Monday, October 6, 2014

Cooper Speech Update

In Cooper's last monthly post in July, I talked about how he had started speech therapy.  Basically, we were very concerned last Spring because Cooper was not really talking.  He would say a word a few times, but then we never knew if we would hear it again.  And he wasn't really using them to reference anything a ton.  He started speech therapy in the middle of May and we've been doing that once a week since.  We also started taking him to the chiropractor at the same time for both his reflux and speech issues.  He still goes to the chiropractor once a month, too.  

Over the summer, we really started seeing some improvements with him, but it was still slow going.  He started signing a lot more, and we started to get a few words out of him.  While he was making progress, it just seemed to be going so slowly.  He was doing well, he just wasn't doing it quickly.  Then, about the time that school started, he seemed to be making progress a little faster. I talked to his speech therapist about a realistic goal for him.  She said that she would really like to see him at 50+ words by Christmas (when he turns 2.5)  This stressed me out a little bit because we were sitting at about 16 words at this point (animal noises are included as words), and it took all summer to get to 16.  So to have to add 30+ more words in the next 4ish months seemed like a big task.  

Well, I'm happy to report that Coop-man showed us all.  He has blown that goal completely out of the water.  I stopped keeping track of his words at 60, and that was a week ago.  He is literally adding new words ever single day, and is actually communicating with those words.  He's not just repeating them, he's using them in context and on his own.  Let me tell you - I do not take a single word that he says for granted.  It is so amazing to finally have him to be able to really communicate what he wants to us.  He also has completely stopped using his "noise" anymore.  He used to use this noise for everything.  It was literally his only word.  I haven't heard it in over a month, and that is so amazing, too.

While all of this is great improvements, Cooper's speech journey is far from over.  He's still behind for his age level.  What we have to focus on now is continuing to add new vocabulary and to start to put two or more words together.  Our journey is not over, but I am so very happy at the progress that he's made.  Several people have asked me what I think has made the difference for him.  I'll be honest, I don't think there was one magic cure for him.  Or will be for him.  I think it is a combination of a lot of things:
1- Speech therapy (and his speech pathologist is WONDERFUL.  We couldn't have asked for anyone better to work with him).
2- The chiropractor
3- Us knowing how better to work with him thanks to the speech therapist.
4- Cooper getting bigger and wanting to communicate more 
5- We have a few speech videos that are made by speech pathologists that Coop loves.  And they are so so similar to his sessions that I think they help a lot.
6-We've downloaded some apps that his speech pathologist has recommended and he loves to play with those (who says technology can't be helpful?!)
7- A LOT of hard work from everyone.  

I'm so excited to see where Cooper will be by Christmas with his talking, and I'll make sure to keep updating.  Here are a few videos of his progress:
Here's a video of him saying several words.
Here's another video of some of his words.
This video shows him talking and using sign language.
This video is of us practicing putting two words together (pumpkin cookie).


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