Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Gettin' Verbal: An Update

As many of you know (from older blog posts), Braxton Cade has been working with a speech professional from our county's Early Education Center. He started in September and after five months, has done remarkable!

We've really noticed the increase in his verbal skills and cognitive development these last two weeks at home. He's gone from saying several one-word objects (and a few two- and three-word sentences) to continually saying two-word commands and sentences and repeating (almost) every word you ask him to repeat - or at least try.

I can't express enough how fabulous our Early Ed speech professional has been for him. Miss Pam visits our house once a week and works on everything - Brax, like many toddlers his age, learns best in his own environment, playing, and just "living" through his normal routine. That's what I love most about Pam's visits. She comes to our house and does a fab job introducing words and skills through play and interaction.

The boy rarely signs anymore - never thought I'd be happy to have him not sign (but when it's causing him not to talk, it's time to give it up!), though he still signs "thank you" because, quite frankly, he knows he can get what he wants faster with a simple hand on the mouth thank-you gesture.

His biggest accomplishments this last month include:
* Saying sister's name (Mackie)
* Telling us when he goes poop or needs to go potty ("Pee-pee, mama! Pee-pee mama!" or "Peter, mama!" is usually the sign to rush to the toilet so he can go pee). This is a HUGE step, as one of our overall goals when this process started was to learn how to communicate for potty training.
* Giving us several basic commands ("Snack please, mama" "Coat off, dada")
* Naming objects with both adjective and noun ("Blue choo choo" "White block" "Two trees")
* He's really getting into counting and recognizing both letters and numbers - he can count to four, skips a few and goes straight to 8, 9, 10.
* He's recognizing colors (as stated before) when he names objects.

Again, I would recommend parents with young children out there to take advantage of their community's Early Ed Center - ours does free screenings for birth through school-age and provides services to those children who qualify. (again, usually for free!) We've taken both kids each year so they can observe their development - it's much more involved than the dr's annual exam in the peds office, as they sit down with your child and work through the entire development spectrum. It's a great resource and it's important to support them!

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