Adventures in speech therapy #1

speech therapy

“What language does this kid speak anyway?” –

Random 5-year-old at the park to Mr P in response to J’s conversation skills.

Valid question random kid, valid question. I often ask myself the same question as J points and earnestly tries to tell me something that seems urgent and important. New words would crop up and my heart would soar, telling my brain there wasn’t a problem afterall. But the words were never ones that we really needed to hear, ‘turtle’ and ‘owl’ became common, whereas ‘hi’, ‘bye’ and ‘please’ remained elusive.

His peers demonstrated their ability to string more than one word together, some forming sentences to express their needs and wants, while J developed a system of ever-more intricate hand gestures coupled with unintelligable babbling. If that didn’t work, he’d resort to tantrums.

I started to own my concerns and that of his day care teachers – it was well and truly time to get J assessed by a speech therapist.

He had his first appointment two weeks ago and I’m proud to say he did really well, he spent 45 minutes on activities targeted at assessing his receptive and expressive language.

He immediately took to his speech therapist, the lovely Danielle, and he excelled at showing his understanding of all the questions but when he was required to say words it was obvious his expression wasn’t at the same level.

The assessment seems to be a lengthy process, which is still ongoing due to the limitations of the two-year-old attention span but it seems at this stage J has an expressive language delay and more specifically an ‘inconsistent speech disorder’ which means he says the same word in a few different ways making it hard to understand what he is trying to say.

Danielle also mentioned that it was possible that due to J’s facial palsy the left side of the face that does all the facial movement to form the words might be getting tired from overcompensating for the lack of movement on the right side, so that may be having an effect on the amount of speaking J is doing.

On Saturday we had our second session which introduced ‘core vocabulary therapy’ to get J saying and pronouncing common ‘power’ words that will help him communicate more effectively. We will gradually introduce more words each week and Danielle gave us some demonstrations of methods to use and games to try to get him to say the words and repeat them.

By the end of today’s session, J was confidently saying ‘BYEEE’ for the first time ever, so it’s a great feeling to know that with our conscientious effort that improvement is possible.

I’m happy we made the decision to seek help at this stage but I am still a little daunted by the hard yards that will be required to get where we need to go. The main thing though is that we’re on our way; I’ll be sure to share our progress as we travel along the therapy path.

Have you had any experience with speech therapy? Was it beneficial for your child?

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7 thoughts on “Adventures in speech therapy #1

  1. Good on you B – sounds like Jarvis is doing really well – it must have made your heart sing to hear him say “Byeee”. Can’t wait to catch up and see his progress πŸ™‚ BTW I had a friend had a baby yesterday and his name is…Jarvis πŸ™‚

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  2. Whilst working in the Health Insurance environment I found that this is more common than one may think. Great to hear that Jarvis is making progress. One of my friends had a little girl that wasnt stringing words together. It turned out that she had a hearing impairment and wasnt picking up the small words in between sentences….such as ….is, on, the, and….etc. She was only hearing the main and bigger words. Something that I would never have thought to consider.

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  3. We have had two children with speech therapy. Our oldest son got his words all mixed up and back to front – and had 2 years of speech therapy.. he is now 17 1/2 and is in the Navy. He is also doing so well – with passing all of his exams and loving his new career. To talk with him you would never know how much help he had.
    Then our fourth boy was an emergency c-section and is delayed in many areas. He also received two years of speech therapy, now you wouldn’t even know how far behind he used to be πŸ™‚

    All the best with it – the games were the best part of Speech Therapy!

    Cheers
    Lisa

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  4. Lufflump is almost three and has his own language just like his dad did. He repeats the same word over and over again for certain things like hiasha instead of shark. His daycare aren’t worried about it as his comprehension is wonderful and is better than some of the older kids there. I’m not sure though, maybe we should look into it as your experience sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

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  5. My boy, Tricky (21 months) goes to speech therapy because he just doesn’t like to speak very much. His comprehension is fine, his hearing is fine, he just doesn’t like to speak – though sometimes he’ll whisper the words or even mouth them without any sound at all. Which makes it very hard for his speech therapist since he *can* say things but doesn’t!

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