This is Harry’s first speech lesson learning the prompt technique for the sound B. We have started speech earlier than usual ( normally it starts at 3 years) as I have been the pushy mother that insisted it was a good idea. Never one to stop still I noticed with the Specialists that he is mastering the sounds for the consonants “M”, “N”, “G”, “K”/ “C”.
But there is no attempt on his part to try to copy any words that start with the letters “T”, “P”, “B”, “H”, “D”.
These sounds are made from the front of your mouth , whereas the sounds listed above that he can do, are sounds from the back. The normal progression in developing these sounds is when a child masters the expellation of air ( is that a word) to allow them to shape these sounds that are made further toward the front of your mouth. By 12 months most children would use “plosive” sounds and nasal sounds (p,d,m). This continues through to 18 months with an establishment of all the vowel sounds.
So where is Harry with all this.
He has not mastered the plosive sounds and has mastered about 1/3 of the vowels at this stage. So we are trying to work out whether he might have a motor skill issue that is stopping him from forming those plosive sounds which would generally come earlier than the hard back of the throat sounds of “G”& “K”. He is certainly hearing them, as his comprehension is on target with a child his age ( as opposed to his hearing age). But he just never tries to imitate any words beginning with these sounds.
As he has experienced some delays in his overall gross motor skills ( such as standing, walking , sitting) the Specialists are guessing that there is a possibility of a link between this speech delay and the gross motor skill delay. That link could simply be that he had an All Mighty infection last September and it is taking the body a while to completely recover and get back to where it was at that point. We also know in little ones, that the body focuses on one major thing at a time and if the brain is preoccupied with walking, then the speech is going to come second.
The one clear thing in all of this muddy water is that he is developing. The speech is coming along. Maybe not exactly in the order that other CI kids have shown, but despite the lack of some sounds he is joining more than one word to make short 2-3 word sentences. Every time he practices them they get clearer and clearer as long – as they don’t include P’s or B’s , T’s D’s or H’s!
He says” Hear ya go” when he is waiting his turn for a musical instrument in a class setting and the instrument is being passed from kid to kid, before he comes to him. He also says it to us when he is passing us a toy.
He says “See ya” when someone is going , along with “Gye , Gye” in stead of Bye , Bye. And there are many more such phrases.
He says “Ank you” instead of “Ta” ( something I am immensely proud of !)
By 24 months a child would possibly have a vocab of 30 words or more. I don’t think Harry has quite that many as about 6 of his are animal sounds, but he is not that far off. His hearing age is documented as not quite 12 months now, as we have to take into consideration the 6-8 weeks without sound during and post-op of the period of Infection last year.
So, all in all, he is doing so well.