Therapy tools (part one): speech — 5 Minutes for Special Needs

Therapy tools (part one): speech

by Jill


I’m going to use my next couple of posts to talk about the tools we are using with J.  I am in no way a medical expert or therapist; I’m only sharing what we have found to assist my daughter.

At 20 months old, J is at a 6-9 month level for speech. She knows the signs for “more” and “milk”, says “dada” and “mama” (although not always in proper context), shakes her head “no” (always in proper context), and waves “bye-bye”.

I am blessed with a friend who has baby-sat my girls since my oldest was only 3 months old.  She home school’s her two children, one with special needs.  She is very creative, patient, and loving.  She is essentially my special-needs-mom mentor.  As I was facing J’s diagnosis she was able to offer me words of advise. She’s been a tremendous encouragement and has the inside track on what specialists are the best in town.

Well, this friend told me about an easy and practical tool she used when her daughter was J’s age.  They are essentially picture flashcards, but the important part is that she used pictures of objects in her own house.  Objects her daughter used everyday.  She offered to make one for J if I brought her some pictures.  Here’s the finished product:

The pictures include shoes, diapers, bottle, snack, mom, dad, sister, grandparents, and our family dog.  We’re using these picture flash cards to emphasize the connection between objects and their verbal name.

Perhaps she will even be able to use pictures to communicate with us?  I don’t know, but right now I hope to give her the options she needs and we’ll follow her lead.  Anything will be better than the whining and thrashing when she is trying to get her message across.  What tools do you use to assist with speech delays?

Email Author    |    Website About Jill

I'm a 30-something working mom of two girls. My oldest daughter is 5 and my 20 month old was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy as a result of PVL at 9 months. I love being a mom, I strive for organization but often fail, and I'm a terrible cook.

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1 Carla December 1, 2010 at 10:51 am

Little T is 4 1/2 and is slowly but surely coming along in her speech. She was diagnosed with verbal apraxia at the beginning of this year. She also has low muscle tone around her mouth and tongue. I don’t have any tools that we use (her speech therapist uses prompt) but we do play lots of games in the mirror! We stick our tongues out at each other, make silly faces, grumpy faces, anything to get her to work those mouth muscles! Same thing when I brush her teeth! Its silly to her but it is helping her.

I also teach her sign language which helps in the frustration you spoke about. Its hard at first because I didn’t think she was “getting” it but she surprises me everyday. When I couldn’t understand that she wanted a book she signed it to me – and that was a sign we had went over a month before. Don’t give up – she’s taking everything in!


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