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.