Maddie Rae Gotcha Day

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stepping up the speech

Maddie Rae has been in speech therapy since we returned home, but our speech therapist moved before Christmas. We had our first session with our new ST this morning, and wow. It was good. Our old ST was known to have the theory that speech doesn't REALLY start to work until the child is 3. She was nice and would play with Maddie Rae and try to do sounds, but we weren't seeing much progress. Maddie Rae is 2 1/2 and has only about 20 words, and of those 20 maybe 10 are understandable. In other words, she is WAY behind. Our new therapist got right down to business. She wants her in speech every single day if possible. She's going to come twice a week, she wants her to go to our local university's speech clinic, and she thinks maybe the cleft team speech path will want to see her as well. She told me things I would have never even thought of. Things like: she should only sit criss cross applesauce or with her legs in front of her so her diaphragm is strengthened, that she may have poor breath support because of being in the orphanage (she doesn't, because she checked her ribs and diaphragm and determined that she must have spent a lot of time on her tummy as a baby), we should do oral exercises with her with her toothbrush, she needs to drink a thick smoothie from a straw every day, and how to encourage imitation. Wow. I was very educated, a little overwhelmed, and happy to have this new therapist. To be honest, I really worry about Maddie Rae's speech. I have never had a child with a delay, and hers just seems so overwhelming and huge. It's encouraging to have a speech therapist who's been doing it for 34 years come in and tell you it's going to be okay. Part of Maddie Rae's issue is that she is a perfectionist. She likes everything to be just so and just right, and she has learned that she can't do certain things with her mouth. So now she has a hard time even trying. The ST is trying to determine if the not trying is just her personality, or whether it's a motor thing that could require some OT. So that's where we are on the speech front. We're going to ramp it up and hope for some improvement and results.


Carol said...

That's very encouraging! Thank God you now have someone who knows what she is doing and has taken the initiative to really help MR. Give her OXOXOXO from us - we all miss those little hugs of hers!

jenny said...

If it makes you feel any better, Beckett didn't have a cleft situation and only has maybe 10 words, and they are very hard to understand. This is the 3rd time we have dealt with a speech delay (although his seems to be more significant than our other kids) and I have just kind of come to realize that kids truly do things in their OWN time. It is SO challenging when you are in the midst of it, but with intervention and sometimes, just time, they make so much progress. Praying for you.