Monday, June 30, 2014

The Lidcombe Anxiety

If I know one truth about myself, it's that with the exception of feeding and clothing myself and my children, there are very few things I manage to do everyday.  I don't even wash my face everyday.  And sometimes, (eek) I even forget to brush my teeth.

I am really freaking out right now...

about the part I am required to play in my 4-year-old son's speech therapy.  At the first appointment, the therapist told me that I would need to practice positive reinforcement in 10-15 minute sessions with him, every day.  This is the first step of the Lidcombe Program of Early Stuttering Intervention.  Also that I should evaluate his speech every day, using a severity scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the worst possible stuttering imaginable.  Every. Single. Day.  (I am getting super anxious right now, just writing about it.)

I feel incredibly overwhelmed by this new responsibility and I'm doubting left and right, my ability to follow though on it.

As the anxiety of just starting began to short-circuit my brain -- which I can identify by a sudden intense desire to eat large amounts of processed sugar -- I decided that "just doing the darn thing already" might alleviate some of the pressure.

And so it began… I chose an activity, our marble-racer building kit and set the timer for 10 minutes. At first, my son seemed excited that he and I were going to play together and then his interested waned when I told him we were going to play like we did at the appointment with Miss Allison.  I wanted to explain to him why I was going to be directing the play, and giving him specific choices of which piece he wanted to use next.  In doing this, it would prompt him to reply in brief, single words which he would be more likely to say without a stutter.  I could then provide positive reinforcement by saying, "That was smooth."  He played along for about A MINUTE and then said he was hungry and wanted a snack.  I told him we could have a snack when when we were finished.  Then when he complained ONE MINUTE LATER, I told him he just needed to play for 5 minutes.  I managed to give him a small amount of positive feedback, but was unable to keep his attention for more than just a few minutes.

Oh well.  It's a start, at least.  And after writing this, my compulsion to eat cupcakes is gone, mostly.

Thank you, God.

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