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Things to do with verbally apraxic toddler while teaching sibs?


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Ok, I'm finally realizing this has been guilt-tripping me and shifting our dynamic (making it hard for me to get schoolwork done with dd11) more than I realized. Any other toddler, you'd just put on a video or give them toys to play quietly. But if I do that with ds2, I'm failing to make him speak, I'm leaving him to play independently, the very thing the SLP told me to avoid! I can have him sit for about an hour in the high chair and work with him while I help dd with her work, no problem. But she really needs more school time with me. The only options are change her curriculum or change how I work with him. Or put him in front of independent stuff and stop feeling guilty. Any suggestions?

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Well just to get my own thread going (or if anyone later searches and is curious), someone wrote me privately suggesting work stations. I thought about it and realized this fit with something the SLP had told me to do with putting the toys up. I can set up 10+ boxes with options, he can use his words to ask for them (speech routine), and then he can play independently. So he's not going entirely without speech during that time, but I'm also finding a way to get more schoolwork done. I just needed a little help to see that. Thanks! :)

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You mean the dvd? Yes, we have this. But I think I read into the SLP's instructions to an extreme. I used to let him watch it and STOPPED because she said he shouldn't be playing independently. See what I mean? I got myself in a pickle, lol. I'm feeling a little more balanced now. You're right, that dvd could go in one of those bins as an option. And as I thought overnight, I realized there are whole categories with breath support and core strength/muscle tone that we could work on with independent activities that would be beneficial. I just wasn't seeing that. I was thinking if *I* wasn't working with him, then he'd just be playing with his trucks and construction things and whatnot.

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You mean the dvd? Yes, we have this. But I think I read into the SLP's instructions to an extreme. I used to let him watch it and STOPPED because she said he shouldn't be playing independently. See what I mean? I got myself in a pickle, lol. I'm feeling a little more balanced now. You're right, that dvd could go in one of those bins as an option. And as I thought overnight, I realized there are whole categories with breath support and core strength/muscle tone that we could work on with independent activities that would be beneficial. I just wasn't seeing that. I was thinking if *I* wasn't working with him, then he'd just be playing with his trucks and construction things and whatnot.

 

LOL! It is good to bounce around ideas, I have done similar things with other things.

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I remember that feeling of Must Talk As Much As Possible.

 

If it is an hour of screen time and not really more during the day then I would be ok with it. If he can be in the high chair for an hour and then in front of a disc and then doing other stuff that seems like a good balance.

 

At that age, DS2 was getting tons of EI services and I did a lot school with ds1 during that time. Then, if I did need to put ds2 in front of 'blues clues' it didn't feel like a big deal.

 

I did always take some time with ds2 after school to do some speech work. We would look at some books and talk about the pictures etc. At 2 we might have been doing a lot of just trying to get him to verbalize, so nature walks with 'what do you see', singing games/books, finger plays, etc.

 

Don't let the guilt get to you too much.

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Ok, I'm finally realizing this has been guilt-tripping me and shifting our dynamic (making it hard for me to get schoolwork done with dd11) more than I realized. Any other toddler, you'd just put on a video or give them toys to play quietly. But if I do that with ds2, I'm failing to make him speak, I'm leaving him to play independently, the very thing the SLP told me to avoid! I can have him sit for about an hour in the high chair and work with him while I help dd with her work, no problem. But she really needs more school time with me. The only options are change her curriculum or change how I work with him. Or put him in front of independent stuff and stop feeling guilty. Any suggestions?

Just some thoughts: What about putting toys in front of him that encourage imaginary conversation, like Little People figures? How about children's music cd's (audio without visual) to encourage singing?

 

And/or can you keep ds near you while you work with dd using the current curriculum while somehow including your son? How about reading the textbooks aloud with him there? And does he still nap? Can you move some of the more intense work with your daughter to do at naptime or even after his bedtime?

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Merry, you know we were in the store today and he was singing along with a little toy that made music! I was trying to figure out how to do this at home. You're right, he loves the children singing dvd we have but DOESN'T sing with it. Much better to have an audio only that he would sing with. There are some specially made for apraxics too, because they slow down the words.

 

Yes, we may have to have a chat with dd about altering our school times. I may have been too in the box on that.

 

We'll see how tomorrow's VT evaluation goes, and then I'll know what our scheduling is looking like!

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Merry, you know we were in the store today and he was singing along with a little toy that made music! I was trying to figure out how to do this at home. You're right, he loves the children singing dvd we have but DOESN'T sing with it. Much better to have an audio only that he would sing with. There are some specially made for apraxics too, because they slow down the words.

 

Yes, we may have to have a chat with dd about altering our school times. I may have been too in the box on that.

 

We'll see how tomorrow's VT evaluation goes, and then I'll know what our scheduling is looking like!

That is so cute!!! I bet he was adorable singing with that toy! :)

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Oh, yes, get those CDs for apraxic kids! I had Time to Sing 1 &2 for my little guy and they were GREAT!! We loved them. I think there was also a christmas carol one, lol.

 

Is he getting EI services? My son had speech, OT and PT. He is almost 6 and still gets all of those. Oh, and when he was three he was in a theraputic playschool that was run by the EI person. It was great for allowing him to talk to his peers in a safe space.

 

2yr old is juuuuust starting to make the little people talk to each other. My son didn't do that for a really long time. I am pretty sure he was doing it in his head. I would do a lot of "what are you doing?" when he was too quiet, just to get him to talk.

 

 

With apraxia, you can't forget the muscle tone issues. Make sure there are plenty of opportunities for him to move. Riding toys, getting up and down to show you stuff, etc, etc, all have to be encouraged. Some apraxic kids just hate to move because it so much harder for them. We got a mini-trampoline with a big handle and it comes out every winter (after christmas) for boys to jump.

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You know I've thought about calling EI again. I suppose they would even come to my house. I don't know. We just sort of don't like the government in our house, kwim? What we're doing we're doing privately. But admittedly, the EI person would give me a break and a bit more time with dd. Maybe that would be good for us to pursue. I have taken him in to dd's OT sessions a few times where the OT was kind enough to watch him. He is, on a lot of issues, MUCH stronger than dd. Maybe littles aren't her specialty and another OT who does more little little kids would see it a different way? Anyways, she mentioned a lot of different categories that to her he is fine on right now. He's just not so intense and sensory needy the way dd was.

 

Yes, we're definitely keyed into the physical thing, lol. We have a mini-trampoline, and I'm going to get him a hoppity ball. He's a pretty physical, active boy really. He LOVES to be outside and run and play. He doesn't appear to have the physical apraxia issues, just speech.

 

I'll have to think about the EI thing. I really don't know. I don't know what he would qualify or what we'd want. If they came to our house a couple times a week, that might actually be a boon, just because it would be less guilt for me. On the other hand, PROMPT seems to be going very, very well. We're kind of moving into this stage where she just generally wants him to TALK, as in try to make sounds for things. He can point at something and make a sound (initial consonant, that type thing) with some encouragement. It's a lot of progress, considering where he started! It might give a regular speech person something they could work with, even with their limited tools. (Prompt of course being the ultimate, because he can go from nothing to something.)

 

I'll go check out the cd's...

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I had a wonderful experience with Early intervention. It is run by the health department so your case worker is a public health nurse. I have a very good friend who is a public health nurse and they are my heros.

 

Yes, they come to your house for all meetings. They come to the house for all therapy. They are not CPS, they don't look in your fridge or judge the mess. Nothing like that. I was very worried but it is FREE and at least the therapists I worked with were wonderful. Admitedly, I live in a small, progressive college town and we tend to have people living/working here who are very good at what they do. For example,he is getting speech therapy and there is a college here that just happens to be a premiere school for speech therapy. It also offers OT and PT as undergrad programs. So, we have lots of very good people in town. His first EI speech therapist was going to get certified in PROMPT but it didn't happen at the last min. That was ok. She had some PROMPT training and incorporated quite a bit into his early therapy.

 

I have heard of people living in more rural or poorer areas whose experience with EI is very different.

 

I was very worried about calling them but it was also my only option. My insurance won't cover any speech therapy and it was 80$ an hour. Considering my son had three 45 min speech, two OT and two PT sessions a week, I could not afford to pay for that. It was like pre-school only they bring it to him. The therapists brought toys and did crafts and all that stuff that makes me crazy. I set them up in the living room while I did school with my older son. On most days we had at least 40 mins to work in peace. Some days it was 90 mins. I got really spoiled.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My 4 year old will be 5 in a few months, he has Apraxia, we did EI from 2-3 and at 3 years old he was put into preschool. The first year I only allowed him to go twice per week because he was still so little. This year he has bumped up to 4 days per week. We didn't have any options with insurance, and don't have the money to pay for private therapy. Just doing these things, my son went from maybe 10 words at 2 1/2 years old, to ...I don't know, he can say most anything he wants to now. He still has some sounds he can't make, and he substitutes others for them, like he can't say L or R very well still, but those are harder sounds anyway. He now talks all.day.long.! We usually understand what he is saying, but sometimes it soudns like gibberish, and now he can describe what he is saying, so we can figure it out. He is now singing songs, and when he plays, he talks out loud, and it's adorable to hear him playing like that.

 

I know when he was two I was so afraid of the diagnosis, and worried about what would happen, but I've been so pleased with his progress. When I hear other kids his age talk, he isn't nearly as behind them as he used to be. Especially other boys. I just wanted to give you some encouragement, that therapy and time will make a dramatic difference, and try not to worry so much. :001_smile: In a couple years you'll wish he'd be quiet sometimes!

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My son had speech delays and someone at the time recommended teaching him sign language. I blew that off because I thought it would further delay his speech. If I had to go back, I would use the Signing Times dvds, which are readily available at my library. It would have really helped him with his frustration and now that I know more, I do not believe it would have inhibited speech development but possibly fostered it.

 

How about a few mornings at preschool? Or is he too young? That was a great experience for my son.

 

Lisa

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fiddledeedee--Thanks for the encouragement! I've been trying to let go of the emotions, and I am doing better. He's making good progress with the therapy, though it is hard to imagine him actually talkative, lol. We get babbling (disconnected sounds), pointing, and a bit of jibberish (unintelligible attempts at words). So we've actually made huge progress from where he was 3 months ago! 3 months ago we had nothing.

 

In the meantime I've been researching and found a ton of things he can do during our schooltime, everything from TimetoSing cd's to animal counters to a play tent to... I'm going to try to set up something like workboxes (gotta start early, hehe!) to see if that makes it easier for me to keep him going. That was the trouble. You can have stuff, but then *you* have to get it out and get it going. I need him to be able to ask and move onto the next thing. Just haven't figured out what kind of storage for the workboxes (drawers or a laundry basket of the day or what??).

 

Lisa, absolutely we're watching the Signing Time videos!!!!!! He adores them. He doesn't do much tv otherwise, so they're a treat. We try to watch them once a day. However I really try to watch them with him. Otherwise he ends up signing stuff that we don't know what he means. And yes, the SLP explained to us that getting a sign initiated worked the same part of the brain as getting a spoken word initiated and that we should welcome both. He's so funny though, because he'll pull something out of the blue, just because he can do them and enjoys them. So then you're scratching your head whether he means orange or goat or something totally different. :)

 

I'll keep the preschool option in the back of my mind. It was have pros and cons (sick kids, cost, etc.). At this point I'm putting money into making our school time work better, with lots of new toys and busying options. Hopefully that will work.

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My dd is 2 1/2 and has a speech delay due to a genetic disorder. It's hard, but one thing to keep in mind is that they NEED independent play at this age. It's very, very healthy for you to give your child time to play quiety. It's hard, because you feel like you're wasting time that your child could be developing speech skills, but independent play helps them to create their mind's "voice," and helps them to develop imaginative play skills. The SLP's don't know everything... really, I've been shocked at a lot of the stuff ours doesn't know or has completely wrong.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm getting a pretty good handle on verbal dyspraxia at this stage. We believe I had it, but got intensive speech therapy so even though I didn't say a word till four yo, I was mostly fine by six. Ds9, dd5 and ds2 are all verbally dyspraxic. Only dd8 is ok. None have oral or motor dyspraxia.

 

Ds9 and dd5 were diagnosed at the same time 2.5 years ago. This made a huge difference, as prior to that the therapy had been standard and the multiple therapists we had in the public system really didn't know what to do. You already have a diagnosis, so that is a big hurdle. Congratulations on working it out so early!

 

Ds9 said his first words at three. They were incomprehensible, and he had already had 1.5 years of speech by that time, that really got him no where. At seven when he had the diagnosis, we ramped up appropriate therapy and he did about 30-60 minutes daily. It took about a year, and his speech was fine. That said, by eight I was getting really anxious. Due to poor quality speech therapy and delayed diagnosis, early speech with him just went around focusing on enhancing language and phonemic awareness.

 

Dd5 said her first words at four. By five, her speech was perfect. At 2 she was assessed as severely delayed, too much so to tell exactly how delayed she was. Now at 5 her speech is fine.

 

Ds2 tries hard, he copies his sisters phonics and can get the sounds in isolation. His attempts at words follow patterns, but that's it. He isn't having therapy at the moment, one because we are traveling, but also after having gone through it myself, and with two other kids I'm not quite so anxious at the moment. So, I get to the part that is probably more relevant...

 

Our wonderful speech therapist that finally diagnosed the oldeer 2 told me at this age to keep it short and sweet. She was a mum, so I think that made a difference with her understanding reality of working with kids. She said to jtust work in five minute blocks. In the under three group, she just worked with promoting speech. It's really hard to work with developing phonetics and sounds without speech already present. This was a lot easier than it sounds; observe the child playing and use single words to label what he is interested in. This IS independent play with mum labeling things. Kid pushes train around and you say "train...up...train...slow...fast". Or whatever he is doing. Never ever try and change his focus, just label what he is doing. This stage really continues right through until speech is normal, it is developing language. Slowly as his speech improves you can change to two words, but that is not till a lot later.

 

It was only once the kids were talking a bot that we worried about sounds too much. I see you are using prompt which was highly recommended to us, but I never used it. We used cued articulation so I could do it at home. It's really good, and as a plus, dd5 actually cues herself with every phonogram now she is learning how to read.

 

I have found that it is not feasible to not allow any independent play. Instead, I have used audiobooks or talk back radio or nursery rhymes on the stereo so that there is still background language stimulation. You need to keep your own sanity. We don't let the kids watch tv, so I can't comment about that.

 

I find that there have been many times I've been teary and down. Dyspraxia is the reason we are not having any more kids. I know there is no known gene, but mum and 3 out of 4 kids is pretty bad odds.

 

I nearly forgot to mention, but I would disagree about daycare or Kinder with these kids until they aree talking. My experience has been that it's made them withdraw into themselves and talk less. I did have government funding for someone to come into my house threee or four days a week for a year whe dd5 and ds9 were then getting 30-60 minutes daily of home based therapy. It was childcare, but gave that extra pair of hands. We combined public and private speech for dd5, so she got two 1 hour sessions with a speech therapist weekly. We went overkill, but I think it did help.

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my son just turned 5 & has verbal dyspraxia. He was dx at 2.5.

I second the Apraxia geared CD's. My son would get very frustrated at songs other kids could sing , but they were too fast. I have a CD from Apraxia Kids & it is VERY good..very slow paced.

Anyway, a few years ago, I felt very hopeless, but it's been amazing how much he has progressed, going from 10% intelligible to 90% in 3 years! There is hope & I wouldn't worry too much about a few min of tv time :)

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Gypsie, that's really kind of you to be so open. Indeed, at this point, although we have wanted more kids, I really don't know how strong our courage is. One more would be nice, but after that, I don't know. That's kind of shocking to hear you have three with it. I've talked with another lady who has one apraxic and one deaf, though I don't know if those are related. I hate to say I dread how hard the future may be with homeschooling him, but I do. Maybe it will be a non-issue, I don't know.

 

Prompt can be done at home, and in fact the therapist shows you how to do the things with your dc. I attended the parent workshop, so that worked us through the thought process and methodology even more. The therapist brings a lot more to it, with more sounds, more ability to tweak the sounds, but I like that I can do part at home. On that tweaking, for instance my ds's "more" was turning into "moo" with too much rounding. So they have a prompt for that where you retract the sides of the mouth to prevent the excess rounding. It's just very fascinating. Once she got him able to say single words with prompts, she moved into two and three word phrases. This took a couple of months. It has been fabulous. There's a big spread between what he can say with prompts (with the therapist) and what he can initiate entirely on his own (bye, mama, dada), but it's coming. We've progressed from babbling (trying out sounds) to jibberish (unintelligible attempts at speech). It's such a joy to hear him scream out some irate, slurred mess that you really can't interpret when he's angry, since it's way more than we ever used to get before, lol.

 

We're finding a happy medium in our homeschooling right now. I found I needed to make a schedule for each dc and put them parallel so I knew what I was doing with the one while working with the other. It's kind of rough right now getting it all going, but we'll get there.

 

I got the Apraxia kids cd's from the library, and they ARE wonderful! He enjoys them a lot.

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Hi Elizabeth, I have found that on the plus side as far as disabilities go that once you have got them 'normal' they progress from there. It is not a lifelong disability in that respect. However, I lived in France for a year and found the same difficulties again though again in another language.

 

HS hasn't been too much harder with the dyspraxic kiddos than dd8 without dyspraxia. It took a bit longer for ds9 to click with reading, but he reads well. My ongoing fear is the crossover with dyslexia and dyspraxia, but with pure phonics I can hopefully avoid this.

 

If your ds is only 2 and already putting together two and three words it sounds like your 'battle' will not be prolonged. Ds9 was 3 when he said his first word, dd5 was 4. They both talk age-appropriately now. Ds2 is always trying, he has a different personality and tries so hard. He has said mum and man clearly, so I'm pleased he is not quite so severe. He has only just turned 2 in November.

 

Since your ds2 is already attempting two or three word phrases, I would continue with your 5 minute bursts of therapy during the day, label,ing everything for him with single words as frequently as possible and making sure he can frequently hear nursery rhymes and audiobooks. I would politely disagree with no individual play. It is not emotionally or physically possible to play all day, and if he wants to, some time will not hurt. Remember, for these kids talking is hard, and frustrating.

 

It doze get better. Ds9 and dd5 never pause for a breath they talk so much. Dd is only quiet when she sleeps, ds9 is only quiet to read and sleep. The only impact it has on schooling is reading as there is a 50% overlap with dyslexia. However, it is phonics only here, no sight words or sight syllables. So far, I have no dyslexics.

 

Dyslexia is the only crossover condition I know of. I have heard it is rare to have only isolated verbal dyspraxia, but in our family it predominates. I have had everything tested while we searched for the diagnosis. I just figure that unknown gene must be a dominant one.

Edited by GypsieFamily
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Yes, it's the dyslexia I was referring to. Your comment about the difficulty with sounds for a foreign language is interesting. I'll have to keep that in mind. Ds doesn't initiate those 2-3 word phrases on his own. It's only when you sit there, helping him and prompting him, pushing him, that he will work through them. And of course they don't sound exactly like what he's trying to say either, lol. I was just saying that there's a difference in the order and way PROMPT does things. Yes, at age 2 he had 2 sounds and 1 word (mama). He is now almost 2 1/2, and with several months of therapy under his belt he will initiate confidently bye, mama, and try to say more. Anything more you get out of him only when you sit down with him and work him. She labeled him as moderately apraxic. And yes, we're hopeful there are no cognitive or other issues involved. At this point there do not appear to be.

 

Your idea of 5 minute sessions is very interesting. I'll have to keep that in mind. I try to do little talking with him throughout the day and have the goal of a longer session, though I don't always get to that. The little times though definitely add up!

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The five minute sessions were the suggestion of our speech therapist. She recommended it because you could do five minutes intense therapy 6+ times daily grabbing it when you could whereas 30 minutes in one chunk is overwhelming for toddler and too much to find for mum. Five minutes is usually more intense because you aren't dealing with attention issues, and it's easier to say 5 minites than to put aside longer chunks. Particularly when you have two kids or more. With ds at seven, I used to make him do it I the car. A 30 minute car trip would give us 2 of our blocks, as I gave at least 10 minute breaks. Of course, at doesn't work without a toddler.

 

Other issues may or not come up. We thought there was a fine motor delay, but had it assessed for dd5 and the ot told us to stop letting ds 9 and dd8 doing everything for her. Aster a year of therapybshe was actually ahead with fine motor. You are already well versed in phonetic methods. I found when it came time to teach reading, that so much of the phonemic awareness, syllabillification (spelling?) etc had been covered for years in speech therapy. Even single letter sounds as the b was always written below the picture etc etc. I just cued the written letter in the same way I had. Dd5 always cues herself. Ds9 reads VERY well.

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Well that's very interesting, and you're right, the speech may cross over into early reading skills! I'll have to think about that, because it's definitely something we can work toward. I taught my dd to read with SWR, so I already have all that knowledge of the sounds, etc. It's just a matter of carrying it over. Hmm.

 

PROMPT is a little different, because when we work we have to be hands-on. What I try to do is sit down for 30-40 minutes with him and talk, using the methodology our SLP uses. We have a whole sequence, where you have predictable dialogue to elicit the target words: Do you want school time? (ds: yeah) open closet to chose toy, Do you want puzzle (ds: yeah, p...) try to get him to make attempt at word, keep going, sit down together, put him on lap and restrain him from playing his way, haha, Then we start into talking, going through things to elicit our target words in the play. So for instance I have a Playmobil barn with lots of creatures. We'll narrow it down to just a few and create lots of dialogues where the bunnies HOP UP, IN, eat MORE lettuce, here comes MAMA, ride the PONY, the pants are GREEN, the shirt is BLUE, and so on. We usually play and talk till he is worn out, about 30-40 minutes. Then we might sing and go watch a Signing Time video.

 

We steal lots of talk throughout the day, but it never extends beyond YEAH, BYE, or MAMA if I don't have my hands on him. Even to get UP I have to help him at this point. But sometimes he'll surprise us and do UP or MORE out of the blue with someone else. You just never know, lol.

 

Well thanks for sharing. It's all been very interesting! You're a lot more hopeful than I've felt. :)

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Wow, I never realized PROMPT was quite so time intensive. No wonder you are getting stressed trying to schedule that. I was feeling very guilty about dd8 as she was missing out when I was working 1-2 hrs daily with speech for siblings, and had a newborn. I was so stressed and miserable about dd, but ds9 and ds2 have just been 'oh, yeah, well, got thisnhurdle and we'll work on it'. Difference? One, I think dd I went, oh no, not again, I don't have the time for two kids in therapy with dyspraxia. Secondly, I demanded much more help and was In a position financially to pay for help with dd: this had a two fold effect of giving her the help she needed, but focusing my attention on it a lot.

 

I have found the child's personality makes a huge difference. Ds9 was horrible to deal with. Still tries to negotiate his way out of everything. Once he started talking, he would just try and tell you long winded stories. Even to he therapists, some could keep on it and some couldn't. Dd5 was an angel, so cooperative, but got very down about it, but wouldn't take a risk. Ds2 doesn't care. He is happy just to try, and will mimic everything (abysmal, and only comprehensible because it is mimicked) and will just keep trying the word over and over again trying to get it right. I think he will be easier to work with (not as severe, easier temperament to work with on this). I had a bee in my bonnet with ds9 that speech was something he had to do and I wouldn't bribe him; dd5 had lolls practically thrown at her. Dd though was severe, dss are only moderate. Personality and lolls make a huge difference.

 

It gets easier to do the therapy as you progress, that first stage is the hardest. There are times that are harder than others. There were times that I wondered if dd5 would ever be mainstream, now I wonder how I questioned that. It's a lot of really really hard work. But, if you have to have a disability, at least this is one that is correctable.

 

It is a lot of hard work. It is correctable. I'm up beat about it at the moment because I've finally had a year without speech therapy after having speech since ds9 was 17 months old. I tend to get most anxious around 3 to 4.

 

I have used swr, too. All that phonemic awareness, syllables, sounding out words etc etc is all covered in speech therapy. These kids are the epitome of over learning these basics. They know that f/v. T/d, b/p, s/z, w/wh etc are voiced, unvoiced pairs. I can correct dd by saying "turn your voice on/off" and it makes perfect sense (great for explaining Ed past tense ending :001_smile: ).

 

Just one it her thing, to be eligible for EI here you have to have two delays. I picked up on fine motor to get dd into EI, but as it was induced by havin two willing sibling-servants, that was corrected within months. She was in the door though, so they didn't discharge her. Community health centers here often do public speech. I can remember having to go to the local primary school though as a preschooler in boston(that was 86-87, so it may have changed since then :) )

 

Good luck, it is a really long road, but it is doable. Instead of considering possible difficulties with learning how to read, remember that he will have this incredible phone,ic awareness.

 

 

 

 

 

It's not as helpless as it can feel.

Edited by GypsieFamily
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Oh that's just how I like to schedule it. It's not like PROMPT requires you to do that. You have one session a week (one hour) of PROMPT therapy, that's it. Everything else is whatever you decide to do at home. So with that, just once a week and our efforts at home, he has gone from nothing to saying multi-word phrases. It's really astounding. I don't mind the at home stuff. If I didn't, he'd get lost in the shuffle of teaching big sis and never get any of his own attention. It's good for him.

 

Yes, thanks to you I'm thinking MUCH more positively about it. The SLP did an alphabet puzzle with him today in fact. I'm seeing how this will all come together. I also have a picture dictionary I want to use more faithfully with him.

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Hey Gypsie, have you seen these?http://www.expresstrain.org/products.htm They're the Express Train cd's, specifically made for apraxia. Our SLP recommended them today, said he's ready for them and that she really likes them. This link should take you to the page with samples. On their home page they have a more thorough explanation of what they're trying to do in each one.

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Do you have an iphone? I saw an app used at a conference this summer which would repeat what a child said/sang-the music therapist used it for kids with speech issues by teaching them songs that had that call/response, and then having them "lead" the little cartoon character on the phone. It was great because it was encouraging them to sing independently-and a lot of the time the kids didn't even realize they were doing it. I can't remember what it was called, but if you search for "repeat speech" you'll probably find it.

 

Another thing to remember-if he were in a special needs preschool class, there's no WAY an adult would be available to interact/play with him exclusively. He'd have to be by himself, or with other children who probably wouldn't be terribly interactive, some of the time so the teachers could work with other children.

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Those CDs look fantastic. I wish everything wasn't in denominations of $100. Ds2 loves singing, and tries to sing along with dd8 and dd5 to nursery rhymes that they are forever playing and listening to. I think of it as the 'babble' that he never did (my 3 dyspraxic kids and I never babbled, my other dd who was completely fluent by 2 did).

 

Your speech therapist sounds like she is doing hinges a little differently to what we have had to do. We have always had it emphasized that frequency matters far more and daily practice is important. Much easier than on the parent doing it your way, and it seems to be working for you.

 

Also, I was thinking about an earlier example you gave. Are you working on vowels? We have found that the vowel distortions are not worked on till the consonants are all worked on (we've had to do every consonant). Luckily, there may be minor accents but nothing that has ever needed working on with vowels.

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Dmmetler-I've been thinking about getting an ipod touch, and the interesting reasons keep growing! Definitely I'm going to get SOMETHING. It's just a question of whether I'll wait for the new ipad or get an itouch or what.

 

Gypsy-It's just sort of different. Traditional speech therapy is multiple times a week. If I did that, we'd be driving an hour each way, 3 times a week, too much! This way I take one longer trip once a week and practice at home. If you did nothing at home it wouldn't be ideal, but it's not like there's some timed homework requirement. And it's not like you wouldn't talk to your child anyway. It just gives you a therapeutic way to do it. I worked with him all one week on getting the /p/ part of UP (his jaw wouldn't close), and by the end we could see progress! That made me feel good. I don't mind. It's actually sort of fun and special, our special time together.

 

There's a long video about PROMPT on youtube btw. Deborah Hayden totally explains it, shows examples, etc. PROMPT doesn't work on isolated sounds but puts them immediately into words. So as soon as they have something to work with (/a/, /u/, /b/, /m/, anything), they start making little words: up, bam, mama, ba-ba (for bye-bye), etc. And as the jaw control improves they progress into saying little two and three word phrases with those little words. It's nothing amazing: me do more, put up, more... That type thing. So at home we're just kind of creative with it throughout the day, finding things he can saying using the sounds he has.

 

Prior to PROMPT my ds made no sounds when playing and could/would not imitate. So if you did a cow says moo, you got no imitation, no response. By Halloween (within a month) he could say Boo, and by Christmas he was saying HoHo for Santa. At this point he can say small phrases. He doesn't INITIATE them mind you, but if you require them for him to get what he wants, he can now say them. That just means they're still difficult. So for instance he can say Me wan wa-wa, more moo (milk), etc. It's just simple stuff. The SLP's deal was just for us to require speech for everything throughout the day. So anything he wants, he needs to use his words and sounds for. At first even a jaw drop vowel would do. Now it's more typically YEAH.

 

So it's not like he says MORE than what I've described to you. What I've listed here is about the extent of it. But we're pretty pleased, since it's actual progress. He now makes sound throughout the day. Sometimes I worry about the accent thing, but I'm chosing not to go there in my mind.

 

Maybe you could get the cd's through inter-library loan? I totally hear you on the expense. When our OT said she wanted $105 a session, I was appalled. I thought $100 was enough, lol.

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Speech here was $120 a session, I'd have been happy wi $105 :)

 

Is that you-tube video enough to get started with it?

 

Your ds sounds a bit more like my first two: they refused to make any sounds at all. Ds2 tries so hard to mimic everything, and will join in songs. Eg he will see a dog and some weird noise, I'll model dog, and he'll try to mimic it, then I'll model it again, and he'll attempt it again. This can go on for 20 + times while he works really hard at getting the right sounds. He will also attempt to sing along to nursery rhymes, even though it's not comprehensible. He is an easier chid to work with on it since he wants to.

 

The accent thing is not much of an issue. It's only weak. I still have a few words I stumble over (vegetable) but I get around it by only ever saying veggies. No big deal. My husband has sat there for ages trying to get me to say it properly, and laughing at me. People will ask me where my accent comes from and I tell them it's australian, with US, French, and Dutch thrown in as I've lived in those countries. Ds9 sometimes gets it, but that I think is because he articulates his words very clearly. People aren't used to 9yo boys talking well and clearly.

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I will keep in mind doing a parent xiurse if I need it. However, ds2 is looking like he will be easier to work with than the others.

 

To add to the positivity: I have never been diagnosed, but we think I am. I have two degrees. And am currently working on masters number two and contemplating phd. Ds9 was up to algebra before he had finished therapy for speech and has read some of dickens books, and loves writing stories and poems In his free time. No problems with language or achievemnt academically despite being dyspraxic!

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