Tagged "Horn Hierarchy"


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.

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2 Years 4&5 Months: Miss Independent

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

2 Years 4 Months

Hello!

Attached are two videos of Belle working on some wooden puzzles - one of her name and one that includes shapes of different colors. She loves puzzles! She is a little more chatty in the name puzzle one though. B is her favorite letter so far.

Working on the name puzzle:

Working on the shapes puzzle:

Belle is now 2 years and 4 months old and is Miss Independent. Her favorite word is officially "me," which she says at least 50 times a day. :) She wants to feed herself, dress herself, play with the Ipad by herself, etc., etc. While this is a good step in development, it can be quite challenging during her "TalkTools time" as she wants to hold all the tools, straws, and horns. I have to work extra hard these days to keep things fun and hold her attention. However, despite her new-found independence, she is continuing to do really well.

Belle has started putting two concepts together quite regularly now. Her favorites are "no no Mommy," "bye bye Daddy," "night night Bubba," and "more eat." She also loves to go around the room and name everyone. Each night at dinner, she will quickly name everyone at the table, "Mommy, Daddy, Bubba, Lyla, me." Belle is also starting to show major interest in potty training so we have a lot of "potty" words emerging these days. I have kind of lost track, but I know her verbal vocabulary is well over 60 words now. Belle is full of life and has a lot to say!

Here are a few pictures of Belle at 2 Years 4 Months and 2 Years 5 Months. The third one is with her big sister, Lyla.

TalkTools | Annabelle 2 years 4 months TalkTools | Annabelle 2 years 4 months TalkTools | Annabelle 2 years 4 months TalkTools | Annabelle 2 years 5 months

2 Years 5 Months

I am excited to report that Belle's language has really taken off again in the last month. I just updated my list of words that Belle says on a pretty regular basis, and she has at least 80 words now! I would estimate that about 20 of those 80 words, a stranger on the street would understand, and another 40 that our close family can distinguish. Those last 20 words, however, are left for me, Belle's daddy, and her big sister to enjoy :) Attached is a video of Belle repeating some of her words - some old, some new.

The other video includes the current horn we are working on (Horn #3) that requires a 1.5 second duration. As you will notice, we are "not there yet." It is a work in progress. I wanted to include an exercise that Belle is working on, so hopefully we can show her really mastering this skill in the months ahead. The work she does is not easy, and she doesn't necessarily look forward to it every day. Even though she might not look too thrilled in the video, I secretly know that she enjoys the one-on-one time and my cheers for her attempts. I am so proud of this little lady. She is such a bright light in my life!

Happy Holidays 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 →

22 Months: Family Time & Horn Progress

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

We have some fun pictures in this update including one of Belle with her extremely loving brother and sister. You can also see Belle enjoying her veggie straws at therapy (notice her food placement on her side molars) and having fun with some Play-Doh.  

TalkTools | Annabelle 22 months     TalkTools Blog | Annabelle 22 months old  

Our family's schedule has been quite busy lately, so I try my best to get in one full session of oral motor therapy in each day. We will be able to pick back up another session as our daily routine gets back to normal next month. Belle continues to drink very well from her straws and purple Recessed Lid Talk Tools cup.

Thankfully, Belle really enjoys being vocal. She now says 27 words voluntarily that I am able to understand. And within the last week, she even put two words/signs together including "more drink" and "eat please." We are thrilled!

Belle Working with Horn #2

We started this horn last week, and she really likes it. Although we have not reached our goal of 25 sounds yet, she consistently produces around 10 each day so she is well on her way!

-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 →

21 Months: Repeating Words

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

TalkTools | Annabelle 21 months

Belle is continuing to progress month after month. She has become more vocal, and she has officially mastered walking. Belle is confident in her ability to walk anywhere she wants to go. She consistently says 23+ words and is trying to say several more but may leave the beginning or ending sounds off. For example, in the video of her speaking below, Belle pronounces the work "yuck" as a very strong "ck" sound.

She enjoys talking and being a part of all social interactions. In some settings, she even likes to "show off" a little with her signs and words :)

I just started using the TalkTools Apraxia Tactile Tubes. Belle thinks these are pretty fun! She is also doing great with her Horn #1 and has mastered her 25 breaths/sounds through it. I think we are ready to start the second horn soon. We have settled into a good summer routine and consistently do her exercises each morning and night. Belle likes this one on one time with her Mommy too!    

Belle Speaking

Belle Practicing with her TalkTools Tactile 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 →
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