an apple cheeks briefcase

emma's speech and educational therapists recommended that we make flashcards of familiar objects, people, animals, and things in her ever-expanding little world so that she learn to identify and eventually say the words for those objects, people, animals, and things.

with the assistance of our speech therapist, emma's grandmommy, and emma's godmommy, and their collective skills with photographing and/or reproducing certain images and laminating them all for durability, we have an abundance of flashcards for emma's use.

emma's grandmommy helped our little e organize those cards. the cards are now divided by categories and each category (fruit/people/animals/etc...) are stored in a tiny pouch in emma's own little "briefcase" (a play purse that i believe we received as a hand-me-down from a good friend and has since been converted into an apple cheeks therapy tool).

emma now has her own little briefcase of cards, which we all spend time reviewing together. she is starting to see an image and say words like mama, dada, dog, book (with a lot of help and loving reenforcement).

as you can see from the photos, it's a task which (even while sick) she considers terribly fun.

p.s.: that bottle in the foreground of the photos that looks a lot like one of those honey bears you buy at the grocery store with honey in it? yes, that is it, with a big straw inserted. why? that's what we're using at the wise suggestion of emma's therapists and other parents-in-the-know to teach emma how to suck from a straw. (because emma has low muscle tone due to her diagnosis, eating and drinking-related actions like sucking from a straw or sippy cup and swallowing are a challenge).

we squeeze the honey bear bottle of water (with no honey added, mind you) while she has the straw in her mouth. she has learned, slowly but surely, that water comes out of the straw, thus creating the cause and effect necessary to prompt her to attempt to suck from it. all of these pieces finally came together this past week and emma learned to drink out of the straw on her own yesterday evening.

next step is encouraging her to take the bottle and drink out of it herself while holding it, without assistance.

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