Tagged "bubble bear"


2 Years 6&7 Months: Seeing Progress

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

2 Years 6 Months

Here are a few recent pictures of Belle. (Yes, the second picture is of Belle letting us bury her in the sand.)

TalkTools | Annabelle 2 years 6 months

Belle just crossed the 100 word mark for words that she voluntarily verbalizes on her own! Some of her latest words include "doctor, swimsuit, goggles," and "fruit chews." She has been sick quite a bit this month which has increased all her drainage, congestion, etc. Despite her restless nights, she seems to still be progressing. If Belle is in an agreeable mood and if she thinks there is a chance that she could be successful, she will attempt to say most of the words that I ask her to, although many of the ending sounds are typically left off.

In our oral motor program, we are continuing to work with bite blocks, gum, horns, and straws on a regular basis. We have a video conference with Whitney, at TalkTools, 1-2 times per month. "Skyping" with Whitney has been a great addition to our daily program.

In other news, I am happy to say that Belle can identify all of the uppercase letters in the alphabet! In addition to selecting the correct one when called upon, she can verbally pronounce about 10-12 of them too.

2 Years 7 Months

Belle has always been a "verbal" child. This month, however, her desire to vocalize has reached an all-time high. Just this past week, I left a voicemail message on Whitney's phone saying something to the effect of "Belle just talked for 8 minutes straight without stopping. She is using tons of facial expressions and hand gestures. I am excited about this, I think. But, I am also a little worried because I didn't understand one thing she said!" Whitney returned my call to reassure me that this was a natural stage in her progression and this type of lengthy babbling typically happens before a language explosion. I am thrilled to hear this!!!

TalkTools | Annabelle 2.7 years

Belle currently has around 110 words but there are SO many words that she says that I just can't quite translate yet. Once again, her articulation is not perfect, but we are working on it. :)

Regarding Belle's oral motor exercises, I feel like she has been making gains pretty steadily in the last month. Her horn duration is lengthening, as is her bubble blowing, and she has also moved up a level in her bite blocks and straws. We have been working for quite some time on our "Word Flips" app with Whitney. At a previous Skype session, Whitney noticed that it's Belle's vowel sounds that are lagging behind. So, we started slowing down and have her focused more on vowels. We have also transitioned into working with Belle to say her words with this app three times in a row, such as "pie, pie, pie." We are definitely seeing progress! But, our work continues.

Here are 2 quick videos showing Belle's progress with her Bubble Bear and Horn #3. Our goal is 2 feet on the bubbles and 1.5 seconds on the horn. We are getting closer to our goal.

Have a good day everyone!

-Lanie Beetsma

Annabelle has Down Syndrome and has been using TalkTools Therapy since she was born. Her story is a great inspiration for parents seeking help for a child with Down Syndrome. Follow Miss Annabelle’s journey from the beginning here.

Read more →

2 Years 1 Month: Keeping Belle Motivated

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

TalkTools Blog  |  Annabelle 25 Months

Belle is now 2 years and 1 month old and is continuing to do well. You can see in the video below the improvement Belle has made with her Oral Placement Therapy (OPT) exercises. I only made her go to 10 on the horn, but she can do 25 fairly easily when I can her motivated. She loves to say "ten" when we are counting, as you will notice during her horn exercises :)

The introduction of gum chewing has also been a big hit. She sees her older siblings chew gum frequently, so she likes the fact that she can participate in something that the big kids do too.

I am continually amazed at Belle's receptive language and her ability to learn. We have found, however, that she is fairly quick to shut down with her Oral Placement Therapy tasks if she perceives something as too hard, or thinks that she will not be successful.

Our SLP, Whitney Pimentel, was the first one to pick up on this during one of our Skype sessions. Belle was refusing to play one of her horns, because she knew that her first attempt was not on target. Whitney then seamlessly altered our program so that Belle could find success on her previous, lower-level horn, and we could then strategically interject the new horn.

I am also happy to report that Belle has been off the bottle and pacifier for 3 full weeks now! We are so proud of her. 

Here is a video of Belle chewing gum, using Bubble Bear & Horn #2:

-Lanie Beetsma

Annabelle has Down Syndrome and has been using TalkTools Therapy since she was born. Her story is a great inspiration for parents seeking help for a child with Down Syndrome. Follow Miss Annabelle’s journey from the beginning here.

Read more →
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