What a week for us! Monday was the first OT visit, and today was the first Speech Therapy visit.
If you want to know why we added speech therapy some reasons are here http://momlovesscifi.blogspot.com/2015/03/why-speech-therapy.html.
A. who is the EI coordinator came with M. the Speech Therapist today. My son just loves A. so much. He gave her a big hug again as his custom. We never met M. before so he was a little shy with her.
Since this was the first visit M. told us what we would be doing today. She did not do a formal evaluation as my son is too young to really be able to evaluate. Also, given that he has been receiving services for a year now, she can base where he is based on the assessment of her coworkers. In addition, the neurologist recommended her services. She said she will do one later, unless I am really looking for her to asses him, but based on the background that she is aware of, we qualify for services so it is not really needed. I told her I agree and we can do the official evaluation when she feels it is appropriate. M. asked me what my primary goal is and I would like my son to identify at least one object. We are not shooting for the stars here, I like to set reasonable goals. I would really just like to say, "Get the ball." for example and have him get it. Or at least look at it. M. asked if he has had a hearing test and other than the one given at birth, no he hasn't. She said she likes all her parents to get their children's hearing tested and gave me some numbers to do that. A. did say that my son had a nasty ear infection last year and before that he had about 10-12 words he said. After the ear infection, he lost all his words. Actually, after the ear infection it was a source of major concern because my son lost all his skills. He wasn't walking yet, but he stopped crawling, he stopped being interested in a sippy cup, he had a major regression. He had the flu earlier this year, and after he recovered, he didn't want to walk, he didn't want the sippy cup, and his language regressed even further. M. suggested the hearing test will see if maybe he has fluid in his middle ear. She thinks he can hear fine, but if he has fluid in his ears, he may need tubes put in. Basically the fluid can alter how children hear sounds which affects language development. She also wondered out loud (this is not her area) if fluid in the middle ear can be affecting his balance, if there is any, and that is why he doesn't want to walk after a sickness.
A. read and played with my son while M. observed and asked questions. M. asked what toys my son likes to play with. Basically he likes all the electronic toys, and all the other toys we have discussed here on this blog already. She also asked if he likes books. I told her he adores books. She said that is great. She also asked how he interacts with other children. I told her that he doesn't even when he is around them. She asked if there are any food textures he avoids and I told her not at all. He eats everything.
I did ask her about television watching. We only watch maybe two hours of children's television per day divided between Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger and Dinosaur Train. The television doesn't hold his attention long and with all our appointments I try to get his play time in as more of a priority. Also, now that the weather is nicer we go for walks in the mornings. I basically wanted to know if television viewing is detrimental to a child with language delays and/or how to make less detrimental and what should we avoid. She did answer my question, but first gave the disclaimer of not to add to his viewing habits based on what she said. She also said that studies show children who learn from a traditional teacher and teacher on an electronic medium, like an I-Pad, the traditional teacher model is still more effective. I think that is interesting since so many schools want to veer away from traditional teaching. Then she said shows like Sesame Street or Dora The Explorer actually use good language models since there is so much repetition and that is how we learn language. She said to avoid shows like Curious George that the main character uses sounds not words. She said except Curious George, most PBS shows are not detrimental to children with language delays. Again, I am not using the TV as a babysitter, nor as the primary way for him to learn speech, I just use it for a little entertainment in the mornings when I am still waking up a bit. She said music is a great way to learn language and some of her parents have enrolled their children in music classes. She also hinted that music classes would also be a way for my son to interact with other children.
Speech therapy will occur three times a month. Most of the visits will overlap with other services.
For us to work on for next time, when reading, I am to point out some picture on each page and point to it and repeat what it is. The hope is in time, he will point to that item when I say "Where is the x?". Also, we are going to work on naming physical objects, like a ball or a cup. So I will hold two objects, and name them, then ask him, "Where is the x?".
I think this service is also going to help us greatly.