Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sign Language?

Tell me what you think.

Lucy had her Speech therapy evaluation today. And Brandy (the ST) said she may not be quite at the level to qualify. She is about 4 months behind on her words, but only 2 months behind on communication. She put it in percentage for us. normal is between 35% and 65% She guessed that Lucy was like 16%-20%. But in order to qualify for their program she would have to be below 7%. But She also said that because of her condition they might make an exception. So they are all going to meet (OT, ST, and PT) on Thursday to make the decision. (we meet with her Physical Therapist on Thursday for an evaluation). So We are praying that she makes it. But Brandy gave us some tips on how to start with her. Use simpler words. And start teaching her some signs. Now, my worry with signing was always, well if she knows how to sign, why would she ever learn how to talk? But Brandy explained that she has been doing this for 11 years and she teaches Signing to all of her patients. And she has never had one prefer signing over speaking verbally. She said make sure that every time you use a sign also say the word at the same time, as well as give her the object or do the thing that you are signing. That way they will learn everything at the same time. Makes perfect sense to me. She used the example: Toddlers are always using their hands for playing, holding things, carrying things, etc. So if they want something eventually they are going to use their words vocally instead of signing, because they would rather hold onto that object for fear of losing it? Make sense?
Anyway. So since my very best friend, Michelle Chapin is fluent, she is more than willing to Skype with Tyler and I and teach us a few simple signs to teach Lucy. After being so against this, I am very excited now! I have been looking up videos on youtube of babies younger than Lucy signing and it is AMAZING! She can do this. Piece of cake!! And I'll do anything to stop the "EH!" and the fits... ugh. She is getting ridiculous! She knows quite a few words, but this will hopefully make it easier for both of us to communicate. Ah..
And even if she doesn't qualify, Brandy said she would come out at least two more times to teach us and give us some pointers on how to communicate better with her. Tonight at dinner we were working on "more" and "milk" she did pretty well!
Anyway, if anyone has tips, or thoughts on this, I would love to hear your comments. Thanks!!


Kayla Conover said...

This is totally what I'm going to school for. You should move closer to us and I can be Lucy's Speech Therapist :) that would be awesome. Although you do have to get a masters degree, I just have my bachelors. That would be cool though. Goodluck with everything I'm sure Lucy will do amazing. I agree with the signing I'm definetly teaching my kids how to sign. There is this site called aslpro.com and you can look up signs and they show you how to do them. I used to use it That what I used in school.

Tif said...

I'll bet she picks up so fast. We didn't start with Scharae until she was around 18-20 months and she could literally pick up 2-3 signs a day, and be using them on her own (as long as WE were good about being consistent)...as opposed to taking WEEKS to pick up one new word verbally even when she was 2+.

As for qualifying-Are you talking about early intervention services? I would hope that with all she's got going on, even if she doesn't meet the standard deviation in enough areas (in Oregon it's 3 I think), I'd hope they'd qualify her based on "personal discretion". I think that's what it's called here. Scharae met the deviations no problem but Keira was hovering at 10% in social, emotional, communication, and adaptive skills-not quite low enough in any ONE, but so low in all of those that they exercised their right as "experts" to override the standards and provide services. I'll keep my fingers crossed that Lucy can get into some great programs! EI has been a godsend for us!

Bonnie said...

yeah they do a Program through Medicaid called Idaho Smiles. And thats where they come to your home and provide you with all of the services, if your child "qualifies".