Jacob hasn’t been making as many sounds as he used to at our last visit with the SLP. She says that 99% of the time with children this small they will focus all their attention on one activity of development. So, in Jacob’s case, he has been progressing with his walking and the more physical part of his therapy and so the speech and cognitive will take a backseat for a little while. She said that didn’t mean we stop working on things, it just means that I shouldn’t get upset or discouraged if he’s not showing interest or improvement.
He has been combining signs in order to better communicate, but I would really like to see him using more sounds. So that’s what we worked on today- imitating sounds and words.
The key to what I’m trying to do is to follow his lead. Instead of directing him to look at a book or a toy, I should allow him to roam and do what he is interested in and talk to him as he does it. She showed me what she was talking about, and I felt like he was ADD 🙂 ! He flitted from one thing to the next and back again every few seconds. I was sure that we were not making any progress, until he picked up her car keys; she said “KEYS!”, and he imitated her with an approximation of “KEYS”. From there he would take her cell phone in and out of her purse and say “huh” for hello as she held her fingers up to her ear and repeated the greeting “hello” back to him. He would still switch back and forth between the keys and the phone, but I think what’s more important is that he was making sounds other than “eh” and at least attempting to speak.
So over the next several weeks I’m just supposed to observe what Jacob is doing and then comment on it. By waiting for him to engage me, I’ll have more of his attention and be making more of an impression.
What I think is really nice, is that she stressed how important it is for me NOT to stress about doing it all-day, every-day. She said to just pick out one time of the day or the week that we can spend a few minutes doing this exercise and how much that will improve his ability to imitate sounds. She said another big thing is not to worry so much about the words. Learning sounds is a gateway to learning words. You have to master one before you can do the other. So, if all he’s doing is saying “moo” when he sees a cow and not acutally saying “cow” that is a great step, in her eyes.