Thursday, August 9, 2012
talk, baby, talk
If you're wondering why G's chest looks funny in the above pic, he's wearing what's called a LENA, or voice recorder. On Monday, we recorded everything G said and heard the entire day. Yes, I was on my best behavior!
(P.S. G's reading How I Became A Pirate by Melinda Long, one of his favorite books. It's sorta kinda awesome.)
After being denied by our state's early intervention program, despite the fact that G only scored one point in expressive communication, we were accepted by KidTalk! KidTalk is a research program at Vanderbilt University. Part of what they do is provide speech therapy for free to toddlers who need it - in fact, they pay you for the times they review progress.
We've been going through preliminary testing this week as we get ready for the real therapy to start week after next. Mostly, they've been testing him for autism (they do this for all the kids) and getting a baseline for G's speech abilities right now. The LENA helps determine what he's saying right now so we can weight that with what he learns over the next four months.
KidTalk only lasts four months, but I'm hoping one of the main things is accomplishes is teaching me what to do to help G. We spend time at the Vanderbilt clinic each week as the therapist teaches me techniques to use with G. Then we have a session at home where we practice using those techniques.
I've discovered a few things about G this week as he has gone through testing:
- He thinks Play-doh is awesome.
- When a puppet ducky asks to eat his tummy, he obliges by raising his shirt, without missing a beat, sending everyone into stitches while laughing.
- Baby dolls are his newest favorite toy. I'm on the lookout for a great set to get him.
- My kid can go through over 2 hours of extensive play-based testing with only a short cuddle play break with mommy.
- Other people think he's the best kid ever as much as I do.
I can't wait to see how KidTalk benefits both G and me. I see only good things coming from this fantastic opportunity, and I'm so so so thankful to have figured out a way to help out my kiddo.