Nolan's speech continues to take off, with such spontaneous phrases as:
- "I don't want green sock. I want white sock!"
- "Matthew pushed me! No pushing, Matthew!"
- I don't want take nap."
We are actively working on some language processing skills. Nolan struggles with echolalia (the fancy term used to describe parroting back what you just said) and auditory processing. It isn't a severe issue, but it is rather obvious during many exchanges.
An example of the echolalia would be this:
Question: "Nolan, where did you go today?"
Response: "No-wa, where go day?"
He will answer a simpler question, such as "what color is this flower?" because there is only one possible answer, and he doesn't have to think of what to say.
Another example of auditory processing issues is this:
"Nolan, do you want blue or yellow?"
"Nolan, do you want yellow or blue?"
"Nolan, do you want blue or red?"
Instead of thinking about what he wants, he simply mimics the last word uttered. Frankly, it's easier than thinking of both choices and then choosing the one he wants.
So we're working on the echolalia with a lot of modeling. This appears to be working in some ways, because we have gotten a spontaneous "yes" response twice this past week! It will be an ongoing exercise for us, as the more open-ended questions will take a bit more work.
To get Nolan to listen to a whole sentence and retain it (rather than just repeat the last word as his answer), we are giving him two choices, but with one choice far less desirable than the other. And the less desirable option comes last in the sentence. For example,
"Nolan, do you want to go sledding or go inside?"
"Nolan, do you want to play with playdough or do a puzzle?"
"Nolan, do you want juice or water?"
This is working very well. Often he'll stop, start to say "water," then look at me to repeat the sentence. This time he'll listen to the whole thing, retain both choices, and select the one he really wants.
Matt is still in speech therapy, though his speech has continued to progress to the point where the issues are more minor articulation concerns. There is a great likelihood that he will graduate from speech therapy this spring. We are currently working on "cluster reductions" (that's where he omits some sounds from the middle of a word- screwdriver would be pronounced as "'kew-dyer") and getting the /s/ sound in blends (snow is pronounced as "no" and "school" is "kool").
His preschool did a speech screening last month, and I am interested to see how he did with an independent Speech Language Pathologist. I wonder if he "passed" or "failed" the screening. He receives speech services through June no matter what, but we will have to have another IEP meeting next October to continue or stop his current services. He also starts the Universal Pre-Kindergarten program next year, so if he gets speech therapy, it will likely be during school.