We had an ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) evaluation done on Charlie earlier this month. As you may recall, we were worried about his slow speech development as of 25 months, and figured it was time to seek help.
I’m glad that we did. While he scored the equivalent of a 25 month old or above in ALL other areas (including one that was 40 months, another at 36 months!), his EXPRESSIVE speech was tested at a level of just 16 months of development. This means that while his gross motor, fine motor, and even his receptive speech are all at or well above par for a 25 month old, his expressive language is equal to that of a 16 month old child.
So what does that mean for us?
Well, Charlie will be receiving speech therapy services in our home 2-3 times per month. Once he is 3, he will be aged out of the program. At that point, if he is still eligible for services, he’ll be referred to the speech therapy services offered by our local school district, which his older brother Heath uses currently for the same issue.
We’ve received one session with the speech therapist so far. She came at a time when Charlie was being a little toot, so he wasn’t being overly cooperative. Even still, he paid attention to everything that went on, and was emulating it all after she left. Of course! He’s my little stinker.
Some tips she gave us were to give him the opportunity to vocalize his desires at least 3 times, or until he said it, before giving in to him. For example, if he wants a bite, ask him to say please or bite. If he doesn’t do it the first time, ask again, and then again, before giving him the bite.
This strategy has been working fairly well, though it’s hit or miss when he’s in a grumpy mood. He’s already using some new words (!!) like eee or eeeez for please and bah for bite. We’re working on more!
We’ve set a goal for him to be able to say please and thank you by September…. They don’t have to be perfectly articulated, but they do have to be consistent and meaningful versions of the words. Wish us luck!
How did you encourage your late talker to communicate?
We’ve tried different things with each of our boys, to mixed results. I’d love to hear your tried and true tips and methods!