Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Oohs and Aahs

As far as Dean's therapies go, he's currently getting an hour of OT and PT each a week, 2.5 hours of speech a week, the minimal therapies he gets at school, and hippotherapy every other week for 30 minutes. People sometimes think we're crazy for doing as much speech as we do for Dean, but it's been obvious that the intense repetition is necessary for Dean to re-program these sounds in his brain. Up until recently, we've had a hard time getting him even to imitate many sounds correctly, which is clearly a problem if you're going to learn to talk. But in the past week or so, he's really looking at lips and touches his own lips to get them to do what they need to do to produce a sound. No miracles, just baby steps. Dean can now pucker his lips out and gave me his first "real" pucker kiss on the cheek last night. :) Dean can round his lips to make the "o" sound. He can say "weeeeeeee," "ow," "ooh," "whoa," "yay," and other exclamatory phrases (or whatever you call them). Dean can say what sounds like "Dan" for his own name, something I've really been longing for him to say. You gotta say your own name! Dean can more easily close his lips (when you have really low tone, your mouth likely just hangs open, so simply closing your lips is not a given) to make m and b sounds. He says some other words, very few of which are intelligible to the general public, but we and his therapists can understand. And none of this is completely consistent yet, but it's MORE consistent. Baby steps. Progress is helpful because it gives us all the reminder that Dean CAN do this and that hope in his ability to talk is worthwhile. But it's hard not to feel like it's not happening quickly enough. The other day, Dean had a tantrum over something and it was clear that he KNEW what he wanted and just couldn't verbalize it. He got so frustrated and just melted down. :( I know this happens with a lot of kids when they're younger, but it's hard to watch a 3-year-old get frustrated when they can't even say one WORD of what they're thinking. We're teaching Dean signs, he's learning to use an AAC in speech therapy, we just can't keep up with what he wants to communicate just yet. Please continue to pray for his speech. As I always say, I long to hear his voice. In the meanwhile, Dean continues to amaze us with what he knows and understands. And although he can't speak many words, he speaks volumes. I went to Starbucks today (thank you, Mother's Day gift cards!) and Dean smiled and waved I think to every single person in the store. Every single person smiled back and waved. :) He also gave the guy behind us in line a huge hug, and pulled me down to the ground so that he could give Emmett, who was in the Ergo carrier, a hug, too. :) Like I said, he speaks volumes.

4 comments:

Elizabeth Phillips said...

Man, I love that kid! How sweet it must've been to get that darling pucker!!! I demand he kiss me at our next play date.

The Saunderses said...

Yay for Dean! Keep working hard!

Kera said...

Speech is our biggest struggle too. While Delilah does use quite a few words...they are not complete words, which means I am usually the only one who can understand her...and a lot of times I can't. Our problem stems from her top lip. It just doesn't move. Not even when she tries to pucker for kisses. Her EI therapists have recommended Private Speech Therapy when her services end next month. I'm hoping they can help work on those muscles, and teach me ways to get her to work on them as well.

Candice said...

I think it sounds like he has a great schedule. You are such a great mom and advocate!