Thursday, November 10, 2011

5-15-30 - Every Little Bit Counts

I suppose that sort of title usually applies to exercise. In this case I'm talking about speech practice. I've been attempting to incorporate therapy into our routine for months now. I've been largely unsuccessful.

Recently I've been motivated to try again. First I came up with a reinforcer that worked well - about three times. Then Ava decided that she'd rather skip speech even if she had to give up her treasured "colored cheerios". Apparently I wasn't destined to make one thing and have it work every time forever after. :-)

I admit. I hadn't even printed out all of my own card sets. Today I printed out two more. I'm stashing sets around the house. I'm trying to pull them out in those moments. You know, the ones where an activity wraps up sooner than you expected and you wonder how on earth you're going to make it through the next 5-15-30 minutes. Sure, she still whines a little, but I tell her that we can't do anything else until we finish a little speech. It doesn't take us long to go through a card deck and with more of them printed, she's seeing fresh pictures each time. If she's in a good mood and doing well, I'll do the card deck several times in a row. We'll say the words individually, say them with the prompts on the back, say them two-three times in a row, or pair them up and say them in pairs.

Taking speech in smaller, spontaneous chunks seems to be working better for us. I'm having to work to get Michael to not chime in when it is Ava's turn. Otherwise I can't hear her response well enough to give appropriate feedback. Other than that, it isn't a problem having him around during our practice sessions.

I'm not trying to teach anything new. I'm just trying to establish some final consonant usage in running speech. I'm working on that with the easiest consonants. I should take a baseline from some conversational speech so I can recheck in 2-3 weeks to see if we're getting any carryover at all. It would be a great experiment.

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