Friday, September 27, 2013

Speech & Language Evaluation

Piper has been getting speech since February after her first palate repair.  I love her speech therapist!  She is the sweetest thing.  Piper was doing really well with speech but lately has not been doing well.  She is extremely strong willed and if she doesn't want to do something....It just isn't gonna happen!!  She holds strong.  3 weeks ago she really was not budging.  She spent a good amount of time on the step and then finally came around when her sister came and was enjoying some games and activities with our speech therapist.  The last two times she has done AMAZING!!  Hearing her say the alphabet and hearing her put 2 and 3 words together has been so neat.  At night when I put her to bed she has been singing Jesus loves me and you are my sunshine.  It is the sweetest sound to my ears hearing her precious voice.  The challenge with speech has come because her palate is still  not fully repaired.  Our speech therapist is not sure what to do with her so she has been working on placement, vowels, picture recognition and similar words that have most of the same letters but a different ending sound.  We decided that it was a good idea to have her evaluated by a speech therapist at CHOP who deals with cleft lip and cleft palate on a regular basis.  We wanted to get her take on where Piper is with speech and make sure that we are doing everything we possibly can for our little girl.  She is so young and they learn so quick.  I just want to make sure that we are utilizing every possible avenue we can to help her with speech.  I know we have a long road ahead so it my job to do this. 

Today we went to CHOP for a speech evaluation.  Her receptive language is very well.  She understands so much.  If you give her directions she can mostly figure out what you are asking and then do what you tell her.  Her speech language is very weak.  It is hard to understand her.  I know her lingo and her 2 year old noises and I can figure out what she wants or needs.  I had really thought she was doing well with communicating until I actually paid attention.  Some of what she says is a noise or a gesture.  It is not always a word.  They recommended increasing speech to 2 times per week instead of the 1 we are doing now.  She recommended working on placement to get where your lips and mouth move in order to make the correct sound.  When her mouth is fully repaired then she will know how to say it.  She has also been saying the alphabet.  She recommended reading some repetitive books to her and having her try to repeat the part that is being repeated.  She recommended us trying to do play to show possession, show under the chair/over the chair etc.  She also recommended her going to a peer play group.  She recommended showing her picture cards to help her develop more words and being able to put the two together.  She also recommended signing with words.  We have done some of this already and it has really helped.  She would sign what she was trying to say first then when she learned the word she would say it and sign it.  Now for some things she just says the word and I know what she is trying to say.  I could see this being beneficial for her for sure.  All in all it was a good visit.  It was definitely helpful to have this evaluation.  We will be seeing her at our cleft team appointment in late October. 

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