Thursday, May 24, 2012

Connor's Speech Therapy: An update

Back in February, I wrote about Connor's speech delay diagnosis and speech therapy.

At last week's session with Mario, he noted that Connor has progressed amazingly well, far quicker than he thought.  The problem with Connor is that he is terribly stubborn and at some sessions, he just decides he won't do anything and is very difficult.  At some sessions, he's very good and will eagerly do all the work that Mario has set.  Mario asked with a smile, "Is there a stubborn streak in your family?"  Yes, Mario.  Me.  Sigh.

I was very happy when Mario estimated that Connor would have caught up with children his age before Christmas.   He's planning to administer another speech test when we're all back from summer holidays so that we can see how far Connor has come and compare results from the very first session.

I have seen lots of progress myself.  Even Teacher told me that Connor is now speaking in full sentences at school and just the other day, he stood in front of the class to tell a story.  Mummy was SO proud of her little boy.

We do a lot of story scene cards at therapy.  Connor is given a set of 5-6 cards that depict a story and asked to pick them out in the correct order and tell us what the picture shows.  Story scene cards help him formulate a sense of time and narration for a story, these are important communication skills.  When we first arrived, Connor could barely do that.  Now he can pick out the cards in correct sequence and tell us what is happening in the picture.   Sometimes this has unexpected results.  He once picked up a card showing a black cat about to jump onto a sofa, it showed the cat from the back.  Connor took one look at it and exclaimed, "Oh, it's the cat's shadow!"  LOL

Each time we arrive for a session, I accompany him to the receptionist and let him practise speaking with them.  He was shy at first but now he marches up to them and bellows out his answers as the girls all smile at him.
"What is your name?"
"My name is Connor!"
"Why are you here?"
"I've come to see Mario!"

After our last session, some of Mario's friends were at reception so Mario took Connor with him and introduced him to them.  One of them asked my son, "How old are you?" and Connor replied, "I am three years old."  They were so charmed and Mario beamed proudly at Connor's response and more importantly, that he had responded.

When I expressed surprise and relief at Mario's estimation of his progress, Mario explained that Connor is progressing so quickly because all he has is a developmental delay.  He is otherwise developing normally and all he needed was a nudge to help his speech kickstart.   Connor has a little schoolmate, whom I'll call Jack,  who attends the session after us.  Jack is a extremely bright 4yo who has mild Asperger's, so his speech delays were due to a disorder, not a developmental delay as in Connor's case.  So Jack obviously needs more time and more help. It's important for (sometimes hysterical) parents to distinguish between the two (delay and disorder) so that they understand what needs to be done and why.

If you need any help, you can contact Mario for an appointment.  I have listed 2 other contacts in my original post back in February so you can try them as well if you like.

Marios Genethliou,
KL Sports Medicine Centre
Damansara Heights
Tel:  03-2096 1033

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