Tuesday Talk-Speech Talk


Hey Everyone!

I hope you had a great weekend.  We did a lot of Olympic-watching, staying up late, and sleeping in every morning.  It was a good one!

Today, Ashley and I are hosting TUESDAY TALK!  The third Tuesday of every month we invite you to join us and chat about anything and everything!

I truly feel like we're all girlfriends here chatting about things going on in our lives.  Each month, I'm trying to bring you a legit question I'd for sure be asking if we were at my favorite lunch spot possibly eating a bacon and candied jalapeno pimento cheese.  {Yes, on second thought.  We'd definitely be eating that.}  So I love hearing your responses and truly take them to heart.

Last month, we talked about the very important topic of WHERE DO YOU PLACE YOUR KEY FOB.  {I'm kidding on the "VERY IMPORTANT", but I know I would have asked you that question over lunch.  :)}  And you guys were passionate about it. 

The topic today might not trigger those same feelings, but I'm hoping some of you passionate mamas, teachers, or special friends know what I'm talking about.  And you help a sister out!

I'm gonna ask the question, set the stage, and ask you one more time.

To anyone out there with any speech background, what else can we be doing to speed up Britt's speech progress?  I'm talking certain books to read, any I-Pad games you recommend, just anything you can think of?

To give you a little background, my oldest three kiddos began talking at an early age and talked pretty much all day long, non-stop.  I never even thought about speech with them.  They all talked really early and a lot, so I'm a rookie in this field.

Britt very early on started saying, "Mama".  {From what I've read this is very common for cleft kiddos.}  She also says, "Uh-oh, yeah, and hi" on her own without any prompting.  She goes to speech therapy once a week where they're working on receptive language which I seriously think she's nailing if I'm being honest and bragging just a bit.  #mombragmoment  The therapist is also working on all kinds of sounds, combining some sounds, and repeating sounds like "Papa, baa baa, Dada".  

My mom is in town this week and her grandma name is, "T-Nonnie". We've shortened it and have worked on Britt saying, "Nona" and she's mastered it!  She also said, "Nixon" which we weren't even really working on.  Nix would have been stoked with a "NIX" sound.  haha!  But she said it twice and it sounded great!

All this to say, I feel like she's starting to make some major strides with her speech and I know there have to be so many resources out there that I just don't know about.  If you have any suggestions for resources that would help, please let me know!

I have a girlfriend who told me to read the same "100 Beginning Words" book over and over.  But the book we have has SO MANY WORDS she doesn't know.  Maybe I should keep this up?  OR maybe not yet?

I want to do everything I can to foster her language so please let me know your thoughts!  And I'm hoping other moms, caregivers, family members, friends, or others might get some ideas from this post for kiddos in their lives as well.

Thank you for this little space where we can all help one another!  I'm looking forward to reading your comments!  

Thank you!

XO




44 comments

Shannon Molenburg said...

Hi Erika, it sounds like you are doing so many great things to stimulate Britt’s speech development. Keep it up!

Have you all considered having Britt evaluated through the school district? It would be a little ways away as you have to be three but if she qualifies, that could be another door for services. I have some resources I can share with you via email once I get to work (I do early childhood assessments through the school district in the DFW area.) Best of luck!

Erika Slaughter said...

Hi Shannon! No, it’s not something we’ve thought about. I guess because she seems so far away from three at the moment. Ha!! It’s definitely something we’ll keep in mind for next year!

Elizabeth said...

It sounds like you are doing great! Reading to her and narrating what you are doing will really help this. But also, being the baby can delay her speech. My little brother is the youngest of 7 and he was born when my oldest brother was 16 (surprise baby;) ) my mom was convinced he couldn’t hear and/or talk but he never needed to talk because everyone was right there at his beck and call 🙃

Karen said...

Hi Erika! I am a pediatric SLP and a mom to 2 kids under 4. Is Britt seeing a private speech therapist? I read the comment above and if she is too young to be evaluated through the school district you can try early intervention. I'm not familiar w Texas but here in North Carolina you would call your counties health department and they will walk you through the early intervention process. As far as what you can do at home-- talk, talk, talk! Label everything, narrate the things that you are doing, speak clearly, repeat what Britt says, praise her and set up ways for her to be successful. So practice words and sounds you know she has mastered and then throw in some wild cards, not too many because avoiding frustration at this age is key. Do lots of pretend play, ask her questions, sing simple songs and nursery rhymes. At a young age do not correct her articulation-- its just too stressful at this age. If she says a word "incorrectly" but you understood it just repeat it clearly to her and move on. Good luck! It sounds like you're doing a lot already!

Erika Slaughter said...

Hahahahaha!!! Too funny! I can totally see how that happens! These are great reminders! Thank you for sharing!!

Erika Slaughter said...

Yes! She sees a private speech therapist and I think when she’s two and a half we might bump up to twice a week instead of just once. Or we might just add the early intervention plus the one day of private per week. We haven’t worked it all out just yet. Thank you for all these recommendations!! We do a lot of them but little reminders like this are great. Huge thank you, Karen!!

Mix and Match Mama said...

I bet you get some fantastic ideas!!!

Shannon Molenburg said...

I should have mentioned it- thanks Karen! I wasn't sure if they were already doing Early Childhood Intervention or doing private. That is definitely worth looking into or considering :)

Amanda McKinney said...

Laura Mize is my go to person for getting my littles to talk. Google her. She has several books and DVDs that have easy to implement ideas.

Brian and Sarah said...

I agree with the above poster. Early Childhood Intervention (I’m in Texas also) has been amazing for my 2.5 year old. They only qualify for these services until they are 3, but they come to your house once a week for a one hour session. The speech therapist we have is amazing and works with him and gives us goals and things to work on throughout the week. Once he turns 3 he will age out of their program and we will be evaluated by the school district this summer. The big thing that made us qualify was him being 2 years old and not putting together two word phrases. I feel like we have made great strides in the three months we have been working with him, and I can’t tell you how amazing it is to have them come to your house for the sessions!! He gets so excited to open the door - I’m sure in his mind it’s his own little play date because she gets down on the floor and plays with whatever he’s into while she’s there :)

Narci Dreffs said...

Britt is so precious—we have loved watching her blossom so far! I bet you are going to get some great tips from readers here :)

Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said...

You're doing a great job, mama! I could leave a novel here, or you can just call me later today and I can give you a couple of ideas that can be easily incorporated into your day!

The White Family said...

Sounds like Britt is doing awesome! My son Paxton came home from China at 13 months. He had already had lip surgery, it had palate surgery for a very wide palate about two months home. He has been in speech ever since coming home and is 3 1/2 now. He also has a fistula behind his front teeth that will require another surgery sooner than later. He worked on individual sounds in speech for a long time and by the time he was 2 1/2 we just wanted him to put two sounds together that were different (he had mama and dada and all down but when the middle sound was different he struggled). By 3, six months later, he was talking all the time! Non stop! I was amazed at how far he came in such a short period. But it was definitely so much later than most other two year olds and my two bio kids. But, he has had a lot to overcome! Now, his speech is still a struggle to understand to the untrained ear. And we are working hard on articulation. But, he talks constantly now. From ages 2-3 he went to speech twice a week. At three he started once a week with the school system and continues once a week with he private therapist. He will be in speech for years and it is okay! Don’t rush her or worry. She will get it and you will be shocked at the difference in six months or a year!

The White Family said...

Oh and my therapist and doctor told us at the beginning to READ, READ, READ to our son. Read and talk to her all the time pointing out things without expectation for her to say it back.

LCC said...

I know you'll get tons of responses and I'm by no means a professional but years ago I read an article suggesting that you take 2 or 3 books (and not long ones) and only read those to your child. As it happened mine liked reading the same ones over and over anyway and long before they could read themselves could quote every line of their favorite books. Anyway the article was written by some kind of literary professional (I don't remember what) and the idea behind it was the repetition and memorization being Awesome for learning new words. Just an idea!

Erika Slaughter said...

Thank you guys!!! The White Family, so encouraging to hear!! I didn’t realize ECI is just until three so maybe I’ll check into that for now along with our current private therapy!

Catherine said...

I have a special needs child who has always had speech therapy. Just be patient--you're doing all the right things. You will find when she starts preschool and kindergarten, her speech will explodecas she tries to keep uo witg peers if it hasn't happened by then.

Laura said...

I know you mentioned the book that has all the words she doesn’t really know. One of my favorite tools is to make your own picture book. So use pictures of your family and take pictures of her favorite toys and foods and things around the house. I just print them off and put them in a cheap 4x6 album you can get at Walmart. And then go through that lots of times labeling the pictures. That way it’s more focused on the words you want to work on and saying those words over and over with pictures. It’s just another way of labeling things and is an option if you want a book to use.

gillyhappy1 said...

Your pediatrician should be able to give you info on how to get early intervention for her- phone numbers, etc.

My daughter was delayed, and she was the youngest also. Two things that really helped were lots of little songs like Twinkle, Twinkle and waiting for and expecting her to answer. It’s hard when they are so cute and they point for something. You just want to give it to them:) But truly make it a habit that she at least tries to say banana or whatever. It sounds like you are doing a lot of things right so I’m sure she will be talking your ear off in no time!

brookerichardson said...

We had great success with ECI for Aiden and bonus they come to your house.

Parnell's Pantry said...

I agree with Shannon. Your local school district will evaluate her and you will receive speech for free. It will also open up opportunities for any other services she may need,and they can do everything right in your home if you like. Early intervention services...check it out,don't wait!

Sandra Pearce said...

My daughter is now 20, but was born with a cleft palate, and I had never even heard of it before! We didn't start speech until 3 years old, but before hand we did a lot of nursery rhymes and singing. And just lots of talking!! I mean lots of it...to the point that her first grade teacher thought she was going to take over and teach the class. She stayed in speech until 2nd grade and has been perfect ever since.

Lee Family said...

We did the birth -3yrs program in Seattle and it helped my son who loved the sweet girl who would come to our house and play with him while practicing speech. My mama heart has learned SO many things on this journey (he is 6 with a delay still). Most importantly not to compare him to my other kiddos and to surrender any fear about the future. One day (and word!) at a time :)

Kelly Henderson said...

Our 14 year old was born with a cleft lip, miraculously she didn't have any speech issues. She started talking early and was putting short phrases together by 12 months old. Now my little boy was another story, he didn't have any birth defects but he barely spoke until he was 3. I asked and asked the pediatrician and was told he was saying a normal amount of words for his age and being the 2nd child. As it turns out, my child COULD NOT HEAR! His daycare was on the same campus as the Oral School for the Deaf in my area, they offered speech and hearing screenings and he failed. After taking him to an ENT, we discovered he had a ton of fluid in his ears causing everything he heard to be muffled. He was asymptomatic for ear infections, we had no idea he couldn't hear us. We opted to have tubes and immediately he was made corrections in his speech. He still needed 3 years of speech therapy to correct all the things he learned to say wrong but he's now an 11 year old who never stops talking. I remember feeling overwhelmed as he asked us "what dat noise?" for common everyday sounds such as rain, toilet flushing and the train! He could tell us the train said "choo choo" but had never actually heard one before tubes. Isn't that wild? Trains are LOUD and he had never heard it. Hang in there! Speech therapy is amazing.

Lauren Williams said...

Hi Erika, my 18 month old just got approved for speech help through our AEA. He is the youngest of 4 and doesn't talk at all. I'm in Iowa so I'm not sure if you have the same in TX. Our pediatrician referred us to them. Good luck mama. This post has given me some great ideas and support!!

Amanda @ That Inspired Chick said...

I can't wait to hear Britt say Nixon!! So cute! Sounds like you've got some great tips coming in! That Inspired Chick

Carrie said...

I was the youngest of 3 and my mom said I was way later in speech bc everything was said and done for me 🤷🏼‍♀️

Karen said...

Hi Erika! I'm a speech therapist (who also happens to have a heart for adoption so your girl just STEALS my heart!). Here are a few ideas:

"Sensory hide and seek" is great for labeling/naming. Get something you think she'd like (sand/water beads/rice/etc) and hide random objects in it. When she finds it, it will be SO exciting :-) and she can label what she pulls out (you may have to model first).

Repetitive game that involves her siblings. Push a ball back and forth. Each person says "Got it!" (or something similar) when they get the ball and when it's Britt's turn, pause to give her a chance to say it. Any vocalization gets praise :-)

Nursery Rhymes - once she's familiar with it, pause at certain parts giving her the chance to fill in the motion and/or words.

I love "Ball maze" toys that you drop a ball into and watch it spin/light up things/make music. You can foster so much language by having her ask for the ball (saying "ball" or "want") and also other language such as "in" "down" "out" etc.
https://www.amazon.com/Kidoozie-Musical-Ball-Colorful-Pieces/dp/B01NCNZWVH

I hope some of those were new ideas :-)

Susan DeVaux said...

My son’s speech therapist recommended Brown bear brown bear and hop on pop. We read them multiple times a day.

Heidi Wilkins said...

As a Mama to a kid with speech trouble I just want to say You are doing a great job and she will pick it up eventually! Try not to stress too much about everything. Hardest thing for me as a parent is to remember to give him s break and know that he is frustrated with not being about to tell me what he wants too. He is working so hard and learning so much even if it's hard to see improvement. Just keep loving your precious Britt and know that she will get there even if it takes a lot longer than you hope! I amam expert but in my experience my son was much more excited about speaking when we were having fun and doing things he was interested in. He didn't love the typical speech therapy activities and I read him the first words book a million times and he didn't care. But when I took him to the zoo and we practiced saying animal names and sounds he was trying so hard to speak. When we did what he was interested in he didn't see it as work and talking became something fun instead of something stressful.

Natalie said...

Both my boys were late talkers and I loved these ideas from our speech therapist we had through the First Steps program:

We have certain phrases that we sang in a sing song fashion, such as "Where are you?" We used them all the time--looking for shoes/stuffed animals/food in the pantry, playing hide and seek, etc. I think it really helped moving from one word to stringing multiple words together--which I found hard to help with. They would start with saying it with me, just with one word like "you?" then slowly adding "are you?" until they had "where are you?" It also helped to over exaggerate it (aka the sing song way) to practice the intonation and inflection that you use when asking a question. We applied this same idea to other phrases as they became ready.

These books have great pictures and words without being too overwhelming: The Big Book of Words by Roger Priddy (and there are themed ones to for farm,trains, etc) https://www.amazon.com/Word-Book-casebound-Board-Books/dp/0312513739/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519154024&sr=8-1&keywords=big+book+of+words&dpID=51VD1MiFlVL&preST=_SX218_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

As a former reading specialist, I'll add that all that reading you are doing is going to help so much too!! Good luck, she is a cutie!

Jenna Kinkeade said...

Both of my boys were premature and had delayed speech. We did all of the suggested speech activities which were great, but one thing both my sons loved and elicited a lot of speech was watching a little show called "Little Baby Bum" it is a British nursery rhyme video and they are on Netflix and Amazon Prime - they have learning videos and nursery rhymes and it was great to reinforce basic words, colors, shapes, numbers, etc in a song form. It worked great because they are words we are already working on, etc. Also, we did sign language for what felt like forever which helped with communication and eventually they would get the word.

azbaby24 said...

I am crying reading this post and feel I was someone who was meant to see it. My son almost 3 is home with me all day. He is speech delayed. We just started speech therapy but I know there is more I can do at home. I buy any and all products on Amazon that say they support speech. I have download games and apps to help but I want to do more. Thank you for posting this and allowing me to read thru the responses. My son has some speech but as the youngest with a good size age gap, we are used to doing most things for him.

Carrie said...

I did want to add that you can teach her sign language to increase her vocabulary. It will help her with making requests and decrease some frustration. Studies are not great for the iPad or tech when developing speech ( you asked about apps) iPads used as Assistive communication devices are different. But I would put tech away for her. That is just my opinion as a special ed teacher. Play, reading, repetition, and exposure to language are all important.

Kim McGuire said...

I was going to suggest the same thing! Pictures of family members(one person per picture) TV characters (Dora or Paw Patrol) friends (**Madeley***!!) Pets?? Then you "read" the photo book just naming each page. We did this with my daughter who had a tracheotomy for the first few years to encourage speech once she was able to make sounds.

Unknown said...

Early intervention through the state is amazing. My son started at 2, and did 1hr at home sessions once a week until he turned 3. At 3 he moved on to preschool at the elementary school with speech help there. It made a huge difference, and helped him so much!

Adrienne said...

Keep up the reading and maybe do a few pages of the 100 words until she gets a few, then add more! Other things that are very good for speech and development there, but aren't necessarily reading/listening types of things--- Have her practice blowing bubbles outside to get her little mouth and breath working together. Have her take a straw and blow through it to move a small bouncy ball/ping pong ball.

Melanie said...

Erika, You are probably naturally doing so many thing to promote her language and speech development. I'm a speech therapist in a school district and an outpatient clinic...(and I'm also LID for adoption from China, just waiting for a referral!! ).... Anyway, it sounds like she's on the right track for speech development. She's making progress so that's the most important thing! Keep with routines and talking about those daily and name/talk to her about everything you do especially the simple things-"let's open the door, now it's closed, let's go for a ride...see the car, the car is white", you get the idea. Also bubbles are a great way to get vocalizations and imitations of sounds from kiddos!! I usually do those with all of my toddler clients. You can imitate "bu bu bu bubbles", or " P P p Pop", the bubbles go "up up up and down".. and then of course "more bubbles please"!! Always give her an opportunity to imitate you, but don't frustrate her if she doesn't. Good luck! Seriously, be encouraged, it sounds like you're doing all the right things and she's doing great. Also, language and speech often comes in spurts, so one day don't be surprised if she has 20 new words in a week!!

Sarah said...

Hi Erika! You're doing a wonderful job with Britt! I am a speech therapist and mom of a five year old and three year old. I highly recommend sign language! I would also think about your daily life and just choose two or three words to start with that would be helpful for Britt to be able to communicate. Say them over and over again throughout the day to describe what you're doing and what she's doing. People often think of nouns as the best words to teach first. While those are great to learn, they don't often help a child communicate their wants and needs. Verbs and adverbs can be some of the best first words to teach because children can use them throughout their whole day. For example, if you decide to work on "more", she'll be able to tell you she wants more apples, more milk, more snuggles, more singing, more reading, etc. "All done" is also a great first phrase to teach. I'm all done with lunch, all done with bath, all done with this game. "More" and "all done" are also easy signs to learn. Keep up the great work!

Kristin King said...

Hi Erika! I am mom to 4 kids, two of them China babies that came home at around 2.5. We swear by the Baby Babble DVD's. I"ll put the Amazon link below. There are a few and they are progressive (build upon skills and level). They are made by a few SLPs. We started watching one each evening after our daughter had been home a few months. It was crazy the difference we saw!! At times we have tried different things (Signing times, other shows and apps that stimulate speech) and I swear there is something about these that has made a world a difference in my two. https://www.amazon.com/Baby-Babble-Speech-Enhancing-Babies-Toddlers/dp/B00027OI1I/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1519401898&sr=8-5&keywords=baby+babble

carlybrust said...

Two of my kids have had speech delays. My bio daughter who was a slow talker and has been in speech therapy for six years (!) and my adopted son. We adopted him at 21 months and he could repeat a couple words but that was it. Our therapist (occupational) told us it's very very common for adopted children to have speech delays bc of the trauma of being orphaned . She also said as he made gains in other areas that speech is a very mature benchmark and may come later than gross motor skills. (Which from following your blog i see your daughter has made lots of advances in those areas!!!) my son was 3 years old before he had an extensive vocabulary and just started sentences now at age 4. My therapist told me that would have been delayed even longer if he was born in a non-English speaking country. I just wanted to encourage you to have low expectations! Also it seems like she's getting lots of love and nurturing which our counselor said would help him advance even faster than books/speech exercises bc she believed his delays were mostly psychological/emotional (stemmed from his background as an orphaned child). Obviously each child is unique but wanted to add my two cents ! (-:

hayley nelson said...

Hey Erika! Our son, Jon, was also delayed in his speech. We noticed that even though he could hear, he didn't have the same reaction as other kids his age about balloons popping or fireworks. We took him to a wonderful ENT specialist in McKinney and learned although Jon has perfect hearing, his ears process sound slower than normal. Therefore, he was having a lot of trouble putting letter sounds for lots of words together. Once we had this diagnosis, our speech therapist was able to tweak his therapy to better meet his needs. Within a few months, he was talking like CRAZY!! So just an idea to check out an ENT if you haven't already.

And both of my children absolutely loved having storybooks with the audio to listen to which would foster talking and vocabulary expansion. Story time at the frisco, mckinney, or prosper library also would encourage opportunities for talking.

hayley nelson said...

ECI is a great way to go because then the school district is on board with a special plan for her when she starts elementary.

Sharon said...

Hi! I know this comment is late, but I am just now reading your post. And we have been down this same road with my now 5 year old daughter from China with cleft lip (no palate, but cleft gumline and some fistulas).

We got our daughter's file at 2 yr 3 mo and all she was saying at that point was "momma"... And when we brought her home at just turned 3 years, all she said in Chinese were simple phrases like "all done", "thank you", and single words. When she came to America she learned single words pretty quickly and simple phrases. It took her a year to start putting together simple sentences and she still could not communicate long sentences or complicated thoughts. She was 4 - 4.5 by this time... She would also not stay on topic and just start talking about random things that made no sense. This mom was freaking out! I could tell she was super bright by other things and I could also tell her receptive language seemed strong. We did the entire school district speech thing, but honestly, I kinda feel like that was a waste of time. We had her evaluated by a private speech therapist and put her in private therapy at first 3 times a week and now she is 2 times a week. Honestly, speech therapy has been a complete miracle. After 4-6 mo of speech therapy, she was "in range" for her age, but still lower than she should be knowing that she is so intelligent, so we still have her in it. But her speech is definitely pretty on par with her peers. In her pre-k class, she is probably in the 25-50% of speech, but it doesn't prevent her from being social and able to carry on conversations with her peers. She is doing great.

Another thing and road you may want to consider is her hearing. We found out our daughter after a year of Dr's appointments and minor surgeries has a slight hearing loss. She cannot hear the soft sounds like 's' and 'f'. And in a crowded room (like in an orphanage), speech is hard to distinguish. She can hear one on one very well. It is so minor our ENT and audiologist didn't even know if we should bother correcting it, but b/c we are concerned about speech development and we figured it couldn't hurt we got her hearing aids. But the road to figuring this out was long. We went to the ENT probably 1.5 years ago and he looked at her ears and they looked clear of fluid and did a hearing test. And it showed the slight hearing loss, but he couldn't see any reason why she would have it and honestly at that age, getting them to do the right thing to test their hearing is pretty tricky. But her eardrums don't vibrate for some reason at all. Even though there was no fluid visible, we went ahead and did ear tubes and adenoid removal (b/c they were huge) and the ENT did find a ton of gunk/old infection behind her ear drum. So that made us hopeful too. But at her next audiology appointment, she still had the loss. But then her ear tubes fell out and her hearing got a bit better. Anyways, we now have hearing aids and I do think it's helping her speech as well as the speech therapy.

For young kids, I love the "first words" books as well as the lift the flap books. Those seemed to really encourage my kids with language. Britt is so little and I bet she is catching up on receptive language, plus she just had her palate repaired so I would think that would delay her as well.

FYI, the Callier Center in Richardson has great speech therapy camps in the summer and one is specifically made for cleft kiddos. They have another one called Camp Talks a Lot to develop vocabulary and sentence structure, etc... I don't know if Britt is too young, but we did one of those when our daughter was 3.5 and it was great for her and she progressed quite a bit. So much, they said she didn't really qualify for it the next year. And it's in our backyard (in DFW) and is a great resource!