metro mama

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Speaking Slooowly

Yesterday was Cakes’ long awaited assessment with a speech therapist. It took us months to get this by the way, so if you live in Ontario and are having any concerns, call them sooner rather than later. At least you can get on the list--you can always cancel later if things sort themselves out.

It went pretty well. Her speech has really improved since she started school, so we weren’t too worried anymore, but thought we might as well check things out. The assessment was unthreatening and Cakes didn’t mind it too much either. There were two therapists. They let her play with toys and found unobtrusive ways to do the testing.

They agree, her comprehension is fine, but there is a little concern with her intelligibility. She could use some help with her verbal motor skills--she is having some trouble with certain sounds. They’ve recommended we attend a group session that begins in January. They also want us to simplify the way we talk to her, get on her level more, and speak more slowly so she can see how we’re forming the words. I’ve always made a point not to dumb down language with her.

Does this mean I have to put away my Margaret Atwood children’s books? Cakes seems to like four syllable words.

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19 Comments:

Blogger motherbumper said...

Well that's better than four letter words.

Maybe switch over the Margaret Laurence children's book in the mean time ;)

Glad to hear the assessment went well Buddy.

12:33 PM  
Blogger kgirl said...

I think you guys talk to her like she's a normal person.
Maybe the key is to just be incredibly clear in direct questions/instructions where her response echoes the words you say.
And nah, Peggy would say leave the books alone ;)

12:59 PM  
Blogger Beck said...

I have two munchkins with speech issues. One of the things that really helped when they were smaller were those Richard Scarry books with the labelled pictures....

2:42 PM  
Blogger mamatulip said...

I'm glad it went well. Keep us posted on how the group sessions go.

4:24 PM  
Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

I hope the group session works well for you - we'll be transitioning from in-home individualized therapy to a group scenario in January too.

Oh, and I felt the same way about dumbing down my language. CJ's been rattling off "California" all week, so I'd say from experience that there's no reason to eliminate the four syllable words.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Don Mills Diva said...

Keep us posted on how it goes. Some people are really disparaging of baby talk but I've always thought there's a reason why it just seems come naturally when people are around babies - I think it's a way of bridging the gap between "adult" speak and babbling that has evolved over thousands of years.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Lisa b said...

I wouldn't put the Atwood books away. I think it is great to have access to early intervention and those tips seem helpful but really you need to take it all with a grain of salt.

I had yet another therapist over this afternoon. She keeps telling me what she has accomplished with kids and I'm a little skeptical. Not of the fact that the kids have improved, but that she is taking the credit. As you say Cakes was improving already and I am noticing the same thing with Julia.

She also wants me to massage my childs face everyday because she thinks that will make her eat. So I told her she doesn't eat because she aspirates and so should I massage her trachea? That ended that convo.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Don't you dare put those books away. Just add some Boynton or Dr. Seuss.

10:20 PM  
Blogger nomotherearth said...

Margaret Atwood does children's books?

I don't like dumbing down language either. What did help for us, though, is making the Boy ask for what he wants instead of anticipating his needs (as I am wont to do).

I'd be curious to know what happens in the group session.

1:04 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

What a relief. But what great advice and support, too.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Thank goodness nothing serious was found!

We have to use simple, direct speech around here, too. Otherwise Cordy tunes out after the third or fourth word. But at the same time we're supposed to encourage her to use longer sentences. Doesn't make sense, does it?

2:26 PM  
Blogger Kyla said...

Sounds like good advice. Modeling speech they have the ability to utilize is extremely helpful, but it does not mean you have to EXCLUSIVELY speak that way to her. It is a balance as are most things in parenting.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

I don't think you need to dumb down language at all. Like you, we don't believe in that.

Try to use short, simple, concise sentences - avoid complicated word use (double negatives, for example). I look at my kids as much as possible when I talk to them, and get down so I am eye to eye with them.

Overall though, sounds like you had a great assessment. But I agree with Kyla, there's a time and a place, and you can still be yourself and talk the way you like!!

10:16 PM  
Blogger b*babbler said...

Glad you're getting the help that you need (even if the wait is too long). Sounds like the assessment was positive.

2:43 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

I think just slightly slower and being more careful in enunciating clearly should do it, not necessarily talking with a lower vocabulary. Vocab is good.

4:27 PM  
Blogger something blue said...

I like to use the same words over and over. I don't think it matters if they are one or four syllable words as long as there is repetition. It's great that they could do testing in a comfortable manner.

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Maddy said...

4 syllables - now that must be an american accent that I'm unfamiliar with. As for Margaret Attwood, who can resist the irresistible.
Cheers

1:39 AM  
Blogger Denguy said...

"not to dumb down language with her" This is what I've always done, too.

My daughter was quick and eloquent. She spoke words just after she was one and sentences by 18 months (we have both on video). My son, however, took much longer and, at three, still confuses some people with his words. I tend to translate for him, but I think maybe I shouldn't. He can pronounce words properly, it just takes effort.

I think it will work out in the end.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Maddy said...

Ooo how I sympathise. I always talked to all my children like small people rather than kids, but slowly and simple language is a great help [as is making sure that you have their full attention first]
Wishing you lots of patience.
Best wishes

1:51 PM  

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