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Maya’s Progression

As you know, Maya has been working very hard over the last couple years to improve her speech and overcome the challenges she faces with apraxia.  My goals for her are to make her speech as intelligible as possible and give her confidence to share her thoughts and feelings with others.

Today, I spontaneously grabbed my phone and recorded her talking.  She is entering a stage in her language development where her responses to questions are delayed.  She is focused on conversations, however, she has difficulty immediately responding to a question. She needs a few seconds to process her thoughts and turn those thoughts into words.

Childhood Apraxia of Speech is a motor planning condition. Maya has trouble planning the movement of her mouth to form the words she is attempting to say, so she will have slower responses to questions and conversation.  She needs time to think about what she is trying to say and as her vocabulary grows, she may need more time to think and respond to questions she is being asked.

I have posted two videos on this blog.  In the videos you can literally see Maya thinking as she is holding a conversation with me.  Her eyes look off to the side as she thinks about our conversation. More importantly these two videos show Maya’s progression. She sings a song, tells a story, holds a conversation and a majority of her language is intelligible.  I am so proud of how far she has come.

SIDE NOTE: I love this graphic, I came across it a few years ago.  It’s focus is on Halloween and Trick or Treat, however, its message can be applied to everyday life. The key words in this picture: BE NICE. BE PATIENT

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Progression

There are 2 videos in this post. The first was taken when Maya was 2 years 3 months old. Her language was very limited, saying single words. Many of the words she would say were not clearly pronounced. This video was taken before Maya received her Apraxia diagnosis. 

The second video was taken on 2/2/2017. Maya is 5 years 5 months old. Her language has greatly improved. She can say complete sentences, but at times her words are unclear. 

The significance of these videos are to show the amount of growth Maya has had over the past 3 years.  Her language has improved, her vocabulary has grown, and nothing stops her from sharing her thoughts and feelings.    

(In the first video she proudly says the word, “leaf.” The second video she is talking about feeding leaves to animals.)

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Fridays & Word Practice

Fridays are fabulous in our house. It’s our day off, we don’t have preschool and most days we have limited obligations. Fridays are our catch up days. We relax, play, mommy cleans, and we can sit down and practice our words. 

Having 2 little ones with Apraxia, at home speech practice is essential. Typically, we incorporate speech practice throughout our daily tasks and on Fridays we have a chance to sit down and go over our words. 

Today, (Friday 10/21) I remembered to record Maya during our practice session. If you listen closely and watch Maya’s mouth, you can see how she struggles with motor planning. Her mouth becomes confused when trying to pronounce the “k sound” (coughing sound) and the “t sound” (tippy tongue sound). ​

Please take a minute to watch Maya practicing the k and t sounds. We are so proud of her. She is very determined and has an excellent attitude. CJ makes an appearance too. ​

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Driving

We spend a lot of time in our car.  Every day we have somewhere to go, therapy, preschool class, gymnastics, visiting family, errands, etc. We like to stay busy and we are always on the move.

For the longest time our car rides were quiet. Maya developed her own traveling habits.  She has always enjoyed holding my hand when we travel in the car.   A tiny voice from the backseat would say, “nan” and I knew she wanted to hold my hand. Maya spoke in simple phrases for a long time and I found myself wondering if I would ever hear her sing nursery rhymes, ask questions, or hold conversations.

Today, the silence has been replaced with growing conversations and endless stories. Maya loves to share her thoughts and hear stories about animals. She asks hundreds of questions. She enjoys singing and dancing to songs on the radio. Her sweet voice is music to my ears.

Here is a clip of a family outing. Maya loves to tell stories and share silly ideas. Her speech is improving and she is working on articulation and grammar.

Car Ride

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Fun

Our days aren’t always filled with lessons and speech therapy. We love to have fun as a family. One of our greatest joys is spending time together as a family. 

We love to let the kids play and act silly. Recently, we have enjoyed watching Maya dance to her new favorite television show theme song. Over the past couple weeks she has done her best to learn the words to the theme song. Hearing her sing the words to the song is the sweetest sound. 

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Homework!

Recently, Maya has been avoiding practicing speech at home. Typically, we sit down and review the letter sounds and words she is learning. I do my best to make the process as fun as possible. Realizing that she has become bored with our usual practice, I decided to make some  changes.

Continuous changes are always needed in a productive work environment.  At home we have changed the name from speech practice to homework. Like every kid, Maya wants to grow up and act  like her older friends.  Now she gets to do homework like her big kid friends. We also use a sticker chart and work toward a larger reward instead of instant rewards. I really enjoy this approach because I am able to incorporate counting and calendar practice. 

Maya is really enjoying our new approaches to speech practice. The changes may be small, but she is motivated and curious and more importantly willing to learn and participate. 

In this video Maya is practicing the sentence “I am four.” 

Click link below.

Sentence practice

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