What an amazing speech day! J-Man had his best speech therapy day by ten orders of magnitude. The last two days he has really been trying to communicate more and more, at a level he hasn’t in as long as we can remember.
One thing to note – his words don’t come out very clear and sometimes he substitutes syllables he can say in for syllables he can’t. The big help here is that how he does it is pretty consistent for a particular word, so we can pretty well figure out what he’s trying to say. The fact that he can adapt this way is wonderful.
Some words we got in some form just today: (our gold standard) more, more color (mor-kuh-kur), toes (sort of ‘ko-ko’, but imagine your tongue farther forward in your mouth), nose (na-no – or something close to that), lots and lots of ‘go’, nuggets (nyah-nyah), no (nah-nah), arm (ah-ar, with the occasional ‘m’ on the end), more cup (essentially more to drink – “mor-kuh-kuh”).
And then the big shockers. During speech therapy, he brought me a cereal box out of the recycle bin and handed it to me. I said ‘thank you’ and I swear to God what he said sounded like ‘thank you’ and then a second later ‘welcome’. I dropped the box and my jaw along with it. The speech therapist was at a loss for words, which is funny in its own right.
He’s been very good the last couple of days with his fill-in-the-blank practice, where we say some phrase or sing part of a song, pausing at some point to let him fill in the next word. This has been extraordinarily helpful to him and us, particularly so because he is much more patient when we withhold something he wants and wait for him to ‘ask’ for it, pretty much in whatever way he can.
We got ‘toes’ and ‘nose’ from “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” and ‘go’ from “Ready, Set, ____” Also, the fact that he’s waiting for the pause before he says the word is fantastic. He’s showing patience and understanding the cues.
I’ve also gotten ‘more’ plus a word in several different situations, which is just astounding progress. We’ve gotten more toast (or his approximation of it), more nuggets, and more cup just to name a few. He’s realizing what he’s accomplishing and is so proud of himself. He does the ‘victory dance’ (this wild stomping and laughing dance). I tear up every time.
He was so happy during speech therapy yesterday that he nearly fell over laughing. He got the ‘laughing burps’, which is a sign of happy times in our house.
He’s been trying so hard to repeat words we say. They may come out all wonky, but he’s trying his best, and we celebrate every little thing. The last two days have been like watching the sun come out after a very rough two weeks.
In short, it was a very good day!