Yesterday morning I got my son up and fed him a big breakfast. Sometimes, when he's hungry he grinds his teeth. Last week at his speech therapy session he started grinding his teeth and twisting his hair even though he'd had breakfast and a snack. I was puzzled that he was hungry so quickly, but assumed he was just very hungry that morning. I wanted to prevent it this week so we could focus on his session and not his hunger, so I gave him extra food and even brought more for the ride to town.
On our drive to town he was fine, but as soon as we walked into the therapy building, he started to grind his teeth and twist his hair. It dawned on me that he wasn't doing it because he was hungry, it was because he was stressed. I guess the strange environment and an unfamiair person in this setting makes him stressed. I'm hoping he'll get over it as we work more with the therapist. He seemed to warm up by the end of the session so that's a good sign.
The therapist was giving me some advice to help my son use more speech. She encouraged me to let him be a boy. She said I should let him run around, jump on things, and crawl around because that would encourage him to talk. I stared at her. laughing to myself, and wondering if she was for reals. This kid regularly chases, and usually tackles, his older sister, much to her dismay. He jumps on the trampoline, runs around the backyard, and plays on the swingset whenever he can get outside (usually after he's let one of the outside cats into the house to jump up on the stove and eat the hamburger I'm cooking--but that's another story). He jumps all the time--piles up pillows so he can jump into them, jumps on the couch (even though it's against the house rules), and jumps up and down the stairs. In fact, if he's holding hands with people while walking somewhere he "counts" and then on three, he jumps. If you aren't expecting it, he can almost take you down to the ground. He jumps so much he reminds of a Mexican Jumping Bean.
So, yes, I do let him be a boy. He's extremely active. I don't think lack of activity contributes at all to his speech delay. In fact, if activity were tied to his speech, he'd be speaking like a college professor. I know the therapist meant well, she wants his verbal skills to improve, as do I, but sometimes, I have to wonder about what therapists say. I think if she'd stopped to think for a second, she'd have realized that with nine siblings not only is he active, but my entire house is in constant commotion.