Monday, October 7, 2013

Speech Therapy

I haven't talked a lot about Claire's speech lately so I thought I would give an update. Claire has always had a decent sized vocabulary. Always says the required amount of words for her age plus quite a few. Problem was age 2 rolled around and she wasn't putting any words together. Pediatrician said no big deal it's still early give her a while. So we did. 2.5 rolled around and she had added a lot of words, but still no 2 words together. We decided to get her evaluated.  She said too many words to qualify for the state program. After getting her hearing checked just to be sure the ENT referred us to a private speech therapist. This was in April. In early May we had the evaluation appointment with the private therapist. Long about that time she put her first 2 words together. I will never forget what she said either. It was when we were in the process of putting our house on the market and we were trying to get her excited about moving. We had been telling her we were going to buy a new house and how much fun it would be. One Saturday  morning she said "Mommy, buy a house"? Cue the hallelujah chorus! She started saying a few more phrases, but still no where near where she should be for being 31 months. The private therapist put her expressive speech at about 24 months and her receptive speech closer to 3.5. She told us she felt like she would eventually catch up even if we didn't do therapy, but it was our call. Since we had already met our insurance deductible for the year (having a baby will do that) we decided to move forward with therapy. It has been the best $18 a week I have spent. Yes, I would rather be spending the money putting her in dance or tumbling,but learning to speak correctly is so much more important.

She had her first session in June when school got out. The drastic improvement over the last 4 months has been amazing. Even her therapist commented last week how pleased she is with her improvement in such a relatively short time. She said "I think she just needed a good kick in the pants". Have I mentioned how phenomenal her therapist is? Claire loves her weekly 30 minutes of play with Miss Heather. I am so proud of how hard my baby girl has been working. It has been a lot of work for all of us. Using the techniques the therapist gives us and putting them to use at home. I tend to anticipate her needs without making her ask. It has been an entire switch for me to make her put forth the effort to convey exactly and properly (for her age) what she needs even if it takes longer to complete the task. 

She is now consistently saying 3 and 4 word phrases for everything with 5 words emerging some. Some of the stuff she says is hilarious. It's like getting a key to unlock my little girl's mind. She had always been goofy and a character, but getting words to go with it has been amazing. Every day is something new. We have a ways to go yet and probably another 6 months of therapy to stay caught up, but I am so proud of my little girl.

They said 3 year olds ask a ton of questions a day. I never thought I would get to the day of a million questions. We have arrived! I answer the same questions over and over again each day, but I am so thankful to answer them. One of our favorite things/questions she says is "what is that noise"? Her inflection is funny and dramatic. I caught a clip of her asking earlier today. Baby brother was the culprit in the background. :-)

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