Thursday, June 20, 2013

Speech and Comprehension


Silas' speech is coming along very very slowly. It is getting to be very frustrating, and I struggle with just giving it more time or pushing him a little bit harder. With him going into Kindergarten in the Fall, I know there will be some issues if he doesn't get this resolved.

A lot of the time, I do not know what he is saying. Or I do know what he is TRYING to say, even though no one else would ever understand it. He also will stutter a bit as he tries to get the words out.

He is talking like a two year old. Only in two or three word sentences. He will say the main words and leave out all the little words that are typically thrown into a sentence. So, instead of saying "Can I have some milk please?" He will say " Me milk, please?"

Silas also seems to not always to comprehend what we are saying... I am not sure if this is always just a comprehension thing or if he is just not listening and paying attention, which it could be. He is also quite defiant right now and when asked specifically to do something, he will often go do what he wants, instead of obeying. I do see a lot of the same personality traits in him as Lilah... except that instead of the screaming and shutting down, he is very quiet about it.

Silas was getting ready to go to a birthday party the other day. It was a cold and rainy day and the kids were going to be outside. He had been wearing shorts everyday, but on this particular day, I asked him to go put on a pair of pants and a t-shirt. He was upstairs for a very long time and I knew that he had disobeyed and didn't want to come down. So I called him. Sure enough, he was wearing shorts. I asked him why... he said he wanted to wear shorts. I asked him "What did mommy ask you to put on?" He said, "Panties." I was trying not to laugh, and I was once again very frustrated as well. "No, mommy did not tell you to put panties on. Girls wear panties. What did I ask you to put on?" He said, "Pants." I then had to explain to him that I asked him to wear pants because it was cold out and he was going to be outside and I didn't want him to not have fun. He, like Lilah, tries to be self-sufficent. Which shows me that he doesn't fully trust us.

We had a three hour battle the other day over what he should wear. He had picked an outfit that didn't match and so I asked him to change his shorts. He changed his complete outfit five times and every time he came down stairs, I would ask him what I said and he would tell me. So he knew. Three hours later, he finally decided to obey.

My littles love to play restaurant. They will grab a little pad of paper and a pen and start taking food orders from family members. Silas came to me and asked what I would like for supper. I told him I wanted steak. He ran away, very excited, "Snake! Mom wants snake! Snake coming right up!" Maybe this is normal in his head... there was a lot of snake offered in the buffets in China!

He (and Lilah) don't want to rely on Tim and I as parents. They do not ask for help when they need it. They won't ask for something, unless someone else asks first and they often will team together and help each other, instead of their parents. Sometimes, they even will whisper to each other, "You ask, you ask..."

It has taken a lot of work to get Silas to use manners and be polite. He will often slam a cup down on the counter and run to sit down, waiting for a drink to magically appear. He is learning that these techniques won't work in our house... but it is taking a very long time. When I am preparing dinner -- even if it will take an hour -- he will run to the kitchen, grab a fork and wait to be served. This is getting better as well, with time. But these are the moments I wish desperately that I knew how he was raised and treated his first four years. I would guess that he didn't need to use words and that everything was just done and given to him. I do try to ask questions about his past every now and then, to see if he remembers anything... but he seems to have blocked it all.

My frustration can come out as anger. I get tired of the constant repetition of mistakes and disobedience. And then I see his fear come out... that he still doesn't belong, that he will be left behind, that he isn't treated the same or that he isn't loved, because he is being disciplined. This is the stuff that I know can take a VERY LONG TIME to heal. And then, it is hard to show affection, when I am frustrated. He is very unaffectionate. To Tim and I. Because we discipline. He will crawl on siblings or grandparents or teachers lap for cuddles, but not his parents. I had asked the Psychologist about this, and she said it is very normal. Of course, they will go to those that they know will treat them the way they want with no consequence.

Silas is very cute and very entertaining and definitely all boy. This adoption of a toddler comes with its challenges... but after figuring out the "Lilah stuff", I think we have a pretty good idea of how to deal with the issues that are arising once again.


Jerusha said...

I can relate to a lot of this: difficult speech issues, word retrieval/short term memory glitches, having trouble being affectionate--he's ready but I'm not yet (after a discipline episode)! No advice, just understanding. Grace to you. :)

Marie said...

I'm always amazed at how many of the things you write about are also things we deal with on some level. It is difficult, but as you know it can be done. And you will do it...praying you will know exactly how to handle each issue as it arises.

Patrick and Christina said...

I am certain that you are one of the most equipped Moms that I know of...frustrated or not! :)

We can relate to some of those difficulties and I also wonder what it was like for our littles early on and how it might contribute to what we experience in our home.

Somedays I wish there was a re-set button... and a "how to" manual! :)

The Drinkwaters said...

It's ok to be frustrated. I am there often EVERY day ;) I know that you and Tim will use every resource and strategy available to help support Silas in the best way possible.