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Thought on speech therapy

Posted Jun 29 2009 9:48pm
We're having an interesting issue with Joey's speech therapy. He's been saying he doesn't want to see Ms. Nikki (his private therapist). Is this just part of him being tired from school and his tummy troubles, or are we seeing some therapy fatigue?

We're toying with the idea of going with a shorter session with a new therapist. Nothing against Ms. Nikki (who brought this to my attention and said she is not offended, it happens), she has really been working OK with Joey. Perhaps a new face, with some new things to do and approaches to try, will bring some novelty and fun back into speech therapy, which may seem too much like work as he gets older.

However, I think we ought to consider some of the other issues we have seen with the move to the new office. For one, there s now a mini-office in the therapy room- a desk with a computer and files and things. This computer has been causing a lot of headaches, and I think it is a serious distraction for him. The old rooms in the old office were just rooms, they didn't have the computers and things in them, and I think that worked better for Joey. Also, a lot of speech therapy seems to involve tables, instead of using the whole room and activity to promote speech. After sitting in school all day, Joey may not be too keen to sit around another room doing more table-top stuff for another 40 minutes.

One thing about the OT is though there is a general structure to the sessions (half fine-motor in the "small room" , half gross-motor in the "gym"), every session is a surprise. What will they make? What games will they play? What will they do? Our OT has a knack for trying new things, mixing up new activities with old favorites. There is a sameness to the speech therapy, you sit at the table and talk about what you did today, and work on asking and answering questions. This has been pretty effective, actually, but it may be getting old as he masters these skills in a basic way.

So what to do? Speech is a definite issue, and his oral communication is still seriously limited. His use of language still needs to be addressed so he can function and communicate with his teachers and peers. As nice as it might be to think the world will learn to speak Joey, its definitely not realistic. Right now, we're weighing the options, and making sure this isn't really about him just feeling bad in the afternoons; but I think a little freshening up might be in order.
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