Thursday, May 27, 2010

Writing for Speech

As I think I've mentioned before, Osiyyah does a lot of what therapists call "backwards-chaining." This is where the child will say the word backwords, like "pu" for "up", or "ffa" for "off", etc. He doesn't do it with every word, but he does it with a lot of words, especially new words he is learning. Osiyyah's classic "backwards" word is "Oops." He says "Suhoo." It is pretty cute ;).

So, at speech last week, the therapist wrote one word ("Off") that she was working on with him on a piece of paper, had him sound it all out and then say it. And guess what, he said it correctly! Yes, it worked. Right then a light bulb turned on in my head.

I remember reading about how kids with Speech Apraxia are taught and one of those is by writing words, letters and sounds out. Now, don't get me wrong, we do not know if Osiyyah has Apraxia or not. But, the concept of writing a word out for him to say it was just something I completely forgot about!

Knowing that Osiyyah is very visually oriented. And knowing that he responds so well to anything visual, especially when it comes to speech. PROMPT, Cued Speech, etcetera, it's a no brainer that writing a word out to sound it out will help him!

So, this has been added to our speech regiment :).

Writing out whatever word we feel is good to work on. And consistently repeating it. Right now there are 8 words I have written out. As he gets it down, we'll take it out of the routine. And as other words come up, we'll add them in. That's why "Horse" is in there. Osiyyah asked to say "Horse." And "Mom" is there because . . . well I'll explain that in a minute.

Some of the words I have written down he knows how to say, but I thought the opportunity would be good to teach him what the word and letters for that word look like. He's been enjoying it!

My 14 year old brother has an English Shepherd puppy who is named "Molly." Osiyyah calls her "Bolly." Yes, it can be kind of cute to hear him say that, but . . . it'd be nice to hear him actually say "Molly." And this is the tricky part that has me kind of perplexed . . . he can say "Mom", he can say "Mama", but when it comes to "Molly", he can't. They all have the same sound when it comes to the front of the word  . . . "Mah."

So, I had written "Molly" written out so that he could learn how to say it wright. Sounding out "Mmmmmaaaaaa" comes out as "mmmmmmbbbbaaaa" with Osiyyah. He adds an extra "B" sound in there before the "aaaa" sound. I've been doing the PROMPT commands with him and they help about half of the time for this instance. It's so hard to get him to drop that "B" sound when transitioning from "mmmm" to "aahh."

I wrote out "Mom" because he knows that word perfectly. I thought maybe if he visually sees that the words look similar, it'll help him. It hasn't yet, but we've only done it two days. So, we'll keep it up and see if it helps him or not. I think that it will, especially when it is combined with PROMPT.

His motor planning difficulties can certainly be perplexing. But, I know persistence and hard work will pay off. God has already blessed him tremendously and he has made such great strides in his speech.

Speaking of great strides . . . he is finally able to say "Me"! Yes, it's a huge achievement. No, he's not used to using it in every day language. So, when he is talking and saying "Dee Da Barn" ("Me want to go to Da's barn" - "Da" is what he calls me), he'll stop himself and say "Me Da Barn" or "Osiyyah Da Barn." It's very cute to hear him say "Me Barn?" and he knows we all enjoy it, since we always get excited when he says it :).

So, thought I'd share just one more idea we're using with Osiyyah. And it does work. I've seen it first hand. We'll continue using it with all the words we're working on and Lord willing it'll continue to pay off.



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