Sean-Peter has officially graduated from private speech therapy. He has simply met all of his age-appropriate goals that his speech therapist set for him.
If someone had told me a year ago after he was diagnosed with his verbal apraxia speech disorder that there would ever be an end in sight, I wouldn't have dared hope.
I really, truly, was bracing myself for a long journey. I was mentally preparing for possibly homeschooling, at least initially, not just for the sake of his academic progress but also so he didn't begin his public education unduly judged in a social network of peers while his speech caught up. Last June I was contemplating my need to learn sign language, for Pete's sake! (Pun intended.)
His speech journey is not ending: it's just on a developmental path right now. We will have him reevaluated when he turns five (in seven months), specifically to assess his articulation, sentence formulation, and prosody.
I will always have one ear tuned to any future implications that this disorder may have on his language skills, particularly as it affects perceptions of his learning capabilities. (e.g. As he struggles to "spit it out", someone not familiar with him or his history may think he's struggling to understand the question rather than simply working on sequencing the sounds he wants to use to express himself.)
His occupational therapy sessions will continue, probably at least for the next six months, for his sensory integration development and tactile sensitivity issues; and we will continue his therapeutic listening at home.
And I will continue to encourage his self directing in improving his articulation skills in the areas he still struggles, using techniques I have learned from Melissa.Just the other day he self-corrected his "l" sound in a word to say it more clearly, to "use his tongue" to make the sound. I praised him, "Good job making your "L" sound, Peter! How did you learn to do that so well?"
"I learned it from Miss Muh-lissa!"
Thank you, Miss Muh-lissa! I will forever be grateful that God put you in our path.
March 30, 2012
1 year ago