13 April 2012

Family Friday :: Speech Therapy

I have been so busy with work, and time seems to slip so quickly! I don't have any new pictures today, but I hope to be taking some pics of the kids over the weekend.

When I'm at work, I miss my kids so much, so I have a few reminders:

This is the picture I have as my phone background.

And this is the picture I put on the background of my work laptop.

It's nice to have a few reminders.

Alexander had his speech therapy assessment today. He has a few moderate social and development issues. He is going to be four this summer, but he has the speech and understanding capabilities of a 2 year old, although his expressions are that of a 4 year old. He can only complete one task at a time, and the only reason we thought he was able to do more is because it was the same things over and over - just routine. It is my understanding that the neurons in his brain that are responsible for speech and understanding are not completely developed.

So Alexander is going to be seen by a developmental therapist and a speech therapist once a week starting in May. We have been given a few things to work on until then:

We have to focus on getting him to answer questions with action words.

This is what he does:
Mom/Dad: "Where is your bear?"
Alexander: "There he is!"

And we have to switch the focus to:
Mom/Dad: "Where is your bear?"
Alexander: "There his is!"
Mom/Dad: "The bear is on the floor. Where is the bear?"
-and we have to continue that until he says, "The bear is on the floor."

I was working with him on that tonight after supper, and he would get it fairly quickly, but then when I asked him about 30 seconds later, he would revert to, "There he is!"

That is just an example. We have to work on getting him to answer action questions, like, "Where, what how, and who", bringing in more verbs to his vocabulary (which I thought we were doing pretty well with). And we are supposed to only speak in simple sentences (noun, verb, object).

And apparently when Jeff and I carry on a conversation in front of Alexander, he does not understand any of it.

And when we thought he was doing so much better because he would remember things, that's only because children with these issues are very good at memorizing. So although Alexander can tell me the entire story of Jonah, he is only reciting it from memory, not actually thinking about the story. Apparently many children like this end up having a photographic memory - which is super cool.

But there is a downside to this. When Alexander memorizes something, he will use that something in a completely different context in another conversation. For example, in one of his favourite books, "Stuck", there is a curious whale who gets thrown into a tree. Now every single whale he sees is a curious whale, not just a whale. He does this with many things.

We are also supposed to tell everyone who comes in contact with Alexander about his situation, so they can understand him a little better and be better prepared for any situation. Like on Passover Sunday, the kids in his Sunday School class went up to the front to sing a couple of songs. And while many children younger than Alexander walked up individually and very confidently, Alexander insisted on being carried by one of the workers. This is part of his social development issues.

This is going to take a LOT of perseverance and patience, but at least we now have some tools on how to help him, and some experts who can help us. The speech therapist said that she has encountered other children just like Alexander and knows exactly what the best thing for us to do for him, so that is very comforting.

Trees Hide


  1. I'm so glad that he finally got to see someone. I hope all goes well with the sessions.

  2. My son is in speech therapy as well. He's two, but his speech is around the same development as a one year old. We also thought we had been doing very well with him, and encouraging him to talk. But the speech therapist has shown us so many ways to help him even more. It's really great that this kind of program is available for kids who need it.

    I hope everything goes well for your son!

    1. You're lucky to have gotten in so early! We have been waiting for close to a year, and they said it was because they don't usually treat kids who are younger than four for development issues, since most children's brains "turn on", and they are fine. It would have been nice to get Alexander in when he was 2! :)

  3. I had speech issues as a child, and needed people to be kind and patient with me. Look at me now though, I won't shut up! haha! I'll pray for him and try to help out as much as I can when I see him. He is such a sweet little boy. I love him. :)

  4. I'm happy you finally got in for an assessment! I hope the suggestions they give will help you work with him successfully and help him develop.

  5. It's great that you have a plan for helping him along now! It will be interesting too to hear what happens on Play Day -- I wonder if they'll assess him the same way?


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