This has been a long month, and we're only 3/4 of the way through it! For the past two+ weeks, I have been very ill. Noah was sick last week too with a bronchial virus, but fortunately, he recovered very quickly. I, on the other hand, ended up with a walking pneumonia!
So, what better way to spend my time in bed recovering than working on organizing Noah's new program this quarter from the NACD. As he gets older, the program continues to expand with more and more tasks. This quarter, there are 39 activities to be completed each day, multiple times. That doesn't include the Listening Program, which I'll have to describe in another post.
So, I need to organize these 39 activities to be completed sometime between Noah going to school, going to horseback riding (hippo therapy), attending music class and my work schedule. Notice I didn't mention speech therapy? The NACD has a speech Pathologist that has reviewed videos of Noah's current abilities and set up a speech and oral motor program specifically for him.
We are very grateful for this!
Speech has always been one of our greatest concern regarding Noah. We began taking him to Tucson when he was four months old to see an oral-motor therapist at Talk Tools with Sara Rosenfeld Johnson. Oral-motor therapy addresses the physical movements of speech and feeding. A strong oral motor is the foundation to proper speech acquisition and this is used in conjunction with speech therapy. Over the past three years, we have seen three different speech pathologist's in town. This can be very expensive, but to acquire the tools for verbal language is priceless!
So, for the first time we are going to implement the speech activities from NACD and are excited about future results.
It has been suggested by two different speech pathologists that Noah may have verbal apraxia. This is a motor planning issue where the person has a difficult time saying what they want correctly and consistently. So, to help Noah to overcome this it will take a lot of repetition of very basic sounds. NACD will help Noah to progress by increasing his auditory skills along with verbal cues and sounds.
On his new program, there are 11 activities dedicated specifically for speech enhancement. There are a couple of different facial massages, and mouth stimulation activities along with chewing exercises. (This is reinforcing the oral-motor activity).
He has an activity of sound effects: verbalizing actions throughout the day, "weeee!" and "uh-oh" as examples.
We need to work on predictable phrases... mom and dad, up and down, ect. The point is to then leave the last word of the phrase out so he will say it. After many repetitions of the phrase, the goal is to test him by saying "mom and ..." hoping he will verbally say "dad".
We need to read books that rhyme a lot so he is very familiar with them for lots of input. Then we will begin to leave words out and hope he will fill them in verbally with the proper response. Ex: "Brown bear, brown bear, what do you ..." then Noah will say "see".
A lot of face to face verbal activity. I say a word and then Noah will repeat it. We also do this with the alphabet.
The last activity is one using flash cards, which Noah loves to work with. This is called syllable repetition. Right now we are on Step #1. We are working with the "B" sound. I made up flash cards of both a sheep and a ghost. The goal is to have him look at the sheep and say "baa" and look at the ghost and say "boo". We are to set up 5 flash cards of the same image to reinforce the repetition. The goal is to work with the same consonant but changing up the vowels until he is consistent with the sounds.
Well, I'm excited for the beginning of next week, as I have hopes of accomplishing and conquering many expectations!
First and foremost, I hope to be healthy and back to the world of the living!
I am hoping to hire the nanny that is right for Noah, as I have two interviews next week that I am very excited about.
Last but not least, Noah's new program begins!!! I have it all organized and ready for our days; hopefully we are able to implement it in real life to mirror the written sheet of paper!
Someday I will have to get back to work, but today I am going to smile and give blessings for all the joy in my life!