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Feeling guilt at not using every minute to teach!!

(9 Posts)
mamadadawahwah Sun 21-Aug-05 17:32:42

Every time I sit down away from my son i feel guilty like i could be using that time more effectively.

When his speech therapist comes she really uses up every second in doing something. Yet when she goes, my son dosent give me the same "attention". I cant get the reaction from him that she does.

So I plod along asking "juice or milk"? "go outside", the usual.

I would really like to hear from moms of kids who are toddlers, how they "teach" during the day, outside of a structured program of therapy.

its hard, really hard

coppertop Sun 21-Aug-05 18:01:45

I think I would go insane if I had to teach ds2 (2.6yrs) every minute of every day. I do some of the more formal activities with him, eg using the materials our lovely SALT prepares for him but I fid that often the best opportunities for teaching will arise when you are doing something else. Ds2 loves bubbles. Without planning to I found that I could use the bubbles to show turn-taking and also to teach him how to ask for more. Like many children with ASD he didn't transfer these skills to other activities but it was a huge breakthrough for him. Going out in his pushchair is also a good opportunity for showing him new nouns and teaching new verbs etc.

During SALT sessions I often find myself thinking "I didn't know he knew that!" so he's obviously picking up some things elsewhere too. The amount of attention he pays to the SALT also varies from one session to the next. Sometimes he can be almost angelic and does everything asked of him while concentrating well. In other sessions the SALT has had to abandon the prepared activities and just go along with whatever he's doing in order to get some kind of interaction.

mamadadawahwah Sun 21-Aug-05 18:07:44

Coppertop, i didnt know your child was same age as mine. Sometimes I just feel like "if i leave him alone" he will learn on his own", but i dont think that is going to work. For example I think he might learn by watching me and by copying me but I feel like I am always missing a crucial step in order to make him understand.

I do the bubbles thing. I always ask him if he wants one or the other thing. I suppose what i am looking for is other peoples tips on how to do daily "training" when the SALT isnt around. She only comes once a week and he gets no other "formal" intervention.

coppertop Sun 21-Aug-05 18:09:52

Does the SALT give you any materials to use between visits? Ds2 is only seen once a month so most of the work is done between visits IYSWIM.

mizmiz Sun 21-Aug-05 18:13:29

mama.of course you can't apply the same intensity as the salt! For one thing,she's only doing it for maybe 30 mins,its her job,and both you and ds would spontaneously combust!

However,I do understand. As the salt mother of a child with a comm. disorder,I can have some very irrational aims and expectations (don't you feel sorry for my poor dd?)

Coppertop is right on all counts. Think of a purposeful activity first and then as you are doing it,consider the language around that activity.
Remember also that free time is important. Children need to dream and think and occupy themselves.
With dd (who is not in school of any sort at present as we are abroad-she's 4) I aim every day for...

a trip out (shops,park,lunch)
a session of 1:1 table top language activities
an activity (painting,cooking,playdo)
an hour or so of 'good' tv or videos
long play in the bath
bedtime stories and dealing with our day-to-day picture calendar

The rest of the time,I let her do as she wants.

(That's my plan btw. It doesn't always work like this! I'm also an sahm at the moment.)

Hope this helps. Your unconditional love and attention are what matter the most.

mamadadawahwah Sun 21-Aug-05 18:27:42

Thanks mizmiz especially, i dont feel so bad now, more or less in keeping with what you do! I dont have to be supermom?????

mizmiz Sun 21-Aug-05 18:30:55

No you don't.
Just love him and enjoy the time you spend with him and let him know this. This is the best thing you can do for him.

eidsvold Sun 21-Aug-05 23:09:16

I used to feel like that with dd1 - especially as our therapy was so limited for her first two years. I wondered how much more I could do and felt very inadequate.

No at 3 - I can see how much she picked up through incidental learning - you know - the stuff that takes place without planning - the chatter and interaction of day to day life.

Also - you need time out to recharge your batteries. Dd1 ( in our case) is very good at pretend play and playing by herself. She needed to be when dd2 came along - I could not give all my attention to dd1 - so in fact both girls are learning about sharing time and so on.

I used meal time and her favourite food to teach the idea of please and thank you. We use songs and things like that - when out and about - lots of talking to her.

jenkins88 Mon 22-Aug-05 02:08:58

If I plan to do x, y and z each day with DS, it all goes pear shaped. Either we are interupted or he won't co-operate and I end up feeling frustrated because I've made all this effort for nothing. We've only had one SALT session so far but I'm trying to use the tips she gave me at every opportunity. So like you said I give choices and speak in simple sentances whenever I can. I also do a sort of commentry (sp) when he is concentrating on something, such as watching tv or brushing his teeth. The SALT also recommended that we 'clap out' syllables to keep his attention when talking to him. I also take advantage of any routines that we have. So every night when I put him to bed I say 'Shall I turn your light off?' and I put my hand on the switch. He always says 'no' so then I say 'shall we leave the light on' and he say's 'yes'. We're working on positional concepts at the moment so I try to do things like that all the time.

I definetly don't feel guilty for not trying to teach him all day. If I didn't have a break I think I'd run away, and DS would probably get p'd off with me anyway.

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