This is the definition of a later talker:
- has fewer than 10 words and is between 18 and 20 months of age; or
- has fewer than 25 words and is between 21and 24 months of age; or
- has fewer than 50 words or no two-word phrases and is between 24 and 30 months of age; and
- has relatively good comprehension, play, social, motor and cognitive skills
We are doing a program called Target Word. Interesting enough, this program was developed in Toronto, so it comes from our own backyard!
Yesterday was our first of 5 meetings and 2 video taped sessions. They do the video taping, so we can see what we are doing wrong and correct how we do it.
The basic theory is that with late talkers it is less beneficial for them to have an isolated 30 or 45 minute session with a speech therapist than it is to teach his parents (who are with him most of the time) how to approach it. Basically, we will become his speech therapists. It's an interesting and empowering thought.
What I came away with yesterday was an awareness of all of the things he does to actually communicate with us without using his words. He points, grunts, looks at things, and signs.
I am particularly amused when I have food or drink he wants to try. He walks up to you, grinning and smacking his lips, like it tastes good. Smack, smack, smack. It never fails to make me laugh and only on the one occasion, when I had hot tea, did it fail to make me give him some of what I had.
Last night I had a glass of juice and he did it. Smack, giggle, smack, smack, big grin, looking hopeful, smack.
Of course I gave him some.
And then I tried some of the techniques. I talked to him all about JUICE. Lots of talking about JUICE. "Is that good JUICE. Tasty Juice. Do you want more Juice?"
The goal is to say it at least 5 times and then give a pause.
He'd drink, then run off laughing! And come back again.
We must have done this a dozen times.
And I was rewarded: he said something that sounded like "uice".