We are turning up the volume on Bliss’ speech immersion and therapy this fall! Our hope and goal for her is that by the time she begins kindergarten in 2016, she is on par with her naturally hearing, chronologically aged peers.
She is currently attending her third year of preschool, five days a week, where she is surrounded by age appropriate speech models, who are (bonus) also her friends. Also, she is attending two sessions weekly with an SLP (speech language pathologist) through our local school system (at no cost to our family), and also through the school system, she receives a weekly visit from a teacher of the hearing impaired to her preschool. Finally, she is receiving private speech therapy from Ms. K, her main SLP, whom she sees weekly.
We definitely feel that our decision to mainstream her with her hearing chronologically aged peers is paying off! A powerful indicator of this was on our most recent visit to CASTLE for an appointment with her audiologist and her SLP there. Ms. M, her CASTLE SLP, tested her for comprehension and speech. She scored strongly within both categories, within normal limits for her chronological age. We are still blown away, and we have to thank all of the SLP’s and our support network for encouraging Bliss to dive into the mainstream, step it up and turn up the volume on closing the gap.
Some ways at home that we are turning up the volume, are through reading a minimum of 30 minutes daily, weekly vocabulary scavenger hunts, playdates and life experience.
With fall in the air, some of Bliss’ current favorite reads include: Mouse’s First Halloween by Lauren Thompson + Buket Erdogan; Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson + Jane Chapman; The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams; Stirring The Brew by Author Unknown; Julius by Angela Johnson and Corduroy’s Halloween by B.G. Hennessy (character by Don Freeman). We plan on going to a local farm this month for a pumpkin picking excursion, hayride included, and will go into more detail next post regarding the fabulous scavenger hunts Ms. K gives as homework each week, to help grow Bliss’ vocabulary.
We are excited and hopeful. Speech is a loud and lovely sound in our house where we plan to keep the volume high!