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Talk to me

December 13, 2007

IT Boy has started speech therapy.  Two months ago, his occupational therapist (OT) recommended that he be evaluated for speech delays.  Some of our shared concerns were feeding delays due to his hypotonia/low tone and his not pointing.  During his subsequent speech evaluation, I could clearly see that he had many more delays than just those, and not surprisingly, he was approved for therapy 2 days a week. 

Today was his second session.  His therapist uses the Hanen Program called It Takes Two To Talk. I don’t know too much about it yet, but it seems to mesh with how I want to communicate with the boy.  One evaluator we saw early on in the process discouraged me from anticipating his needs.  For instance, when he wants his bottle, I can tell because he goes “mmmmm” and flaps his hands.  The evaluator suggested that I wait as long as I can before I give him his bottle to encourage him to either point or “sign” a request for the bottle.  That seemed plain annoying to me.  I know he wants the bottle, I’m going to give him the friggin’ bottle.  R., his current speech therapist, said that when you show him the bottle, engage him in a conversation, however one sided it might be.  “Hey IT Boy, here’s your bottle…do you want your bottle?  Do you want to drink from your bottle?” and then give him the bottle.  Her techniques seem more flexible, and more in line with how I want to respond to the boy.  I’ll write more when I understand the method more (how ’bout Hanen For Dummies, anyone?) but for now, I’m happy. 

It’s so crucial to have any therapist working with your child clearly explain both her philosophies and techniques, but also to articulate her expectations for your participation, both during the session and as follow up outside of session times.  You need to continue and reinforce what’s being done in therapy for maximum results.  So many parents, according to my therapists, think it’s break time for them and don’t get involved.  Worse, they have no idea what’s being done, so they can’t replicate it later.   Also, you need to make sure your other caregivers, including your spouse/lifepartner/whatever (that’s you, Mr IT) are on board as well. 

The best part of speech today was unscripted.  Boy was playing with a tape dispenser, and R decided to use it as a problem solving exercise.  “The tape is sticky, how do you get it off your hands?”  Boy contemplated it for a moment, and flung it down the cleavage of his therapist.  Way to go, IT Boy!  That’s going for the gold!

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 30, 2007 1:15 pm

    It sounds like you’re on the right track with IT Boy! Kudos to you for being so involved with his speech. I’m a speech therapist and have a speech therapy blog where I talk about ways of helping our kids with their speech. Hopefully it may give any added support you might find helpful.

    good luck!


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