Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Early Intervention Therapy

We’ve had two sessions with our Early Intervention therapist, Ms. A. now. I'm not sure how it works elsewhere, but here in Missouri, the early intervention therapist comes to your house. Other than the fact that I'm forced to clean, it is super convenient. She's coming once a week for an hour as we decided in our IFSP meeting.

Ms. A is great and I like her a lot. She’s already building a rapport with Ava and Ava is working well with her. She’s given me some new tips that work well with Ava. Ava is right at the border between one syllable utterances and two syllable utterances. We’re all trying to work with her to try to get her to make that jump up. Ms. A introduced tapping. It’s simple, but it really helps Ava hear that she needs to be producing more syllables. Nana (for banana) is two taps. Mo mi (more milk) is two taps. Right now, she can say more. She can say milk. She cannot say more milk. But if you tap, she’ll try. It usually comes out mo, mo. But at least she’s trying to imitate both words.

Another idea she had was to use an exercise ball during therapy. Children with apraxia often have more success with speech productions when they are paired with movement. So she put Ava on the ball and did Row, Row, Row Your Boat with her. The song was super slow and she rocked Ava back and forth with each word. By the end of the song Ava was trying to sing along. It was adorable.

Right now, the therapy sessions are more indirect and play based than I’d like. Therapy based on motor planning principles is all about getting lots and lots of productions, and you just can’t get as many productions in play based therapy. I’d love to see Ms. A begin to incorporate a more structured part of the therapy session at some point, but so far they’re really just getting to know each other. It will come. And if I want that to happen I’ll have to figure out a way to keep Michael occupied elsewhere. But overall, I’m pleased. It’s an excellent beginning.


  1. I wonder if this program is the same as our Infant Learning Program. Our son was served by our ILF program here in AK. He got a lot out of it. We did not have an SLP come to the home, but use a private practice SLP. Our SLP uses lots of play when treating our son for his Apraxia because really he is young and he works the whole time. At times I wonder if it is intense enought, but he is making progress so I think it is working well.

    Your daughter is close to 2 syllable words. How cool! Our son just started talking in October at 32 monts and has a few two syllable words, but not many. He just said cowboy when he woke up this morning. So cute.

  2. Wow I should really check my spelling before hitting post:)

  3. Ava only has a few too right now. Nana for banana, purpu for purple, baby, and maybe a couple of others. I'm not counting things like mama and dada here. Just ones where the vowel changes at least a little. We're trying to get more. And we're trying to get simple two word combinations. So far, using the tapping, I can get her to imitate the right number of syllables, but they all come out sounding the same. So mama help comes out "ma ma ma". It's a start though.

    Cowboy! How fun. :-)

  4. I just started reading your blog a few weeks ago - I love the idea of tapping and the therapy ball! My 24 month old son has been in EI since he was 7 months. It started for gross motor delays and has now progressed to expressive language delay and we believe that it could be Verbal Apraxia. So far we have a few consonant sounds - but you always have to prompt him - no spontaneous language...but we're working on it. He gets EI 2-3X a week and it's all play based - I've seen a huge increase in the last month and a half with some initial consonants and his willingness to communicate - 6 months ago, he wouldn't even make eye contact. Now he taps us and pulls us while saying "ugh" to get our attention. I never thought I'd be so happy to be grunted at. ;) Thank you for sharing your process with us. :)

  5. Thanks for saying "hi" Crystal. I enjoy hearing from everyone. And you're welcome.

    I know exactly what you mean about being so happy to finally have them communicating with you. I am constantly grateful for things I just know other parents take for granted. She's happier. We're happier. It's magical when they finally start to get the power of communication. The sounds are great. They are important. But the willingness is the key.

    Good luck. Sounds like you guys are doing all the right things.


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