Wyatt first began his Speech Language Therapy (SPL) in early 2015 and his therapist has been quite happy with his desire to want to speak, even though he can only open his mouth 1mm wide and has severe tongue dysfunction. Not to mention the drooling. And the fact he has problems breathing at times. And has a trach. Our little guy has a lot riding against him, but those who know him, know that he is NOT "non-verbal". This boy WANTS to talk, shout and sing. He wants to do all of the normal toddler utterances and language formations, it's just that he can't. With that said, our speech language therapist's job is to try and make him form simple words and combine them, whether they are signed and spoken, or both spoken - it's considered a passing grade for Wyatt! My husband (adorable!) calls Wyatt's SPL therapy sessions "Talking with Danielle" which gives it a very positive spin on what can bee seen as another appointment at CHEO. Our SPL therapist will put Wyatt in social situations which should make him want to ask for certain objects, tell her specific things or simply put - give him a choice and he has to tell her what he wants.
Along with SPL therapy, Wyatt's mouth physical therapy plays an intergral role. As you may know, your tongue allows you to pronounce and even swallow at the same time. While speaking comes naturally to most of us, it doesn't for Wyatt. Our hope is that with physical therapy and Wyatt's TENS procedure, we will be able to improve Wyatt's speaking, alongside with his swallowing and consequently, his breathing.
After a couple of appointments with First Words at CHEO in the spring of 2017, the SLT felt confident that Wyatt's oral delays are developmental. Great news for us! One less specialist appointment!