Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Practice . . . I mean, Repetition . . . Makes Perfect

I thought I would give a progress update on Osiyyah's speech. If you've been following our blog for any amount of time, you probably know that one of Osiyyah's biggest struggles is with speech. We've been working hard on it for awhile. Longvida Curcumin has helped him tremendously as well . . . and it's almost been a year since we've been giving that . . . more on that in another post hopefully :).

With Osiyyah, constant repetition in having him say certain sounds & words helps him tremendously. Along with constant repetition in working on his oral muscles, especially his jaw. We've made progress in both areas, praise the Lord.

Osiyyah was on bite block #5 for a couple months. It took him some time to get it down, realize he needed to actually bite on it and hold it for me while I gently and very lightly pulled the bite block. He was doing very well with that and was up to 20-25 seconds per time for 8-12 times per side. So a couple weeks ago I decided to try bite block #4 and he did that beautifully. He can hold bite block #4 SO well for a good 25 seconds. I'm doing 6 times at the moment (25 seconds per time). We try to do it every day, but sometimes its every other day. 

The strength I can feel in his jaw is amazing. The progress we've made on that is absolutely wonderful. His jaw was so weak 8 months ago. I was in tears when we first tried the bite blocks. He wasn't getting anywhere and his jaw was so weak he couldn't hold it for a second. Praise the Lord for the tremendous progress Osiyyah has made.

We also work on lip rounding with the Button Pull activity from TalkTools. He does that very well too and his lips are quite strong too!

We're also working with Horn #2 still for lip closure. But, I think it's time to bump him up to Horn #3. We also use Horn #9 a little bit to encourage long breath. #9 is an airplane that gets louder the longer and harder you blow it. So, it's great motivation for him to get a good long breath, instead of just real short, shallow breathes.

Since Osiyyah's ST is trained in PROMPT she's been using that with him a lot. And therefore we've been using it with him a lot  . . . what she teaches us. He responds to PROMPT so, so well. It makes a huge difference in how he can say a sound. It's really amazing.

Which leads me to reconsider Apraxia. I thought he may have it over a year ago. The therapist we were seeing at the time, wanted to wait a year to reevaluate him. We've since changed therapists though.

I mentioned it to his current therapist a couple months ago and she didn't discount it at all. She said it could be a possibility. I think I will bring it up again in May when we see her, because I *really* think we are dealing with it. Just the way that he responds to PROMPT and cued speech so well confirms it all the more, in my opinion.

When I read up on Apraxia 15 months ago, it described Osiyyah exactly. But, then some things changed after we started giving him Longvida. His speech and language changed and improved so much, that I kind of disregarded the Apraxia issue. Maybe Longvida helped him so that he doesn't have it as severe, but it may still be there some. We'll see.

Osiyyah has a very hard time getting the ending consonant on a lot of words. And some times he'll have a hard time getting the beginning consonant on words. Like when he says "Bum", he only says "Bu", even though he can say the "m" sound and puts it on the end of other words, like "mom." It's very strange why he would be able to say some complete words with the ending sound, but then not be able to say other words that have the same ending (again, makes me think Apraxia). We're trying to teach him the "m" ending like "Bum", but with the word "Gum", since he doesn't really say that word much. We're making slow progress on both "Bum" and "Gum", but it'll be a lot more repetition before he can get that down. I was really close to getting him to say "Bum" this morning, but it's not quite there yet.

The "mmm" sound seems to be a very hard sound for him to combine into other words. For "me", he says "dee." We can break it down and have him say "mmmm" and then "eeee." But, trying to combine them, just doesn't work.

But, Osiyyah made a huge step in saying words this week. A couple days ago my mom was working with him on saying different words and sounds. She worked on his name "O-see-ya." Which are all sounds he can say. But, whenever someone asks him his name he says "Dee." So, after a good 20+ minutes of breaking down his name and having him say the sounds over and over again in a slow pace, she got him to say "Osiyyah." What a joy to hear!

We've continued to ask him his name multiple times a day and have others ask him his name (even the gals at the dentist office yesterday ;)) to get him to continue saying it. And of course we always say "good job, woohoo!" after he says it.

So, now I can ask my little man, "What is your name?" and will get a response of "Osiyyah", as clear as a little boy can be, and as cute as can be with his little "O" shaped lips all pukered out for that first sound :). Such a blessing, praise the Lord!



Adelaide Dupont said...

I'm sure O would love to talk about his bum!

Interesting to hear about the bite blocks and the whistles.

Please do let us know about apraxia.

There is a lady called the Eclectic Music Therapist who knows about it (rather, aphasia).

KAROL said...

I read your blog. I understand all the therapy. My daughter, Cherie, lived 8 years and was the light of my life. Therapists were great to teach me how to teach her. I am writing a book through my blogs which if you click on my name will take you to those blogs. I miss her every day and know what a joy your child is!!!

Qadoshyah said...

The "bum" O is talking about, is a word we commonly use around here when teasing each other. Or when someone is doing something silly or whatever. Someone will say, "you're such a bum!" So, if someone doesn't go somewhere with O or something like that, he'll say "You Bum" ;).

Karien Prinlsoo said...

I just love updates on "O's speech. My son Kallen is at a very similar stage- leaving out certain letters at the beginning and very often on at the end of words, but most of the time he can say those sounds individually. He struggles with the"k" and "g" but we pronounce the "g" , I think like you would say it in the word "aaaarg". I suppose the bite blocks are from talk tools? I just love your detailed descriptions- there is so much different opinions around here, and many therapists ( all we know) doesn't really buy into the talk tools thing- therefore we struggle to have assess to it and learn how to use it!
He does get the "k" right if we press his tongue down and he is more aware of that now, but still pronounce it as a "T"

Adelaide Dupont said...

Thank you, for explaining more about the "bum" as a friendly word.

It's great to know that O is participating in the family jokes and humour.

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