Thursday, June 5, 2014

Speech therapy

I've been meaning to write about Emmett's speech therapy for a while, so here it is.

Ever since Emmett started talking (and even before that, when he wasn't talking and I thought he should be), I was a bit concerned that his speech was delayed (although my main comparison was Annika, who I think was a bit advanced, so perhaps it wasn't really a fair comparison).  He was slow to start talking and even now, although he has no shortage of words (some days it seems like he never stops talking!), he can be hard to understand if you don't know his "language".  He mispronounces many letters that most children his age can pronounce.  So, with the recommendation from our doctor, we started speech therapy with Emmett about 2 months ago.  

In just 2 months, we've seen him improve by leaps and bounds.  Sure, he still has quite a ways to go, but seeing him learn and master the sounds he's been working on is amazing.  Even his speech therapist seems a little surprised by how quickly he's progressing.  He doesn't always like practicing at home, but he loves going for his weekly sessions and seeing what games/puzzles/toys he gets to play with there.  The speech therapist is excellent with him and knows how to keep his attention and keep it fun while working.  She also knows when to push him to work a little harder at a sound, and when to back off, when he's just not ready (some sounds come later on, as kids mature).  And I can tell that he feels good about himself when he gets a pronunciation right.  Lately he's even been correcting himself from time to time- he'll mispronounce something, then he'll repeat the word with the correct pronounciation!

I know that once Emmett starts kindergarten there will be help for him in school if he's still mispronouncing sounds (Annika talks about several kids in her class that go for "speech"), however, I'm hoping by then he will have the majority of his sounds mastered (either through therapy or just by maturing and learning on his own), so it's not such a big deal for him - maybe he'll only have to work on 1 or 2 of the later-coming sounds by then, if anything.  We are very fortunate, though - the cost of the speech therapy is partially covered by our insurance, and I have the time right now to take him to appointments, so that made the decision to pursue therapy easy.  It seems to have been a good decision - good timing - given how well he's responding to it.  We'll soon be taking a break for the summer, but we will likely start up again in the fall.

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