Monday, April 18, 2011

Speech and Communication

The Bear-bear has been in full motor mode up until a few weeks ago.  Her speech, which was still pretty much jabbering dropped off while she worked on mastering walking.

Happy 19 Months Ellie Bellie!

Apparently, she feels pretty confident because all of the sudden her jabbering is back in full force and a few new sounds have appears such as "Oh" and "ack".   We believe she might be trying to say "Cat".

Here we go again with the pictures.  Oh brother.

There are no new words and she still signs "cracker" and "eat" for everything.  She just knows that if she does these signs, she gets things.  It seems that Ellie truly understands that "eat" does indeed mean food or eating, but as for the other signs. . . well. . . I am not sure.

Last week during ECI therapy, I told Ellie to get her baby and she signed "baby"!!!  Super Ellie!  Big. Proud. Mommy.  Moment.  Clapping and tears were involved of course.  We had just given her a baby doll to teach her body parts and the fact she knows that baby = her doll and also the sign for baby amazes me.  Super fast learning!

I am not so sure about this.  Should I smile?

Never in a million years did I think I would need to know the signs for hot dog, raisins, sandwich, and potato.  Seriously, I feel like I am learning a whole new language.  Oh wait.  I am! It is frustrating at times so I can only imagine how Ellie Bear feels when she cannot communicate her needs.

Yes.  I should smile :)
I got a taste of Ellie's frustration back when she had that nasty virus/cellulitis/ear infection/stomach bug (all at once might I add).  She has trouble with her hands for things like pointing so she started to use my hands to make signs.  She tries to get my hands to clap or sign "out".  However, when she was ill, she  grabbed my hands and tried to tell me something.  I could not figure it out and it only upset her even more.  I ended up with both hands on my mouth which led me to believe that her throat hurt.  I showed her the Tylenol and Oragel and Ellie smiled.

Let's smile in the other direction.  What?  You want me to smile AT the camera?
Demanding Mama.

We are finally getting speech therapy for Ellie.  There were some issues involving ECI [early childhood intervention] in getting a speech pathologist to come out and do speech therapy with the Chunky Chicken so Andrew and I decided to try the private route.  After many phone calls to speech therapists and with Aetna (of course I had to talk them, again.  Chats with Aetna is almost a weekly occurrence in this household), we got Ellie a "real" speech evaluation and some goals set up.

Uh Uh.  Not going to.  In fact, I will not even look at the camera.

During the speech evaluation last Monday, I discovered two things:

1. I underestimated sweet Ellie's receptive (what she understands) language.  For after the therapist reviewed speech eval results, it appeared that Ellie's expressive (what she can communicate) language was higher than her receptive.  Uh, that doesn't make sense.  Clearly Ellie understands much more than I was giving her credit for.   Of course I came home and started "testing" Ellie on what she understands for Mama will never underestimate her dear Bearity-Bear again.

Okay.  Fine.  SMILE!!!!
2. My child is a genius!  While waiting for the SLP [speech language pathologist] to score Ellie's evaluation, I was working with Ellie using these different colored plastic beads.  As it turns out, Ellie knows the colors yellow and red.  Yay!!!!  She also knows the shapes circle and square.  Yay!!!

Can I get down now?  Please please.  I smiled for you and I looked at the camera too!

Ellie has her own way of communicating.  She truly does.  It is my failure or lack of understanding that I do not know Ellie's method of reaching me.  Therer has been a lot of trial and error in deciphering Ellie's needs and eventually I will see a pattern--such as her using MY hands to communicate or her using her little blanket's bear head to "point" at objections.  I believe we have a long long road ahead of us with speech, but hopefully with starting this new therapy we can at least get the communicating part down.

That's better.  



  1. Understand you about the frustration with communication. Mark refuses to do any type of signing and he has been doing ST for the last 6 months and he doesn't make many word sounds. He use to say David but not anymore. For the most part I understand him,because he will go into the kitchen and go to the pantry when he wants to eat and he will go the fridge when he wants milk. I know though that one day he will start talking when he is good and ready to!

  2. We've pretty much resorted to private speech with Claire. I'm just not happy with the sevices through EI. I know Claire's receptive language is much better than her expressive language, and I know she is making a few signs I just don't understand...


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