Meet Jesus: Patient Success Story

“I had concerns about Jesus because he was not talking or communicating with us. He would become frustrated and was always throwing tantrums, yelling, and crying to communicate with us. However, I honestly felt skeptical about speech therapy services.” –mother of patient before starting speech therapy. One thing all pediatric therapists like – a challenge! Nora, speech-language pathologist, accepted the challenge and rose to the occasion to not only provide skilled intervention for development of expressive communication skills for Jesus, but also education to his family to promote buy-in, all within their home.

Jesus is a very active three-year-old boy who loves the outdoors and can be found running, jumping, stacking blocks, and playing with stuffed animals. Despite being full of energy to explore the world, Jesus was unable to communicate with his family or express his wants/needs, limiting his overall development and ability to interact with his family and peers. Initially, Jesus struggled to participate in therapy tasks and was easily frustrated when he could not communicate his wants/needs. This is when Nora got to work, creating an individualized and motivating plan of care to support achievement of Jesus’ goals, including hand over hand assistance to teach ASL and hand gestures, auditory bombardment to increase sound development in conversations, and modeling words through play.

A key factor in Jesus’ success was the dedication of his mother, who attended every session since visits were provided in the home. She practiced strategies that she learned from Nora between visits and made modifications based on Nora’s feedback. Together, Jesus’ mother and speech therapist collaborated to assure he was on his way to reach his full potential. After only a short time with speech therapy, Jesus has started using single words and hand gestures to express himself, which means less tantrums and negative behaviors. With Jesus learning to communicate, he is less frustrated and the family’s home life has calmed down. However, calm does not mean quiet – Jesus is now able to select his preferred food/drink and movie and is on his way to becoming a chatterbox!

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