see that she and her supervisor really listened to some of the things I'd told them to help them know Thomas better.
It's cramping my style in a major way. I can deal with that, if it's worth it. Twice a week, we pack sandwiches for the ride home and we leave at about 3:45 to drive downtown. We get home about 2 1/2 hours later. It's a lot of driving (in traffic) for my carsick-prone kids and it takes up two afternoons a week. Thankfully the clinic is right next to Aaron's work and we got a late afternoon appointment, so he meets us there and watches Monkey and Princess in the waiting room while I sit in the observation room watching Thomas.
I sit with the supervisor and we chat a little, and when I see something that might help Thomas I tell her about it. Yesterday she said, "Do you have a background in this or something?" No, I don't, I just try to keep up with things that might help me understand/help Thomas. "Yes, I can tell," she said.
I was thinking about that. Is it rare for parents to be knowledgeable about their child's strengths/weaknesses? When I went to that potty-training seminar at a local school for children with autism (very helpful, btw) I was so surprised at the questions parents were asking. I just kept thinking "They should know that - why don't they know that?"
I don't even think that the things I was talking about in speech showed much knowledge of autism/learning/speech so much as knowledge of Thomas. Of course I know him really well - that's my job, I'm his mom.
Oh, also during yesterday's session, Thomas was playing and decided to turn off the light. He discovered the one-way mirror because with the light off he could see us. The session ended a little early so my smart boy could come see us and investigate the headphones and windows. Hopefully this won't be a distraction next time...