People regularly ask me how often I work with Welles on his therapies, as in sitting down, laser focusing on speech, physical and occupational (cognitive) therapy. The answer is... almost never. Throughout each day we are practicing these little exercises routinely and constantly. Most of the time not even consciously. It's just become part of our day-to-day. Completely our normal.
Upon having Welles I stressed about the time that would go into helping him progress and learn. I was sure it was going to take over my life and take away from our other children. It hasn't, it doesn't. And to be honest, I never feel the need to beat myself up over the fact that I could be doing more in therapeutic areas. We sign with him, we let him feed himself (huge mess making included), we push him to expand his verbal skills by making him say new words when he wants things, he dares to push himself physically, and his siblings teach him so much by playing with him. But it hasn't taken over my life the way I was sure that it would. It's so fun to watch Scarlett enjoy teaching him and working with him. And it's good for her and Ames as well.
Welles has taken some huge developmental strides in the last six months. He has expanded his vocabulary immensely. He is doing so much better at communicating instead of throwing little tantrums. You can tell his understanding has improved leaps and bounds. He's acting older and smarter every day. When he does something naughty (throws food, bops brother, pulls sister's hair, etc...) he clams up and looks straight at the ground with the guiltiest face. Then as we lovingly scold him, he wraps his arms around us and gives kisses. Little smarty pants knows just how to get out of trouble and melt mama's heart! When I sign "sad" he smothers me and then signs "happy" while saying it! It's beyond the cutest thing ever. He lines up toys and cars and plays imaginary games, something I ignorantly thought he may never be smart enough to do. How ridiculously silly of me...
The best thing for him at this age has been speech therapy. Learning to better communicate has made all of our lives easier. It's so fun seeing him grow in this department. We are crazy-happy with this boy and all of his hard work and constant joy. Sorry for the mush fest but he just brightens every single day!
(Below is his darling speech therapist, Lauren.)