Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, Hudson and I make a 130 mile round-trip up to a local university for his speech therapy. The clinicians that work with Hudson are graduate students in speech pathology and the sessions are monitored remotely by the certified therapists in the office. We’ve been going there for two years now, so I know most of the staff pretty well and they all know us.
For the past couple of weeks, the focus of the therapy has been visual perception. He is given five pictures that illustrate a short activity and he has to put them in the correct sequence to complete the story from beginning to end. Then he has to explain what’s happening in each photo.
This morning, I was sitting on a sofa and reading my Twitter feed when I saw the department head come out of her office, give me a smirk and walk down the hall toward Hudson’s room. She came back a minute later with a big smile on her face and said, “You really need to go hear the story he’s telling.”
The therapy rooms have two-way mirrors and headphones so parents, students and staff can observe the sessions without distracting the patients. I went down to his room and looked in the window. One of the clinicians had her face buried in her hands to stifle her laughter and the other one was biting her lip to keep her composure. Hudson was staring down at the five cards and talking about each picture. From my vantage point, I could tell the subject of the activity was a boy taking care of his pet hamster. I put on the headphones and heard the following:
“…boy is putting the beaver food in the beaver cage. And now the boy is putting water in the beaver bottle. And here, the beaver is running around on his beaver wheel. I wish I had a pet beaver. Beavers are cool.”
Every time he said “beaver” the clinicians had to work harder not to laugh out loud. Luckily, it was time for the session to end or I doubt they would have made it much longer.
I had to smile because I wanted a pet beaver when I was his age. I’ve never mentioned that to him, so it must be encoded in his DNA. Or maybe it’s just something about boys and beavers.