Here is my crash course in what I have learned about speech in the last week or so.
The book The Late Talker by Marilyn Agin, Lisa Geng, and Malcolm Nicholl was very informative. It did, at times, scare the crap out of me. I expected that, so I tried to go in prepared. It also helped me to rule out some problems that my son doesn’t have, like eating, licking, moving the tongue.
By far the most important chapter for me was one on fish oil. Studies are showing that toddlers are lacking in the Omega 3 and Omega 6 that are found in fish oil. The main effect of this shortage is delayed speech. Guess who has had fish oil every day for a week? My quiet boy. And he doesn’t mind it a bit. I mix it in with his juice and he downs it.
I shudder a bit at the fact that I had fish oil in my refrigerator because I was already versed in how great it is for the brain. It just got pushed to the back, or I would forget, or didn’t have time to hassle with it. So not a hassle when I know that it might help my son in ways that could shape the rest of his childhood. (I shudder that when I had only one child, said child was regularly given her fish oil supplement. arg.)
The study also discusses the benefits of giving fish oil to children with autism. Data is showing that children with autism also greatly benefit from a fish oil supplement for lenthening attention, settling behavior and increasing communication.
I have checked out a few more books from the library that go more in depth into speech in general. I found a great resource while perusing on Amazon. There are two videos made by speech pathologists specifically designed for late talkers. I bought them on the spot and am waiting their arrival. I found one of them at the library and we have started watching that one in the mean time. Nicholas loves it. He doesn’t really watch any TV with the exception of an occasional Baby Einstein.
The videos are called Baby Babble and Baby Babble 2. They are low tech – two women and some toys. The women show how to make three sounds over and over. Nicholas even imitated them a few times. They are so informative. I have learned things like the letters/sounds children learn first are B, M and P. They are lip sounds that don’t involve the toungue. Learning sounds is easier than learning a word. So now we are practicing B sounds instead of B words. Though, the B words are coming. He is working on book, button, bubbles, and bath. They all sound a little alike right now, but there are sounds coming out of his mouth, which makes mama very happy.
He also is learning to blow. He finally figured out how to blow on this crazy duck whistle we have. He was so excited. It means he is learning how to push air out of his mouth and words will soon follow. He is practicing blowing a feather out of my hand. Tomorrow I will have him try to blow a cotton ball across the table. We can do that together at the same time, so he can see the outcome.
Anyway, all this to say, he is making progress. I feel as though I am helping him. We are actively working together. My husband is helping and so is my daughter. Nicholas’ first sentence is going to be our first sentence. I appreciate all the kind wishes and support we have received.
(New words Nicholas said today: bike, book, button, bubbles, bath)