Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Speech-Language for Babies and Toddlers

We had a speech eval with my 20 months old. I have learned many interesting things preparing for the visit, during and after it. Results for Camilla: speech sound skills - at risk, talking - "mild delay" (really? with 60 active words that we counted? funny!)

Some people might remember our problem. Camilla suddenly started talking at 18 months. She picked up tens of words in a matter of a couple of days. And that made me worried because with all the great talking she still couldn't pronounce some of the basic sounds. It looked like she skipped all the first sounds and advanced to the next level without them.

It turned out I was right: there is a sequence of sounds that the babies develop normally. The speech-language pathologist, Jenny, was nice to give me an extra paper at the end; and there they were, all the sounds Camilla skipped. Here it is:

Speech Sound Development Chart

Up to 24 months old

Group 1......p, m, h, n, w, b
Group 2......k, g, d, t, ng

Up to 36 months old

Group 1......f, y
Group 2......r, l, s

Up to 4 years old

Group 1......ch, sh, z
Group 2......j, v

4.5 years old

th (the th in thumb), th (the th in this)

5.5 years old

zh (as in measure)

First sounds: Speech-Language for Babies and Toddlers

P, M, B are made with lips. I found some nice tips of how to help a baby with these.

1. Our prescription after the visit (Ha! Ha!) is to buy a chopstick for Camilla to apply to the lips to help her be aware of her lips and start using lips to produce the sounds.
2. Use wet cloth to move around her lips. Or a piece of tasty food around the lips.
3. Play with syllables: ma, me, my, mo.
4. Blow bubbles, blow kisses, blow on the napkin and a feather, blow on the flower, blow bubbles in drinks.
5. Straw! It helps to develop muscles of the lips and the tongue. Many activities. We were advised to use a straw for drinking, eating yogurt, applesauce. Also, blow air in and out through the straw. Blow air into Mommy's face to see her making funny faces. Blow through the straw to move feathers or cotton balls on the table.

Some other tips that I found interesting. What do you think? Any other tips you could share? Please, do: I'd be happy to find out anything!
1. Toddlers talked more actively while playing. That means they manipulate an object with their hands at the same time producing their best, happiest, and most impressive talking. Parents can encourage that talking by talking, cheering, and making sounds (choo -choo for a train).
2. It takes 7-8 years to say all the English sounds correctly. The errors in sounds in words are OK. Ignore mistakes, but model good speech.
3. Ear infections. It's hard to imagine how little the baby can hear with those. Camilla was sick many times last winter. Did it really effect her speech that much? I am so sorry!
4. The truth. If you don't understand what was said, don't just say "Yes" - my common mistake, I did that many times (sigh, it's just easier and faster to keep up the conversation).
5. Pacifier can delay speech. Can breast feeding delay it?
6. Baby Einstein. This is my own opinion (there is a believe that these videos can delay speech). I think, the videos helped Camilla a lot. The many words she is saying are those from the videos. Of course, I used them too when talking to her. But the others common ones that I used, like "eat" and "drink" she still doesn't say. Aaaaaand she loves the classical music!