Zeke’s first at-home speech therepy session.

Do you remember me talking about my little Zekey who is now almost 2.5 years old?  I talked about how he wasn’t speaking and I wasn’t sure if we should just trust that he’d eventually speak, or have a specialist check him out.

                    I just love this boy!                    

As time went on (not much time) I realized it was time for an intervention.  Our first session was yesterday and it was amazing!  A woman came to our house for an hour.  For the first 5 minutes, we talked about what Zeke can say and what he seems to have a difficult time with.  Next, we all headed to the floor and I could tell Zeke was anticipating what was in the big bag that she brought.  Maybe he remembered it from when we visited “Help Me Grow”?

The first toy she took out was a ball game.  You pull the lever down, a ball comes out and you have to pop it back into the top.  Simple but whenever he would say “aaaa” (short a sound) she would take the item he wanted, which in this case was the ball and put it next to her mouth and say, “Baw.  Baw”.  Then she would hand it to him.  Zeke was very interested in watching her mouth as she showed him how to form the word.

With anything Zekey wants, I need to put it to my mouth and have him watch me exaggerate (extremely) the word.  You’d laugh because my older kids do 😉

The next game was a shape game.  There were 3 shapes and Zekey practiced inserting them into the correct shaped hole.  Again, trying to get him to say “block” exaggerating the “B” sound. 

As we played, she would recognize sounds that he would say and the ones he was avoiding.  He does what is easiest for his mouth.  “N” sound, “D” sound and even “tch” sound.  If you think about it, it’s with little effort those sounds can be made.  There is no need for him to put his lips together or pull his lips in such as a “B” sound.  I think of it as a lazy way to talk although I know there is more to it.  He has an over bite which makes the effort to do some sounds more difficult for him. 

Next, she pulled out a Zip Lock baggy with a dog, brush (little for dolls), doll, baby blanky and a cup.  She wanted to give him simple directions to see if he’d follow them.  We found out that although he knew what each was, he wasn’t staying focused on what we were trying to get him to do.  “Brush the babies hair.”  He would brush my hair at first but then after repeating it many times, he’d do what we asked.  So, I need to start working on giving him simple directions because he gets complicated ones such as “Please take your cup and put it in the sink.” 

It was really great.  The woman was extremely patient and was super sweet but firm with Zekey.  It was a good reminder and model for me.  This time showed me how I need to be with Zekey and his speech.  When he would hit I would say, “Oh, gentle buddy.”  Right away she would say, “Oh it’s really okay.  He’s just excited.”  It was simple but eye opening.  When he kicks and hits by reaction, that’s just a way he shows excitement.  Since yesterday I have been letting him do that more (with me) and it’s been really fun!  If he screams, I scream with him to show him how my mouth does what his mouth is doing.  We’ve been laughing more and playing more intentionally.  I’m excited for it all!

Here is my homework.

1. Body Parts.  I worked with Zekey a long time ago on body parts but didn’t continue asking him once he seemed to catch on.  I did this a lot with him with words as well.  Once I thought he knew a word, I didn’t pay attention to being sure he said it again and again.  I guess with the 3rd I naturally didn’t have as much time as I did with #1 and #2 and I became lazy unintentionally.  I look back and think how he was on the right track but I let it go.  So, I am going to re-teach him body parts.

2. I need to buy him a sippy with a straw.  This will build his muscles around his mouth to help him form words better.  She reminded me a few times so I assume it’s important.  He knows how to use one but she wants him to only drink from a straw.

3. Toys that make him have to blow.  Totally makes sense.  I will be purchasing some kind of horn (yay) and bubbles for him to learn how to blow.

4. I will be taking Zekey to the mirror and give him simple commands so he can watch my mouth and try and imitate it with his.  He’ll be able to see what his mouth is doing (or trying to do) while looking at the mirror.  Genius!  Commands such as, “Together, open mouth, smile, close mouth, ect.” 

5. Zekey currently gives open mouth kisses.  It’s cute but can REALLY hurt and he’s too old to be giving open mouth kisses.  He also hangs his mouth open and it’s just not as cute with a 2 year old as it is with a baby 😉  So, we need to practice kissing (I LOVE THIS ONE!!!!), lip pops which is basically a sound you make with  your lips that sounds like a bubble popping, the “P” sound, “B”, “M”, and “W” sounds repeatedly.  Also, “whooo whooo!”  like a choo choo train.  Any funny sounds that he thinks are fun while trying to get him to repeat me.

6. Hold the desired object by my mouth and exaggerate the word so he can see and try to repeat it.  Problem is, he doesn’t like to actually repeat.  I guess this is one I’ll be doing on faith hoping he’ll just start to say it eventually.

7. Teach him to sign “more”.  Again, something he knew a long time ago but I never enforced it.

8. Meal time clean up I should give him the simple commands.  “Give me cup.  Give me plate.  Give me fork.” etc.  It’s the simple commands I guess I kind of skipped with him 😉

With Zekes motor skills, which he scored high in the original testing, I just have to be sure that he is NOT sitting in a “W” form.  That is when a child puts both feet back with knees bent and pointing forward.  It’s REALLY bad for their hips and knees and so this is going to be a difficult habit to break but I must!

I really want to stress fun with ALL of this because he NEVER gets upset if I am smiling and just playing.  I’m secretly teaching him.

With the 3rd, simple things I naturally taught my older babes isn’t as easy to teach because of less time.  Sad but true.  So I am now going to have more focused time with Zekey and I’m also going to be more aware of all of this with Bexley!

Now that I know all of the practice and work we have ahead of ourselves, I am for SURE it was the right thing to do in getting Zekey to talk sooner.  It’s only going to bring blessing!  Yay!

I hope this helps any of you momma’s out there with questions on your own child!  Looking forward to hearing more fun games from a friend that I’ll share with you and also my sweet Zekey Zoo Zoo talking sooner than later!  I have 2 other scheduled meetings and will continue to make this a huge priority.  He only gets free help until he turns three. 

Phil 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  I love my God.  One I can go to with big and little things and He’s always listening and staying involved. 

Amen.

4 Comments

  • Reply March 30, 2012

    Kristy

    Ohhh I loved this! I really enjoyed learning more about what the speech therapy sessions are like/will be like. What a blessing to have someone come to your home and help out for free! I am so excited for Zeke and you and Andy :) Here’s hoping he will be speaking in no time! Until then, Travis and I will practice our exaggerated speaking around him (and definitely get in on some bubble blowing) 😉

    • Reply March 30, 2012

      Bree

      Thanks, Kristy. I love that you’ve been so quick to ask me about this!! I think my favorite part about this comment is the joy of getting to watch you and Trav exaggerate with me! hahaha! Bubbles!!! Yayyyy!!! 😉

  • Reply March 31, 2012

    Andrea Baugher

    Very interesting stuff, Breena! I’m glad you posted this, and I hope you see some cool progress soon!

  • Reply March 31, 2012

    Jill

    I’m so glad it went well! Holding the object by my face and emphasizing the word would totally crack Luke and Ellie up! I hope you can have a lot of fun with it!

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