Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Speech, and the lack thereof.
Still has his baby blues, you see.
While he's been picking up a few more words lately (boo, gee, o-eej: can you guess the translations?), Jim is still definitely behind on the verbal communication front, so off we went today to see the speech pathologist again. Noah even got to come along this time, since it fit conveniently between several of his complicated military obligations.
Aaaaand it went really well. Jim was adorable and charming, as per usual, and the SP (I'm too lazy to type 'speech pathologist' every other sentence, so bear with me) was terribly nice. She was suitably impressed by Jim's impressive attention span and language comprehension (both of which are apparently advanced), and even more impressed that he knows his colors, animals, counting (to five, on his fingers), etc. Apparently he's totally ahead of the game in everything except actually, y'know, getting the words out.
Turns out, however, that the gap between his comprehension/knowledge and speaking ability is worrisome. I suppose we kind of figured that, which is why we were there in the first place, but it still sucks to hear. He's still not really using many consonents, and the ones that he does have don't seem to be totally at his command. The SP thinks the problem is somewhere between low muscle tone in his his facial muscles, as evidenced by him sitting with his mouth open quite a bit, and just a general lack of ability to make consonant sounds at will. He can make the sounds, but not necessarily whenever he WANTS to make them.
So, ol' Jim's got some homework. She gave us some flashcards and a list of consonants to practice, and we're supposed to help him learn to say one-syllable words beginning with b, d, t, and m, with the idea that building up his vocabulary of words with those sounds will help him form those sounds more easily and say more of the words that he already understands. We'll be going back to see her every 2-3 weeks, and she'll be giving us bigger scarier phonemes (look out for *drumroll* fricatives!) in the future, plus more complicated exercises once he's old enough to understand them, if he still needs help at that point. Hopefully the problem will be taken care of by then, but I'm glad we've got someone with a lot of fancy degrees to help us if we need it.