Porter’s Speech Therapy: 6 Month Update

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Warning: this is a long post, but some adorable pictures might make it oh so worth it!

I’ve written about Porter’s speech therapy a few times. I first wrote about my worries with his speech here. Soon after he started therapy, I wrote about it here and I also mentioned some of his progress here

A few weeks back, Porter’s therapist and I discussed his 6 month review and we also talked about his upcoming goals.  I cannot say enough good things about Porter’s speech therapist, Emily. He has learned so much from her, and it seems like every day he’s learning and saying new words and phrases. She definitely has helped to get him “caught up” and she even said that in three more months we may not need to continue therapy at all. 

Below are the goals that his therapist and I discussed at his 6 month review. These goals were set by his speech therapist at the start of his therapy. I’ve also included her notes about his current levels. 

Goal #1: for Porter to imitate new vocalization and exclamatory words in therapy and routines and carry over into everyday use

Therapist notes: Porter’s use of new vocalizations in play has increased! He has increased his use of animal noises, environmental sounds (crash! beep beep! whoa!) and automatic speech in verbal routines (1-2-3, ready set go!). Porter is ready to move onto more functional words in play (early verbs/early prepositions). GOAL MET!

Goal #2: for Porter to imitate true words

Therapist notes: More recently, Porter will imitate 95% of what is asked of him. He will imitate action words, nouns, sounds, numbers, and commands! He has met his initiative true words goal based on his age and production. He is ready for more challenging aspects of expressive language. GOAL MET!

Goal #3: for Porter to use new words spontaneously

Therapist notes: Porter has also met this goal this quarter. His progress has been tremendous and new words are being used weekly.

Goal #4: for Porter to put functional two word phrases together in everyday context.

Therapist notes: Porter has really improved in this area with the use of visual prompts in the form of action pictures. He will label and communicate his findings to family members in therapy. For example, ” Papa, it’s a tree!” and “It’s an eye.” He has really worked hard in the area of functional phrases that are directly related to the task at hand. The therapist has worked hard on withdrawing given cues and letting Porter express more spontaneously. Goal met!

Goal #5: for Porter to put functional phrases and short sentences together in everyday context with limited prompting  

Therapist notes: Currently, some new phrases Porter is reported to use are as follows: “I did it” “Take a picture” “I want____” “Where is____?” Although is spontaneous use of phrases is increasing, I want to continue this goal to get a larger variety. For example, Pronoun + Noun and Pronoun + Verb along with Adjective + Noun combinations. Continue goal to increase variety. 

Goal #6: Porter will use multisyllabic words clearly and appropriately

Therapist notes: 4/10 imitation and pointing to each syllable dot on corresponding card (bu-bble gum, le-mon-ade, etc…) It helps when Porter breaks down the syllable in the word and almost puts a rhythmic tone to it. If he attempts spontaneously, his accuracy drops dramatically. He still needs cues to emphasize and be understood by an unfamiliar listener. Continue for spontaneous clear word pronunciation.

Goal #7: Porter will label 10/10 action cards using 3+ words and verb form “ing”

Therapist notes: More recently, Porter has been able to label i the 70-75% range with no prompting. He will imitate all 100% of the time but we would like Porter to be able to label approximately 80-90%. Carry this over at home while reading a book or looking at familiar pictures. (Tell me what he/she/they are doing…” Continue goal.

Goal #8: Porter will increase his use of “WH” questions in spontaneous speech

Therapist notes: Porter has only been observed in the therapy setting to use “WH” questions about 3 times. Continue to work on this in play scheme activities, books, and pretend play. He will almost always answer WH questions but the ST (Speech Therapist) would like Porter to initiate them more often . (Where are you? What’s that? Where did it go?) Continue goal. 

As you can see, Porter still struggles in some areas, but he has improved dramatically.  We also discussed future progress, and we looked ahead at common language and goals met for a typical 3 year old. It made me feel good that Porter was already meeting or attempting to meet some of those goals. 

Porter’s newest favorite question is “Where’d you go?” It doesn’t seem like much, but he uses it appropriately and he LOVES saying it, and it’s really cute to see.  The other evening I was driving around the time the sun was setting, and I said to Porter, “Look, Porter. Do you see the sun going down? The sun is going bye bye.” Porter immediately responded with “Sun, where’d you go?” He says it with the cutest inflection,  Anytime something goes missing or goes away or if one of us hides, he says the name of the item/person/object and follows it with “Where’d you go?” Porter woke up in the middle of the night the other night and we brought him in bed with us (I know–terrible parenting, right?) Anyway, he couldn’t find his blankie at one point and I was awake. I heard him whisper in the cutest way “Blankie, where’d you go?” My heart melted instantly. 

He also still loves to ask “Mama (or Daddy), take a picture?” Usually he asks during meal time, but he asks at other times, too. Sometimes he requests the “big camera.” Here are some of the photos I’ve snapped recently when he’s asked to have his picture taken. I love these photos because I was able to perfectly capture his personality lately!

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He also has started to use words and phrases that I had no idea he knew. Apparently he knows what geese are because I let Maggie outside the other day and geese were honking and flying by. He immediately said goose just by hearing the sound. He also has started to say “excuse me” after he burps. However, I cannot take credit for these adorable manners he has developed. My guess is he learned it at daycare.  

I asked Emily (his speech therapist) to recommend some toys that help to encourage speech for children 3 and under. She happily agreed and gave me the following list: 

Speech Therapist Recommended Toys

1. Latch Puzzle Boards by Melissa and Doug:

These are so great because not only can you work on fine motor skills, the child is problem solving and exploring. They can use these skills to work on labeling early academic skills like colors/numbers/labeling and also answering WH questions. What do you see? What’s inside __? The list goes on…..

2. Marble Run or Car Run: 

It’s hard for a child to build this by himself so he can direct you and be the leader. This will allow him to feel in control.  You can take turns sending the pieces down and expand on language in such a fun way! (It’s going dowwwnnn, Ready-set-go!)

3. Stack and Roll Cups by Fisher Price: 

This nesting O ball is such a great and fun product.  It’s so basic but is stackable, nestable, and fits together nicely. I use early action concepts like:”spin” “dump” “roll” “toss” 

It’s also a great hide and seek game if you hide the yellow ball and ask “WHERE DID IT GO?” “IT’S HIDING!” etc..

Classic! Not for just the obvious labeling body parts but you can target same and different, big and small, social scripts, following directions,sequencing….. My kids LOVE this because they can be the creative genius!

5. Water Play- Using a small Plastic container or bin and just an inch of water some how often provides me with the most fun and effective speech sessions. I will dump just about anything in these bins depending on the season. (Farm animals/Easter eggs/summer beach toys) and we will pretend to give items a bath/splash/ sink or float? They love it and it provides an extra sensory piece as well. 
There are also various water tables on the market, too! 
She also stressed that having toys where the child needs your assistance are often best. That creates so many teachable moments of requesting for help, more, I need, I want, Can you..? That way you are actively joining in and not just watching your child play from a distance.
All in all, it’s just so nice to hear him using new words and phrases and to use them appropriately. He still has some garbled speech, but he has learned and developed so much in the past 6 months. I couldn’t be prouder of him!
P.S. Don’t forget to enter the Fairhaven Pregnancy Bundle giveaway

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