Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Speech Therapy - WaWa

Ryann had her first speech therapy appointment on Thursday. The therapist, Sue, came to our home and did her magic... Since this was our first appointment I think she did more observing than teaching, but Ryann had fun nonetheless. They played together for 45 minutes - anything Ryann wanted to do - puzzles, shape sorters, books, anything. Ryann was in her glory, I think, having undivided attention from someone and also learning at the same time. She was soooo happy:)

Sue asked me if Ryann always speaks with her mouth really tight and virtually closed. I never realized it was a problem, but yes she does. We have always found this to be an incredibly cute and endearing little thing that she does and have labeled it her "impy look". Apparently its not a good thing. Sue believes she is having trouble coordinating the muscles in her mouth to make the proper sounds. Because of this we'll probably have to start from a very basic level in teaching her sounds first, then words. For example, she won't try to teach her to say Water, but instead we'll have to start with the basic sound and teach her Wa Wa.

(Note: I am very much NOT a baby talk person. I do not speak like that to my kids. I have never called an object by anything other than its proper name - bottles are not baba's, water is NOT wawa, dogs are not doggies, birds are not birdies. I won't speak that way and I don't really want my kids to learn to speak that way. I understand that it might be difficult for Ryann to say Nora, and she may begin by saying Nona, however, I will do everything in my power to not reinforce that word in her life. A conversation may go something like this: Ryann pointing to a picture of Nora: "Nona." Jana: "Right, thats Nora." and we go on. I don't demand correct pronunciation, however, I will not speak like my 2 year old - make sense? So because of this, I struggle with the fact that I may hear someone actively teaching Ryann to say WaWa instead of Water. I do understand what Sue is saying, however, and will go with the flow.)

Ryann was not verbal as a baby or even as she became a toddler. Right now at 5 months Georgia babbles and chatters in her crib or at her toys. Ryann never did that as a baby. At 7 months the doctor asked me if Ryann was babbling a lot - my answer was "not at all." Last summer we were at my in-laws house with Greg and Michelle and Tessa. Tessa was 6 or 7 months old and was making mamamama and dadadada sounds. Ryann was just over a year and was not making any sounds at all. Since she did not develop (verbally) in the same timeline as a typical child, we need to start with the basics and help her develop along that same timeline now - in other words, we can't just pick up where she should be now, we have to start from the beginning. Sue also reassured me that she sees no other developmental issues to be concerned about - which confirms what the previous evaluators have told us and what my observations have been.

So we will begin with WaWa - or Sue will begin with wawa. And I will grit my teeth and be patient while my Sweets learns to speak:)


Jen 2:00 PM  

Better watch out or else you'll have a doggie and some fishies and a raccoonie. But what do you call a dead animal! :-)

Jen 4:49 PM  

Yes, my older 2 loved dog food, but alas, our dear Ashley has joined some of your dearly departed guests. So no more dog food. :-(

Doni Brinkman 3:02 AM  

Welcome to the world of therapy. I get pretty tired of someone else running my day, writing my rules, getting after my kids, demanding more (or less) of them than I do, and pointing out all the things I do wrong to contribute to the problem (never mind that they are probably right ;). I am up to 3 now and I have speech on hold. Actually Tanner needs it more than Ty ironically. Some days you just want to throw your hands up in the air. When the ST was working with Ty last year I was having similar thoughts about their methods. I am glad Nora likes her though! That makes ALL the difference in the world I have found.

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