March 25, 2010

The Speech Therapist

Over the past couple of months, Cameron has had a number of tests to evaluate different aspects of his growth and development. Most of you know that he's had a hard time recovering from his exposure to Fifth Disease in utero. Given the fact that he's 1 1/2 and makes very few sounds, it came as no surprise to find speech therapy added to the list of in-home services recommended by Early Intervention.

Cameron's new speech therapist is a sweet grandmotherly sort of woman who wears a fishing vest to every visit (for unknown reasons), smells like grapefruit, and has long, fluorescent orange fingernails and a red Mustang convertible. In short, she's pretty much what I want to be when I grow up.

Today was only our third therapy session, but I can already tell that it is going to be very successful. Cameron shuts his eyes whenever the therapist talks to him and bats her hands away when she tries to teach him how to sign specific words.

In today's write-up, the speech therapist described my son as "combative" and "resistant to learning."

Fortunately, she gave me a copy of the form for my records.

Definitely scrapbook material.

46 comments

meghannamarie said...

My son also had speech therapy from that age till the present. His words exploded when he turned 3. I loved our speech therapist, she put up with so much of my sons...lets just say his craziness! I love early intervention! It has helped so much in the last 5 years!

Hillori said...

That was so kind of her to put a description of herself on the paper! Some people work better with certain personalities! Obviously, he is very smart, he just needs someone who he feels like he can trust to teach him. My son has speech therapy, and it is wonderful for him...NOW. His first therapist, he did not like, and it was a battle. It just depends on if they relate and like each other...

heather said...

i'm a speech therapist. i will NEVER wear a fishing vest to work, although i suppose it wouldn't be horrible to smell like grapefruit?!

Anonymous said...

We took our second child in to the audiologist at 18 months-old. He made *very* few sounds...laughing and crying were about it. He'd respond to noises, but no vocalization(s) of "mama" or "dada"...no consistant sound for *anything*. Zip. Nada. Nothing. Yes, we were *very* concerned...and *very* frightened about what we'd find with the testing.

At the hospital, he totally did *not* cooperate with the poor woman trying to give him the hearing test! They suggested we come back in a month's time to see if he'd be more 'willing' to cooperate, then. We made an appt for the following month.

Meanwhile: Two weeks later, we were sitting at the dining room table when there was a knock on the full-glass front door. Our non-talking, 19-month son looked up, and said "Man." We about fell over with excitement! When "Man" came into the house, our non-talking son went up to him and said, clear as day and twice as confident: "Hi, I'm a four-foot [part of a male anatomy that rhymes with the name of a certain planet...and, no, it's not Earth] named Bob."

We didn't know whether to laugh with incredible joy or to pretend we'd not heard a thing -- I mean, honestly, *where* in the world did he come up with *THAT*! Of *ALL* the words in the world, he decided to begin communicating with *THAT* combination of words?

(As his grandmother commented at the time of this 'observation' of his that let us know he did not have trouble either hearing or speaking, "He obviously couldn't get a word in edgewise with all the rest of us talking...and he probably didn't have anything terribly important to say up to that point.")

He's not stopped talking since... Fortunately, in the ensuing 30-years, he's become a bit more more circumspect in his use of the language - just earned his degree in English Literature. beth.

Melissa said...

My daughter is two and has been receiving a plethora of early intervention services for about 6 months now... She has a teacher at home, physical therapy, goes to an EI program 5 days per week, occupational therapy, and speech therapy... So all this to say she is globally developmentally delayed AND while not always easy because she has difficulty with language processing, and other various language arenas as well as tactile sensitivity... the professionals in her life use a variety of different tools to work with her if they find one isn't working... hence the picture schedule hanging on our wall... PS SIX MONTHS later and she's just starting to sign because she's a more visual learner.... every kid is different! No kid should be labeled as not wanting to learn when it's the adults' jobs to TEACH him/her. JMO.

Mia said...

Speech therapy was one therapist we missed out on. My son is always combative and I have an entire lateral file cabinet filled with data, forms, home sheets and daily reports to prove it!

Tilda'sTwisted said...

Like Heather, I am a speech therapist as well. It's great that she's starting with some sign to give him an avenue to communicate quickly before the words come in. Maybe she should shoot for some really functional signs like, "Go away" or "Bite me"! Sounds like he needs a good way to communicate some disgust!

Tilda'sTwisted said...

By the way, I always like the kids with some spunk because, for as hard as they fight against therapy, they will usually fight just as hard to learn to communicate.

Bonnie said...

All 1.5 year olds are combative and resistant to learning. Speech therapists will have to know that and be prepared to bribe and manipulate said children......
signed, a mom to twin boys, age 5, who have been receiving OT and speech therapy since they were 10 months old......

Kelli said...

My baby boy was a very late talker. He had gag reflex issues, food texture issues, choking issues, etc. Naturally his speech was delayed as well since the same muscles control most of these things. We had an overly aggressive pediatrician at the time and she wanted to send him for some kind of testing and treatment with which we were not comfortable. It was obvious he was bright and understood what was said to him and all that. We instead spoke with a speech therapist who goes to church with us. She watched us interact for a bit and then said "Give it six more weeks. If there is no change, talk to me again."
Lo and behold, in six weeks' time he was talking and he hasn't been quiet since! :) Sometimes they just operate on their own timetable.

Sam said...

I think he needs a fishing vest!

Anonymous said...

I love that you recognize this as scrapbook material. My favorite photos in the album are of my kids throwing tantrums.

The Boob Nazi said...

I'd much rather have combative and "resistant to learn" adults because then I wouldn't insult the parents by writing that haha.

renee said...

my oldest was just over 1 lb when she was born and b/c of that she had ALL of the therapies. she would just sit and watch everyone, including the therapist. then one day she just started talking it was hilarious. her walking was like that too. she didn't walk until she was 2 but then within 3 days she was running. i have video. if i didn't, i wouldn't believe it myself! lol. i hope/know that he will open up after a while. good luck! :D

Connie said...

I work in speech therapy, I'm old, I have grapefruit scented body wash and I love the word "combative!" All I need now is a fishing vest to complete the picture!
Hang in there!

WILLIAM said...

Combative is good. Maybe it is not a fishing vest but a flak jacket.

Stephanie said...

I work at a special ed preschool where language issues are the most common concern. The speech/language pathologists are THE MOST HATED PEOPLE IN OUR SCHOOL. Seriously, they get kicked, punched, thrown dirty looks and all-around despised at all times because they are trying to get the kids out of their comfort zones and doing things they don't want to do. The upside is that the kids at least learn the phrase "I HAAAATTEEE YOOOOOOUUUUUU!!!" and their parents are thrilled (okay, I'm just kidding about that...kind of). In other words, grandma-lady is probably used to it by now, and Cameron is well on his way to becoming a chatterbox. Just you wait.

My Mercurial Nature said...

I've got two angles on this...I work closely with an EC Speech Path, and my son struggled with articulation and was in ST for approx 1yr. There are good ones and bad ones...hopefully this woman turns out to be the best.

MamaOtwins+1 said...

That is great scrapbook material - I wish all therapists were that awesome!

ASDmomNC said...

Yuck, change therapists. We've got 5+ years of experience with every kind of therapist you can think of in this house (autism sorta has that side effect), and she just sounds like she isn't meshing well with your kiddo.

Brad, Rebecca, Jacob said...

Maybe the orange fingernails scared him! I'd want to bat those things away too!

Rachel said...

I wish we were friends. That is just so dang funny. This may be one of your best! (But I think that every day.)

Anonymous said...

I thought you were going to say that the pockets on the vest were full of all sorts of surprises/rewards/incentives for learning! My grandson had speech therapy for three and a half years and had the most wonderful therapist at our Scottish Rite.
Their services are free to any child, for as long as they are needed. We could never have afforded the average hourly cost of $75.00 per hour and will be forever grateful to them.

Jennifer said...

first of all, I can't believe she used those words about him.. they are supposed to be positive!! And secondly, my son was only saying two words at 21 months of age and tested at a 6-7 month level in expressive communication. He started receiving Early Intervention services and our therapist was a sweet lady. I thought for quite some time that he wasn't improving because he got frustrated with what she was doing and kept trying to play with other toys or just walking away. By the time he was 2 1/2, his language had exploded! I'm just telling you to hang in there... it gets better... and hopefully his therapist was just having a bad day and will get a little more positive herself.

Jo's girl said...

sweet! orange nails and a fishing vest rad?
she sounds so cute and cuddly I could never imagine why some one wouldn't just bond with her immediately. and apparently grapefruit is supposed to make other people think your 10 years younger. so she might really be 80 or something. sounds like a real piece of work all the way around. and you totally have to scrapbook that just to show his future dates if nothing else.

The Parent Trapped said...

Most boys don't speak well, or at all, until age 3. Therapy usually only makes the parents feel better and the child angry. Go easy. He'll get there.

Denise said...

Don't be too discouraged. My little girl never really worked well with her speech therapist. She really started to talk when she started preschool and has since really taken off.

gnat said...

I didn't get a chance to read all of the comments, many of them so funny I had to stop as I am supposed to be working. my oldest didn't speak much at first, probably because I was quite the enabler and had everything he could possibly want or need right at his fingertips, so why talk! we had a speach therapist come to our home and work with him once a month. she brought fun books, learning tools like little cars and toy animals and blocks so that he could understand action words like over, under, above, etc. I started reading to him more and upon the suggestion of the theripist used 'adult' words, (no baby talk) and took 10-30 seconds to correct words he was saying incorrectly. She also told me to try not to overwhelm him with too much 'learning' as toddlers will just tune you out and go about their own agenda. He now talks very well and has helped his younger brother to speak very clearly as well. keep working with your kids!(This is for all moms!) don't ever give up you are the best teacher they could possibly get and they will love you more for it in the end (so they tell me:)).

jp said...

does he get ear aches often? fluid makes a lot of kids not speak quickly. and for lord's sake, he's the 4th child. he doesn't need to speak much I bet everyone helps him! try getting "sing a sign" videos from your library, they're fun, show kids signing, and all the kids I knjow love the videos. bribe the twins and the princess child to learn signing with cookies,17 tacos or whatever he ordered, being allowed to have pet worms, or pink fingernails- once they do it, I bet he'll follow! Ive followed your blog and that mircle baby has come SO far, he's amazing. I was never going to have brain function, they told my parents. I had fine and gross motor delays, and speech delays. I now assist in special ed classes. I just refuse to type well on weekedns. oh and get a new EI worker! :)

Life with Kaishon said...

Hilarious : )
Combative!
He is only 1!

brinestone said...

From what I've heard (my son had early intervention too), resistance to learn and even combativeness are VERY normal. It's hard for kids to get pushed out of their comfort zones, especially at an age when they don't like strangers.

becca said...

as a scrapbooker, I agree! My sisters and I really want to do a line of disfunctional stuff, this would fit right in with those kinds of scrap supplies! (seems like I have commented about this before your blog...oops)

I would think the Little Old Lady from Pasadena would be up for a bit of a challenge.

Brooke said...

That story about the four foot __ named Bob is HILARIOUS!

GL with the speech. I think your son needs a fishing pole.

agent99 said...

Hmmmm. Our 1st ST said this, after 1 session: "I'm not sure your daughter will ever speak". Firing her was the hardest thing I'd ever done. Even though she was right in the end, he attitude sucked. Non-verbal toddlers should be expected to be resistant......if you feel like it not working, pull the plug immediately.

Babs said...

Left you an Easter Basket over on my Blog. Hop on over and grab it :)

Anonymous said...

My son wouldn't talk until he was two years old and I weaned him cold turkey from breastfeeding. On that very day his first words were "I'm hungry". True story.

Ashton said...

Such a funny blog, and such funny posts! I'm not a mom, but I totally enjoy this read! :)

and aren't all men naturally 'combative'? ha

Have a great weekend!

Casey said...

If hearing isn't an issue and you are trying to teach him to sign so that he might be able to better communicate, check out those Signing Time DVD's. I kid you not we watched them to help my kids start learning sign language since my niece was born preemie and hearing impaired and they picked it up within a day or two. They even started arguing in sign language, nothing bad just things like "cookie, please, pizza, cracker, wet, dog, want, sorry, thank you.." if they're going to fight...well at least they were quiet. I would totally recommend those DVD's to anyone who was wanting to teach their kids signing. They're cute and fun and the kids seem to pick it up quickly. Hope this helps some, and good luck with your combatant toddler :)

Lissa @ MyThriftyTreasures said...

Haha I love it! I worked in Early Intervention for 2 1/2 years in the playgroup and our Speech Therapist was amazing. They all have that grandmotherly energy. We heard some funny things come out of those kids mouths...

Tammy Taylor said...

My now 8 year old son started speech therapy when he was 2.5 After a few months of not much progress he heard his dad say "crap" when the trash bag ripped. He repeated it and a brother in law thought it was so funny he worked for an hour getting him to say it. At speech that week, I warned the therapist about his new word. She asked if he was using it in the right context. He was.

Katie said...

I am laughing hysterically at this. I am a mom of speech therapy.....we go 4 times a week. When my son was about that age we looked into EI from out state. Hysterical! (at least now I laugh about it all) The people we had come over and try to evaluate my son and help us were not my son's favorite folks and frankly I would not have wanted to hangout with them either. After time, we have found the right therapist for him and he is making so much progress. I love that you keep a sense of humor about it all! I really enjoy your blog.

Katie
www.warriortherapymom.blogspot.com

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Susan said...

I'm so fortunate that my son has been making some progress. He's a bit stubborn but his speech therapist has begun to get through to him!

Leona james said...

Fantastic work man, keep your heads high you did it.
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