Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Scarlett's Speech Therapy Update

Scarlett began speech therapy services on February 1st.  I've known for a while that she needed help with her speech, but we were allowed to wait until she turned 2 to see if there was natural progression.  Once her 2nd birthday rolled around and there was no true difference, we knew it was time.  She does say a handful of words, but she's not on the level she should be speech wise.  If you ask her to point to anything in a book, she can identify everything.  She understands everything too she just is not comfortable to speak.

As we enter the 4th week of services, I'm really noticing a big difference already! We have a speech therapist come to our house once a week to work with Scarlett for 45 minutes.  Scarlett is responsive to it because it's learning through play, which is a good method for her.  The speech therapist brings over certain toys that help Scarlett with learning keywords.  

For example, the first session she brought a Mr. Potato Head with her.  The potato head and pieces were in a big bucket with a lid which Scarlett immediately wanted to open.  Instead of doing it for her, she suggested using a sign language sign for "open", which Scarlett could use to help herself and create less frustration.  Scarlett quickly picked that up as well as putting her hand on her chest which means "give me", for anything that she wanted to play with or wanted.  The end result is to get her to say the words out loud over time, once she's comfortable. 

What's interesting is how Scarlett responds to someone other than me.  I sit on the couch during the sessions to watch and only interact with Scarlett when I need to, I let the therapist take over for the most part.  One week she wanted us to focus on animal sounds and asked Scarlett what a cow said.  Scarlett instantly responded with "moo!" I told the woman she was magic! I've been working for months on animal noises with Scarlett and it took the therapist only one try to get her to say it. It's funny how Scarlett will respond positively to a different approach and obviously a different person working with her. 

We've also been working on "more" for more food during meal times or anything she wants more of, whether it's more crayons, more stickers, or anything of that nature.  I taught her that a while ago, so I was happy that she knew this already.  One new hand sign we're working on is "all done." We use this to signify the end of meals, TV, bath time, etc.  Scarlett gets a little confused with that one and says she's all done with her meal when in reality she just likes doing the sign for it.  Or she'll sign for "more" and "all done" at once.  I've gotten some tips on how to remedy that. 

I've alerted her teachers about the therapist's requests so they can continue her progress when she goes to school twice a week.  

Scarlett surprised me recently by saying the words eggs and eyes on her own out of the blue.  I was shocked and praised her for a job well done.  I know that as the weeks and months pass, she'll speak more and more words.  It would be wonderful to have a conversation with her and see what she's thinking.  I can't wait until that happens!

For the most part, Scarlett is using all of the signs and techniques at the appropriate times.  You don't have to prompt her too much anymore either to do them which is wonderful.  I'm very proud of her progress so far and I know she'll continue to do better as time goes on! 

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