Friday, June 14, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - Say What?

We wrapped up this excruciatingly long week with a play date with Mrs. Dawn, one of Baker's Speech Therapists.
Mrs. Dawn is also the one who did Baker's Barium Swallow Study several months ago.
I get many questions about Speech Therapy for Baker.
He is only 13 months old.
Most people recognize that children this young do not have an expansive vocabulary, so I get the look that often says, why bother?
Mrs. Dawn and Mrs. Anna work on many skills, only one of which is building vocabulary.

I am going to try to share today's session through pictures, and answer questions about why we think it is of the utmost importance to be proactive in this area of Baker's development.
Each weekly visit works in conjunction to meet Baker's short and long term goals, and ultimately works to help him communicate more effectively.

Currently, Baker is measuring about 9-11 months on most objectives.
We go to the hospital's outpatient facility once per week for Speech, Occupational, and Physical Therapy.

Baker has graduated from the blue feeding chair to the big boy chair and LOVES every second.
I swear he believes he's five!

He and Mrs. Dawn began emptying a bucket,
but not like he normally would.
At home, he opts for the quickest way possible. 
But, Mrs. Dawn was so strategic.
She would ask, "Where's the block," all while signing and making big gestures to accompany her words.
 They would look into the bucket together and Baker would remove one block.

I can just imagine these are his thoughts.
I love his excitement at this stage!

She emphasized, "Out, out, out, take the block out."

And then, with the patience of Job, "Baker, can I have the block? Hand me the block."

And when he dropped one, "Where is it? Where is the block?"

"Look, this one's a blue triangle."
His little face - so full of inquiry.
He's truly studying, recognizing the blue triangle.
I think, from even this early, children learn advanced concepts like comparing and contrasting.

One year olds and sharing.
Certainly not something that comes naturally.
But, we're working on it.

And they did this with all eight block, of various shapes and sizes.
I have never seen blocks so methodically removed from a bucket.

Signing "more" in between each extraction.
And stacking the blocks, "Up, up, up" in anticipation of the grand finale.

Silly Mrs. Dawn.

Silly Baker.

At the conclusion, Baker got to blast the tower to smithereens.
I am convinced boys come out wanting to build stuff and then knock it over.

Are you sure I can do this?

Ta da!!

Next, it was time for bubbles,
but not before waving bye bye to the blocks.

Every thing, every word, every sign, every gesture, every voice inflection was purposeful.


"Pop, pop, pop."

"More, please."

"Baker, you say bubble."
"Buh, buh, buh."
And so Baker put his hand to his mouth, and "Buh, buh, buh"ed til the cows came home.

This works really well.
Placing his hand on your mouth so he can feel the vibrations of your mouth and the shape of your lips and then encouraging him to mimic what he hears, and feels, and sees.

And we always read together.
And the books are always purposeful.
With sounds and textures.
Baker loves books.
 And we love Baker's therapists.

With every animal, there was its name, its sign, and its sound.

How they cram so much information, so much knowledge, and training, and experience into 30 short minutes, is beyond me.
It is as educational for me as it is for Baker.
I am always learning a new sign, or a new strategy, or a new way to incorporate language into play.

That's why we do this.
Why we bother.
Because I cannot think of a better way to spend 30 minutes each week that would be more beneficial to Baker's language development, than this.

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