Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Secret to Kimani's Hair (and Speech?)

Kimani doesn’t like having her hair washed, or combed, or brushed, or petted, or styled with ponytails and the like. And her hair doesn’t like staying clean and tangle-free. So, every single morning is a fussing match. She cries. She pulls her head away from me. She pushes my hands away. She scratches me. She cries. She cries. She cries. I want to cry too.

Every so often I get really impatient and sick of it and I think, "This is it, I am cutting it off!" But I never do... because I remember all those girls in the orphanage with their short little bowl haircuts. I know that if I cut Kimani’s hair it would be more about me than her, so it stays.

This weekend I was on my own with my four youngest kids and I was worn thin (my tolerance not my waist unfortunately). I started to work on Kimani’s rat nest and she started her objections. This morning her hair was really messy because I had not taken the time to brush it out before bed the night before. The job was so daunting that I started to think about the scissors again.

Then all of the sudden an idea popped into my head. I ran to get her iPad and propped it up in front of her. Then I searched youtube for her favorite song, Kidz Bop doing Call Me Maybe.

She is enthralled with that song. After five times listening to it, she had a lovely set of ponytails and I kept my sanity (ok, having "I missed you so bad" stuck in my head all day might have made me a little crazy but it was worth it.)


Look at how happy she was even during the 6th and 7th rounds of it.




And then I realized she was singing along, or at least trying to. Here she is trying to sing, "bad".


After I put the iPad away, I noticed that Kimani was very verbal. She initiated a two word request over and over, "Want cookie." After a few cookies, I told her that we were all done with that, and instead of pitching a screaming fit, she went to get her PECs book and began looking through it. I knew she was looking for the cookie picture so I put it on the Velcro part of the book. She took it and put it on her request strip and gave it to me and said, "Want cookie."

I was really amazed. This is a big deal for her. She has never been that verbal and directed in her communication. So of course we are going to be doing a lot of experimenting with Call Me Maybe followed by mama’s homemade speech therapy.


Anonymous said...

I love this! Our 5-year-old son with Ds definitely responds well to music and can "sing" his favorite songs with longer sentences and clearer language than almost anything else. I have thought about looking into listening therapy (not sure if it would have the same effect) because of this. But music definitely inspires him to speak better afterward -- as well as calms and centers him in the moment as it did for your daughter.

Me said...

Has she responded at all to the speech programs on the ipad? I can get a list of quite a few of them (you can try out some of them for free--Tap to Talk is 1 you can try for free).


goldenleaves said...

That's great!!

You are such a good mom, the perfect mom for her. I try to repeat that to myself on hard days!

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