Thursday, July 1, 2010

Speech Therapy: An Overview

Now that Emily is three years old, there are going to be some major changes to her therapy routine. Since her birthday is in the summer, however, we won't begin to see those changes until the fall. Why? Well, even though Emily has officially "aged-out" of the Illinois Early Intervention system, she can continue the same services through private insurance. While this costs a lot more for us in terms of having a weekly co-pay, it is worth every penny. I can't even begin to quantify the number of positive changes I see in my daughter because of the love and one-on-one attention provided by Shelly, Sue, and Angie.

One thing I have wanted to do, as the weeks of therapy have turned into months, is to keep a weekly record of her progress here on the blog. As you know, this never happened. What can I say? I'm a busy lady. So, what I've decided to do instead is to write three separate entries that provide an overview of the progress she has made and continues to make. This week will focus on speech.

Emily continues to see Miss Shelly for speech once a week for 30 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of combined Speech and OT. For the past few weeks, Shelly has been training Miss Kate, who joins in on the sessions. Here's a sampling of what they have all done together:

February 18: Verbalized "Ready, set go!" sounded like "Webby-de-doe!" using a See-and-Say.

March 11: New words in her vocabulary include "Orange, cookie, cracker, want ball, thank you, down, up, in, ring" (all thanks to PECS, the once hated now loved communication device).

March 25: Words used while playing with a tow-truck included "uh-oh, oh-no, stop, and again". (Boy toys like cars and trucks continue to fascinate her).

April 8: Spontaneous sentences while playing with a race-car ramp and Little People barn including, "How about cars? Where is cow? Get the barn". (Again these are pretty hard to understand. Shelly and I hear it but I wonder who else would?)

April 22: Starting to learn colors! (Mom is thrilled. This is black coffee, Emily. This is light brown chai tea latte. Mmmmm....)

May 5: Played with wind up toys. Able to name animals on request including dog, cat, frog, butterfly, caterpillar, lady bug, and dinosaur. Even said, "Dog, please" and a few other two word combos. Working hard at home on the word please. Other words at home include, "I like ice-cream!" and "Stuck!". (Everything that doesn't bow to her command is stuck).

May 19: Emily had a hard time being evaluated. Spontaneous language included, "Ok ma", "Right down there", "Baba drink", and "On top".

June 9: While playing barnyard bingo and Nerf rockets, Emily said, "Reach!", "It's my turn", "Look I picked yellow!", "Kate turn", "Ouch!", "There it is", "Oh look!!! A cow!". Can count to 9.

When we started with Shelly in January, Emily had a total of 15 to 20 words in her vocabulary. She barely used those. Today, the difference is amazing. She knows the names of toys, animals, and colors. She can make requests using both please and thank-you. She can tell you her opinion, as "like" and "yuck" are also mainstays of her vocabulary. Everyday she is beginning to use more sentences and less one-word requests. Pretty soon I am going to have not one, but two VERY chatty little girls!

To see more images from Emily's time with Shelly, Sue, and Kate please click on the image below.
Emily's Speech/OT Therapy

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