Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunbeam Update

Just in case I've mentioned my struggles with sunbeams to any of you out there, here is an update.
Yesterday went so much better, I totally changed around the classtime schedule, and made it more structured.  I figured I've now been teaching these kids for two months, they know me now so they can handle the change.  It worked so much better this sunday.  There was less screaming, less cliques, less aimlessness, the structure was perfect, it kept everyone almost busy and gave me time to learn signs from my little deaf boy in class. Forty-five minutes with seven 3 and 4 year olds is a LONG time.
Have I told the blogosphere about that? I teach sunbeams, I have three girls and four boys, one is deaf, no one other than his family signs in our congregation.  He is really a very smart sweet boy, he just needs a little attention/communication in a totally auditory church, which means I have to keep the other six kids occupied while he teaches me signs. Although I'll be honest he can throw some wicked tantrums since he struggles at communicating with most of the world. Luckily I have two years of practice in wicked fits with a child who didn't talk. There is a lot more drama in the sunbeam class, but maybe we'll save that for another day.

As an aside I will say, I now see one of the reasons my daughter was a late talker.  Sure it is probably genetic, since myself and my son were also late talkers, but she followed a different pattern which concerned me. Everyone told me don't worry, my parents, my grandma, my husband, but yet something was off with her speech and I knew it.  Which meant when her pediatrician asked how many words she said, I didn't lie when I said one, and I'm not even sure she knows ma-ma means mom.  We watched her, tried to encourage speech, and I talked a lot with Danna-- my husband's sister who is a speech pathologist and has amazing gift for it.  Last fall we started driving 50 minutes one way for two year old speech class with Aunt Danna. I will be honest the first few sessions I was mad at the world that my daughter wasn't talking.  It was nothing anyone did or say that made me mad, I was just upset. In fact without me mentioning anything at all, Danna assured me it is nothing the parent does or doesn't do that makes their child a late talker.  The late fall class was sporadic, and then in the new year we did a consistent 8 week (maybe?) class. Last fall what I didn't understand at the time was the Lord was preparing me to teach a deaf foster child in sunbeam class in a different state, that I had given up any plans of moving to.  And I truly believe that.  I mentioned to someone a few weeks ago, how I'm glad I did speech class with my daughter because it is helping me in sunbeams, and they asked how?  Honestly I can't give a specific answer, but after watching Danna, who truly is gifted at what she does, I've learned by example how to teach and communicate with a child who doesn't talk.  Sure the one I am communicating with also doesn't hear, but same principles apply.  Not to mention he is starting a series of surgeries to regain his hearing, so in coming months he will hear although he will have no way to interpret what he is hearing until he is taught/learns. But based on my own impressions and conversation with the Primary President on how to best teach my class, I honestly believe one of the reasons my daughter need speech class is because the Lord cared about a little boy in a different state that my daughter lived.


  1. I felt the spirit so strong as I read your bottom portion of this post. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Teaching Sunbeams is a HUGE calling!!! The Lord is totally aware of each of those children. And He cares very much about their experience at church. Your experience confirms that even more. (I hope you feel like Superwoman--because that's what you are!)