Our month began by visiting family out of town for more than a week, so needless to say our oral motor exercises took a 'back seat'. Shortly after we settled back in at home, Annabelle began to be very sick with a fever, lots of drainage, croup, and eventually a sinus infection for 8 days. She was so plugged up with infection that it was affecting her articulation and the organization of her speech. Short phrases and whining were pretty much the extent of her communication during that time.
After a few days on an antibiotics, Annabelle started to act like herself again, so I gathered all of our TalkTools supplies and called her over to work at the kitchen table.
In my mind, I had prepared for the worst.
Seriously. I thought that since it had been so long since we had gone through her exercises that we might have to 'back pedal' quite a bit. I believed that some of her progress would truly be lost.
As we worked through exercise by exercise, I realized that, yet again, I had underestimated her.
Annabelle had not lost any of her ability and in fact, she could have pretty much done the entire session on her own without me even there! How was this even possible? How had she retained everything?
After much thought, a reasonable explanation came to the surface. TalkTools has been a part of Annabelle's life since she was 5 months old. In the early days, we created a solid foundation for oral motor development.
Basically, she started out on the right foot!
We worked through the program at least 5 times per week in those younger years. As she has gotten older, we typically work through her exercises only 2 times each week. However, the groundwork is still there. This makes me very excited because even if we stopped today (which we are not going to), I believe that her coordination and ability will remain. The work we have put in will not be lost.
So, here's the good news to anyone who may be reading this...
Your work, your effort, your child's work, and your child's effort will never be time wasted.
Even in those early days, when you wonder if you are even getting anywhere, you truly are establishing the building blocks. That foundation will set your child up for much success!
Belle sucking applesauce through a straw as part of the Straw Hierarchy.
Belle and her mom Lanie chatting about baby dolls and school!
Belle and her friend Jeni... guess who's older!
More videos are available on TalkTools YouTube channel.
Cheers from Lanie and Belle!
Annabelle has Down Syndrome and has been using TalkTools Therapy since she was born. Her story is a great inspiration for parents of a child with Down Syndrome. Follow Miss Annabelle’s journey from the beginning here.