February 24, 2012

Talk, talk

SB continues to make incredible progress with her speech. I had some concerns when she began preschool and we cut speech therapy down to two sessions per week. But the benefits are clearly outweighing any potential downsides.

After working for months (and months) on making the "s" sound in words, we are now hearing it regularly. No more "All by my 'relf" in this house. Plenty of "I do it all by myself!" however. SB is three, after all.

Her speech therapists are now working with SB on "s" combinations, like "sn," "sp" and "st." They are also focusing on placing the ending sounds on words. Her range has expanded greatly.

SB speaks in full, complex sentences. She makes many of the grammatical mistakes common for her age, confusing pronouns and misusing contractions, for example. But overall, her communication skills are excellent.

One thing we have noticed is that other people are able to understand her better. Most of the time. Even strangers can have a conversation with SB without having to look to us to translate. Many times even when we think she is difficult to understand, others get what she is trying to say with no issues.

That has really increased her confidence. SB is able to communicate well with her peers and with adults. And does she love to talk! With anyone who will listen and respond.

The most significant and noticeable change is that speech is now primarily effortless for SB. Whereas she used to struggle mightily to make the simplest of sounds, now the words flow. They may not sound exactly they way they are supposed to, but they come out of her mouth. And that is the goal of therapy for kids with Apraxia, at least at this point. To get to where speech is for them what it is for most of us - routine.

She has worked her heart out to get there. She does still struggle occasionally. If she is very tired, or excited, or agitated, her mouth freezes up and she has to fight to get her words out. But on the whole, she is doing marvelously. I could not be more proud of her.

She also loves to sing. We got her a karaoke machine for her birthday, she enjoys it so much. Throughout the day, I take great joy in listening to her make up songs. She's very creative, and it is just so darn cute! I will attempt to capture video and share...

I'm over at Moonfrye.com today talking about innocence. Come on over and see me!
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