Mariana has made some leaps forward. We've really focused on good communication, and she has responded. At PT we put some K-tape on her belly to help with her core strength, which is good for her balance. It's doing great things, including forcing her to use her upper body strength more. For example, in climbing the steps she would often rest her belly on the step, but with the K tape she isn't so inclined to do that. You can tell she's getting tired from how often she rests her head on the floor. But already I have noticed in increased strength in her hands.
I really thought giving her choices was going to be a disaster, but she is in a compliant phase and she is very much interested in choosing. Yesterday I had two cups set out. One had juice, the other had milk. I would point to the juice and ask, "Yes juice, or no juice." While signing "yes" and "no". She has created her own sign for "no" by wagging her finger, as seen below with Mrs. J.
She said no to the juice and the milk, but when I asked if she wanted juice, milk or to eat, while signing the word "eat", she signed "eat" back to me. This is HUGE, like puff-your-chest-out huge. There was no knocking things onto the floor, arching her back and yelling "Na!Na!Na!" at me. Just a choice made and communicated, easy-peasy.
She also tried to use a fork. I think I've mentioned that sweet miss does not like to change how things are done. Once she can do something, that is what she does. This is why I've already started putting her on the potty. Hopefully in a few years, when she is ready to learn, she is not freaked out by the change. Anyway, I gave her a fork yesterday and she tried, unsuccessfully, to use it. It is totally fine that she wasn't successful and that after she tried she threw it on the floor because all of this was done with a calm demeanor. There was no flailing or yelling, just, "Well, that's not working." Tosses fork, uses hands. She also didn't object to using a bowl. Big big strides y'all.
As the video above indicates, it's not all sunflowers and ribbons up in here. We still have attitude and diva time. She is not loving the K tape and she is so loving the finger wag. She's also increased the hair pulling and face pinching, and oddly I think it is because she likes that I wag my finger and say, "No-no." and then show her how to be gentle while saying "gentle". She always tries to repeat the word "gentle" and it seems this has become a game.
It's been a fun week with all of the progress. It's a good reminder that serious behavioral nonsense can be an indication of good things to come. Frustration is a good thing when it leads to growth, and this week was a positive check in the problem solving box for Mae. I hope that it continues as the school year goes on because I could really use one eager student in the bunch.