Tagged "bubble blowing"


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 →

23 Months: Assistance from SLP

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

TalkTools Blog | Annabelle 23 months old TalkTools Blog | Annabelle 23 months old

Belle is doing well and consistently adds to the lively chatter in our home :) She has approximately 35 words that she says regularly, although someone from outside our family may only understand about half of those without an interpretation.

Belle has been working with Whitney, our Speech Language Pathologist with TalkTools, for about 18 months now. We get to see Whitney in person about twice a year, we email regularly, and have video conferences as needed. This month, however, we decided that it was time to start scheduling therapy sessions for Belle via Skype 2-4 times per month.

Belle has reached a point in her development that I need additional assistance with her oral motor placement exercises. She is striving for more independence and understands that speaking is a way for her to be heard and quickly get her needs met.

Working with Whitney this month has allowed me to better understand how each exercise is used to encourage a particular mouth posture, sound, etc. She has helped me to revamp our current TalkTools program to minimize frustration on many levels.

In a matter of a few days, Belle no longer needs the straw to blow bubbles through the wand. She can do it all by herself!  I am so thankful for these additional therapy sessions, and Belle is making great strides!

Here are three quick videos that highlight Belle's progress in month 23.

Belle Blowing Bubbles with No Straw!

 

Belle Practicing with TalkTools' Apraxia Shapes

 

Belle Chomping on Her Red & Yellow Chewy Tubes

 

-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 →

19 Months: 18 Words & 18 Signs

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

Smiling Annabelle | TalkTools Blog

Belle is starting to imitate words more which I am excited about. To date, she has approximately 18 words and 18 signs. She is very animated and quite dramatic at times :) Annabelle continues to eat well and is doing great with her new Straw #4. She has improved tremendously with her "chomping" exercises in the past few months. I can tell that her jaw has gotten a lot stronger. When it comes to our horn exercises, however, it's a power struggle of who gets to hold the horn. Her pouty face typically wins or at least initiates a compromise. She has no problem making a noise with it, but we have a long way to go until we can track 25 breaths through it in a row. Overall, I think Belle is making great progress. I am really proud of that joyful little gal!

Above is Annabelle doing her "chomping" exercises right before bed. I know that her sitting on my bed isn't the ideal place to practice these but it is a part of her bedtime routine and she is really used to it. It's also our little time to hang out together and giggle a little bit too. Her jaw strength has really improved over the past few months. Prior to this time, it was a struggle for her to "chomp" even one or two times, and as you can see in the video, she has come a long way.

This video is of the very first day Belle tried to blow bubbles. She did great! This is one of her favorite activities (and one of her brother's too as you will hear in the background). I am amazed by all the things that she can do. She is capable of so much at 19 months!

-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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