Development Therapy began in earnest for E in September of 2011. Development therapy started off with meeting a few simple goals. Number One: Child will tell his parents when he is finished eating during mealtimes. Number Two: Child will tell parents when he is hungry or thirsty. Number Three: E will use words to communicate what he needs or wants, such as read a book or play with a toy. Number Four: E will imitate activities during playtime with family.
These goals don’t sound unusual for a child E’s age, but they seemed like a tall order for a child who barely made a sound. My house got so quiet I could barely wait for my husband to return home from work. Poor husband, if he was late, I laid it on too heavy. It wasn’t his fault I was going crazy from all the quiet. I survived on music playing on any device in the room. I was trying very very hard not to turn on the TV for comfort while E was in the room. I can say that as soon as E went down for a nap I quickly turned on the TV just for the sound.
The first stage in development therapy was getting E to communicate. We started with Baby Signs. Now this might sound counter intuitive to getting E to speak, but remember communication is the ultimate goal. So the first sign E learned was “more”. I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful it was to finally know that my child wanted more to eat. “All Done” took a bit longer, but E loved the sign for dog.
Meanwhile I was still in a holding pattern for the one thing that motivated me to seek out help in the first place, speech! It started with my pediatrician in March and it wasn’t until August that a hearing test was completed and the speech evaluation took place finally on August 30th.
Yes, my son had to go through another and separate evaluation for speech. For a kid who didn’t make any noise at all it was torture for everyone. The questions did not really differ from the developmental evaluation. The evaluation of course recommended speech therapy. I’m certain his initial developmental evaluation would have sufficed. We jumped through the hoops, got the names for the speech therapist available through the CDSA and finally started speech therapy in October. It was a long summer.
For more information on baby sign see:
(or make up your own signs!)