For over a year now, Brendan has been going to speech therapy four times a week. We go every morning and our routine is always the same. We eat breakfast and start to get dressed. Then the crazy ensues. He starts yelling he doesn’t want to go. He starts pouting and it eventually ends with him hiding under something. Once I do manage to get him dressed and in the car he is fine. He is happy and goes into speech without a care in the world. I’ve spoken with his teachers and they say he does great and shows no signs of being upset or frustrated. So why? Why the hiding and fighting of getting dressed to go? I know they push him out of his comfort zone at therapy and he is such a sweetheart that he really tries his very best. I honestly believe he saves all his frustrations for me.
Just last week we were watching one of B’s favorite movies, How To Train Your Dragon. While watching the movie I realized that I could take the story and apply it to his life! It was an A-HA moment! At least I could try to relate it in a way a 4 year old would understand. After the movie, we started chatting about Hiccup. I told him he had to go to Dragon School to learn about dragons. Just a side note he thinks Dragon Training School is “way cool”. I’m pretty sure a lot of 4 year old boys think dragon school is “way cool”!
I told him that he is like Hiccup. That he goes to speech therapy to learn all about his sounds and letters. The more that he learns about those sounds the less frustrating or scary they are. Just like with Hiccup the more he learned about the Dragons the more he realized they weren’t scary.
After our little talk, I told him that we would do the reward chart the following week. I told him that if he didn’t give me a hard time about going to therapy and show me that he can slay those letter sounds he would get a star on his reward chart.If he collected all 4 stars he could pick out a new dragon toy. He was up for the challenge.
The weekend passed and Monday came around. I told him that it’s time for “training school” and this was the first day, in what feels like forever, that it wasn’t a fight. The days past and not one protest about going to speech therapy. On the last day, he put the last star on his chart . He was so excited. He said “I get a dragon today!”
So off we went to Target to go pick out a dragon toy and he picked out the How To Train Your Dragon 2 Training Grounds. He really liked this set! It came with Toothless and Hiccup. It also came with two sheep that he uses the catapult with. My afternoons have been filled with flying sheep.
This has been a good step in his behavior about therapy. I can’t help but to think that relating the How To Train Your Dragons story to his school life helped. I think it has changed how we all view therapy. We call it speech training school now and I almost think he welcomes the challenge. I will continue to do the reward chart for a little while. So far he has been able to add another dragon,Hook Fang, to his collection. He is working towards the real vapor breathing Toothless next. I’m thinking closer to when the new movie comes out we may even have a little party to celebrate graduating preschool and the start of summer.
It’s amazing how our little talk changed his thinking. If Hiccup can do it so can he. Our mornings are less hectic and calm. He has been looking forward to working towards a new dragon. Have you ever used your kid’s favorite character to relate it to their life in some way? I would love to hear about it!