I wanted to share with you a day in the life of Anna. She wakes me up about 6:30 every morning. We start our morning routine with what we call “reading time” and “chew, chew, chew”. The reading time is a plan that I use from Special Reads by Natalie Hale. It has been fantastic in helping Anna to learn to read and does not take a large amount of time which is an added benefit-ie. a practical plan for busy parents that actually works. After the reading, I work on handwriting with Anna. She is working on writing her letters. The “chew, chew, chew” portion, of course, refers to talk tools! I practice with her the plan that is written out by her talk tools therapist during sessions. Please see the video clips at the end of this blog for some of the work we do.
After the home therapy work, we start our typical morning routine of getting dressed, brushing teeth, and brushing hair. All of which she always wants to do, “all by myself”-which has been her favorite phrase as of late. The other two children are usually up by this time and are getting themselves ready. We do have some pretty hectic and rushed mornings although we always do attempt to eat breakfast together. My mother who lives with us has been helpful in feeding Anna. This is because at the age of two, Anna already had high cholesterol. I realized then that I can’t feed her the same as my other two. My mother makes her homemade authentic Japanese food which has helped bring her cholesterol down nicely. Thankfully, Anna is not a picky eater and in fact, her other favorite topic besides peoples is food! She’ll eat about anything and everything and watch out if you leave any food out.
Anna attends preschool three half-days a week. After dropping the other two off at school, Anna gets dropped off at preschool. After preschool, we head home for a quick lunch and then she is off to therapy. Which therapy depends on which day of the week it is, but she nearly has therapy every day-ranging from TalkTools therapy, standard speech therapy twice a week, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. On her days off from preschool, she enjoys going to horseback riding, swim , and dance.
On a day when we are at home, she enjoys playing dolls, playing with pretend food items-cooking and serving, puzzles, and LOVES books. One thing is that I can’t take my eyes off her for even a second or she will very quickly and easily fall into some kind of mischief! Whatever I’m doing with her, I am very intentional about teaching and basically verbalizing everything. I didn’t realize to what extent until my 11 year old son said one day, “do you have to make everything a teaching opportunity?” I thought about what he said, but I still came up with the answer, “Yes”! I think, in her case, it’s important to do that. Anna is naturally a hard worker and loves to learn. She has great focus and persists at tasks. This is a blessing because although we do all these things-we have fun and so it doesn’t feel like work-or else, it would not be sustainable. Like the Turtle and the Hare, slow and steady wins the race. Repetitive, small, and persistent steps are key components to her progression.