Miles has been in speech therapy since January; a lovely speech therapist named Melissa comes to play (and work) with him for one hour each week. He mostly enjoys the time he spends with her, and I am always amazed at how easily she can get him to make new sounds and try new words. Mostly I think speech therapy at this age is to help the parents learn techniques to help their children, but either way, she is doing a tremendous job.
On the first week, Miles was saying “gye-gye” in place of “bye-bye” whenever someone walked out of the room. By the time she left after that first hour, she had him saying the “b” in the proper place. I think that’s pretty cool.
Sometimes he doesn’t want to participate in whatever activity Melissa is trying to do with him, but she is always able to adapt what she wants him to do to the activity he is more interested in (i.e. playing with cars). Sometimes we have to have a snack in the middle of the session, but what we sometimes discover during snack time can be very useful. For example, two weeks ago she noticed that he was only eating his fruit snacks on the left side of his mouth. We kept testing it, but he kept pushing everything over to the left side of his mouth, meaning the left side of his tongue is weaker than the right side. So I’ve been trying to force things onto the right side of his mouth (without getting bit) whenever I can.
Before she started coming, Miles was only saying “gye-gye,” “hi,” and “Daddy” with regularity. Now, just a few months later, here is a list of words (and sounds that he thinks are words) that he now uses with regularity:
Truck (kind of)
Iger (tiger or lion or anything that could be a tiger in his mind)
He also can make a variety of animal sounds, including moo, quack-quack, neigh, woof, baa, maa, grunting like a pig, and sometimes a meow.
I think that’s all of them, and it may not be as many words as other kids his age, but it’s progress. I have not doubt that he will eventually get to where he needs to be, especially if I am vigilant about practicing with him as much as possible.