Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Yesterday, one of the kiddos I work with had such a fantastic speech session that I just had to pat myself on the back. He's learning to use a picture exchange communication system (PECS), where he gives a picture to communicate when he wants something. I had been trying to back off on the amount of cues I was giving him, but for several sessions, he just continued to need me to put my hand out before he would hand me the picture to make a request. Now in real life, people are not going to put their hand out in expectation that you want something. You're going to have to make your needs known without any prompts. So, I've been trying to "ignore" him, and to turn away and not look at him or give him any cues at all, as if I'm busy working, to see how he reacts to "no cues."
For a few sessions, he would just get frustrated with me. But yesterday, he got it! He picked up the picture of what he wanted from inside his communication notebook, walked across the room to where I was busily "reading," and stuck the picture in front of my face! Not just once, but several times! It was really exciting to see that progress toward independence! To celebrate, I bought myself a coke that afternoon from the drink machine at work. It felt nice to celebrate a little success, even if just in some small way.
Sometimes we get too busy to take pride in things done well. A newly painted porch. A new shrub planted in the yard. A presentation that was well-received. A new recipe that turned out to be a hit. But it's these little successes that keep us going, that help inspire us to keep plodding along toward bigger goals.
So buy yourself a coke after a good speech therapy session. Make yourself a smoothie after painting that fence. Treat yourself to a bubble bath after a long day planting your garden. Small successes bring big happiness returns.
What little thing were you successful at today?