Daniel has a delayed speech difficulty – his muscles cant organise themselves to make continuous sounds. This means he often doesnt complete a word or doesnt say all the sounds in a word. It has made communication very difficult. We have started to see though that there are aspects in his life where we treat him younger than he is because of his younger speech.
We have been working with a Speech Pathologist and we have seen great improvements made over the last 6 months. The Speechie has been very encouraging to address his situation as a whole life, whole language problem. She has encouraged me to continue with reading lessons (though these have been very hard since he cant always say the 3rd sound in a 3 sound word)
Though he learnt most of his initial sounds with Jolly Phonics we switched to Reading Made Easy and we are finding success. Not only is he starting to complete words when blending in his reading lessons he is starting to say them in his regular speech.
Daniel has always been very patient when it comes to people not understanding him. Very rarely does he give up but rather perseveres or tries to change the words he is using. The telephone is the hardest form of communication because often knowing what he is talking about helps and when on the phone you cant see what he is pointing to etc. or use many of the other strategies you may use when face to face with him.
He is very expressive speaker making lots of animated noises and actions. It will be interesting to see as he starts to speak clearer if these are a replacement for him or his style of expressing himself.
Our latest appointment the Speech Pathologist put him through some language tests and though we have yet to get the formal results one very obvious result was that he doesnt use full sentences he favours nouns and some verbs but not all the little bits in between. So we have been stopping him in his speech, modelling the whole sentence and getting him to repeat it. We dont stop him all the time, generally when he says something of one sentence in length. These sentences are the ones he uses regularly, like Can I use something from the art cupboard. (Whereas he would normally just say Art Cupboard?)
Another strategy I have started is increasing his oral narrations after stories are being read to him, after a family event, or even after he has watched a video. This is not only helping his thought processes but more importantly giving him more opportunities to speak!