Friday, October 4, 2013

What is SLP... for us?

Welcome to Down Syndrome Awareness Month 2013! Today I thought I'd share our Speech Therapy experience with you.

When we go to therapy, Jordan (with my help) works on sounds and signs with toys and stuff. When we have in-home therapy, Marcus works on more basic skills needed before the language pathways can spark. We started with Contingent Imitation. (He mimics Spencer in whatever he says / does.) This lets Spencer know we're listening - that what he does (and communicates) matters.

We also worked on Waiting/Expecting a Response. This was hard on Spencer and I both. See... he can kind of fuss and I tend to him, I figure out what he wants. (That's what we do, right?) But we waited. Spencer started hiding his face with a pout. But as we waaaaited... he'd come back up and reach out, which is a form of communication! After that first session with just these 2 strategies, Spencer seemed a little weird. He was hiding his head in my neck, which he almost never did before. I was afraid Marcus had changed my son's personality! It went away, though.

Soon after our second session with Marcus, Spencer started signing "more!" I was able to get him to consistently sign for more _____ (bites, play, etc.). He has even signed a 2-word sentence "more bites!" We're encouraging this with Jordan and expanding upon it with Marcus. I really wish we'd gotten an earlier start, but am thrilled with our recent progress!

Early September Speech Therapy Session

Since writing / videoing this, Spencer has continued to add consistent signs to his repertoire. I am very pleased with his continued progress! Yesterday he came to me signing for bites. He continued to sign bites until his food was ready. Yay for persistent communication!!

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. We're revving up for this year's Buddy Walk. This will be our 3rd year to participate and we're hoping to raise $1,000 for the organization this year. Please support Spencer's Sidewinders with a donation and/or come walk with us!

Please visit my Facebook page for daily tidbits about Down syndrome during Down Syndrome Awareness Month.
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