Speech Therapy An Update

I haven’t blogged about speech therapy for quite a while but to be honest that is because we haven’t had many, if any, appointments.

Ethan’s speech therapist came back from her maternity leave and we got to see her a few times to prepare for Ethan’s statement reports. She then left her position at the hospital and they have only been able to fill that again this year.

In the time we have been waiting we did see a temporary speech therapist for one appointment in November. This was because the department couldn’t find the report that Ethan’s original speech therapist had prepared for Ethan’s statement review. Thankfully she provided a very good report for Ethan, one which I believed help towards his statement placement.

Ethan did also see an assistant from the speech therapy department and she helped, along with our family support key worker, to bring Ethan back on track with PECS at his nursery.  

The day before I was diagnosed with obstetric cholestasis we did have an appointment with the new speech therapist. It was basically an overview to see how Ethan is getting on and how we can move forward to prepare him as much as possible before he starts school. My understanding, which may be wrong, is as soon as Ethan starts school he is signed off from this department and handed over to someone else. If he was going to a mainstream school this would have been next week but because he has a placement in the special school she now has until April to work with him.   

My main concerns are that Ethan won’t use PECS with me at home and I feel he should be because he needs to learn how to communicate with the outside world. I won’t be by his side 24-7 as he gets older to make sure all his needs are met, I need to know he can somehow ask for them. 

The speech therapist gave us suggestions on what we should do at home but also understood that our lives would be turned upside down with the arrival of the new baby. This meant there was a no pressure approach put in place. 

Fast forward eight weeks to last Friday and we had another speech therapy appointment, and to be honest Ethan’s PECS folder hadn’t moved or been looked at from the place I put it in after his last appointment. The speech therapist totally understood that this couldn’t be helped as we have had so much going on.     

This appointment was set up and ready for Ethan to work with PECS. After his initial time playing with the blinds, he decided to explore the toys on the table. He immediately knew what to do with the PECS and started to exchange with her. She was able to get Ethan saying ‘I’ after I told her how he was used to saying ‘I want’ and at times he was quicker than her with the PECS exchange. 

I explained how I felt Ethan had gone very quiet after Little E’s arrival. I know this sounds weird being that he is non-verbal but Ethan does make lots of noise. He can sing (hum) constantly when happy and this had stopped. I told her how I was using the techniques I had been taught and slowly I was getting some sounds and words from Ethan. 

She was very happy with his progress and now knows that Ethan can use PECS but as always it is on his terms. She wants me to have a box at home full of small items that we can use to practise with PECS but she feels it will be more of a game at home for us. 

In true Ethan, I like to make mummy look like a liar, fashion. Just before we left the appointment Ethan used our PECS folder to ask me for chocolate. Of course I had none on me and had to tell him he could have some when we got home! 

We now await for another appointment to be booked in and I have to somehow find the time to fit in our homework!

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