Sunday night, we meet again. I have to say my anxiety on Sundays has been less lately, but my not wanting to leave that sweet little face that is sleeping (for now) upstairs is just as bad. She is such a silly kid and even when she's being a pain in the butt, I still don't want to leave her. She has become such a little person in the past few months, she's just not a baby anymore. Even her therapists have commented on how much older she seems.
We've been working on speech so much for the past year that it's hard to believe how much progress she's been making. She currently has about five to seven words and a few more are emerging. She picks up new signs in less than a day and it blows my mind every time she does it. And what she understands is even more incredible. I've been trying in the last several months to overestimate what she comprehends and speak to her as if she does understand everything I'm saying and it's been amazing to watch her respond appropriately. There are of course plenty of times when she just doesn't want to listen, like any other toddler, but most of the time if we structure a direction or series of directions carefully and repeatedly, she will do what we ask.
The key with Tera really has been using "then" statements when giving directions. If we want her to get ready for bed, for example, we tell her to go upstairs, then we can brush teeth, then we can feed the fish. Usually by the second or third time (sometimes fourth or fifth) she walks herself upstairs to get ready. We can also use it to redirect her when she's doing something we don't want her to. Over the summer I really noticed that she understood this when we were walking through a pet store and we were letting her walk by herself instead of sitting in the cart. She kept darting off and I told her if she didn't hold my hand, she had to go back in the cart. After repeating it one time, she took my hand we and we made it through the rest of the store.
This is when I can't imagine not having her therapists to brainstorm with us. This idea came from both her developmental therapist and her speech therapist and it has helped us tremendously with routines and transitions. Now we'll just have to check with them on any ideas they might have for getting to her to sleep through the night consistently...