Yesterday when we were at the shops Grumpy and I got a surprise. Chatterbox suddenly started skipping! We have been trying to teach her for ages – it is a very hard skill for someone with motor dyspraxia to master. Skipping is quite an important thing for her. I have seen many girls on the playground at her school skipping – and Chatterbox used to be galloping behind them. She doesn’t need another reason to be different and stand out from others so we are happy she can now skip. She still looks a bit uncoordinated when she skips but I can see a change in fluidity even between yesterday and today so I’m certain that by the time the holidays are over she will look like she has been doing it for years.
~Chatterbox skipping at the shops~
Today there was another little milestone: Chatterbox said “energy”. Only a small change but now we won’t have to hear her say ‘energia’ at least three times a day. It’s a small thing but it gets annoying and frustrating after you hear it for the 1000th time! (Along with ‘breskit’ for ‘breakfast’ and the way she says ‘weetbix’ which I can’t work out how to write).
Often things happen like this with Chatterbox. We work for ages on a skill and she can’t do it and then suddenly something clicks and she gets it. Our first taste of this was the 13 weeks it took us to teach her that there were colours other than red. Everything was red when we first met her. In fact ‘red’ was her answer when she didn’t know an answer, or the word she used when she didn’t know what to say. We talked about colours of everything, made her and Giggles choose colour plates for her food, read books about colours, and even listened to songs about colours. Now she has a new favourite colour every day, today it was silver. Another example of how hard Chatterbox has to work to acquire a new skill has to do with the way she used to pronounce any word with the letter ‘z’ at the front. She would say ‘ippzer’ instead of ‘zipper’, ‘erzo’ for ‘zero’, ‘ooz’ for ‘zoo’ and so on. We spent at least 6 months working on it and then one day she just started saying all the words the right way and only slipped up once or twice after that. At the time if feels like you are hitting your head against a brick wall but when she gets it, it sticks.
Grumpy and I are so proud of Chatterbox’s hard work.