Lucrecia is a beautiful and imaginative 2-year-old! At initial evaluation, caregivers were concerned with Lucrecia’s communication skills as she was verbally limited to a few words and often utilized gestures and pushing/pulling behaviors to communicate her basic wants and needs. This often led to increased frustration as Mom and Dad did not have the tools to support her developing language skills. Additionally, Lucrecia overgeneralized family members’ names, using “titi” for everyone.
Speech therapy began with establishing a good rapport between the patient, therapist, and caregivers by implementing child-led therapy strategies. Initially, ASL was utilized to support verbal language for indication of some basic core words (eg. want, different, play). Eventually, Lucrecia no longer needed ASL to communicate and found that verbal language met her needs faster! Providing Lucrecia with 2 choices at a time, using melodic cues when modeling, and allowing pauses for her to process information have all been effective strategies utilized in and out of therapy. Mom is a natural speech therapist! She sat by Lucrecia at every session and was always eager to provide reverse demonstrations to carry over strategies learned in Speech sessions.
Lucrecia will be discharged due to all the wonderful progress she has made with only 4 months of Speech interventions! Caregivers are no longer worried that Lucrecia will be unable to communicate if she was hurt or ill as Lucrecia has learned the names of basic body parts and even enjoys making people out of playdoh to include those parts. Extended family members have commented on the progress she has made, as now her aunts, uncles, and cousins are able to understand her. Socially, Lucrecia now plays cooperatively with her cousins and can call them each by name. Mom expresses how much easier it is to have Lucrecia follow verbal commands and expressed confidence in their ability to continue with learned strategies. Caregivers anticipate Lucrecia will continue improving her language every day.