We went to Kid's Ability today to meet with Wysdom's future speech therapist. Kid's Ability is a local charitable organizations that works in partnership with families and communities to cultivate the development of children and young adults with developmental, physical and communication disabilities.
Our family has been there before for an initial assessment. We were put on the waiting list many months ago and are now nearing the top of that list. Friday we met with Wysdom's future speech therapist. We already have been working with a speech therapist in the home since Wysdom's birth, however she is strictly part of his feeding team. The therapist that we met today will just focus on his speech. Feeding and speech are connected as they use the same muscles, but for our situation we have two separate therapists.
We got some tips on things we can do to help foster Wysdom's speech development. So I thought that I would share them with everyone. Below is a list of independent exercises that can be done at anytime to stimulate his muscles:
- Put a warm or cold cloth around his mouth (really which ever is preferred)
- Use your hands to open his mouth in the shape of an "O"
- Put his lips together with your fingers in a pursed fashion
- Put pressure under his lips to get him to open his mouth
- Make gestures with your face and encourage him to copy them. Things such as smiling, making faces, blowing raspberries ect.
- Initiate different sounds and provide lots of examples of babbling and cooing
- Try using a vibrating teether for mouth stimulation(at Toys are Us)
- Repeat what he says and then say something new to see if he will copy you
- Get him to try to see the movement of your mouth
- Lastly but most importantly...allow him time to respond to you. Give him time to speak. Most adults may want to keep talking to the baby, but giving them lots of time to respond is the key.
We are excited to continue helping Wysdom with these new tips. While we were there he provided the speech therapist with lots of coos and babbling, which was fun!! We are also using some sign language with Wysdom. So far we have used "all done", "up" "sleep" and "gentle". Gentle is being introduced because our little man loves to pinch his sister, already!!! We will keep you posted on our progress.