Quinn has exactly six months left until he turns 3 and ages out of his state developmental services, so upon the retirement of his first speech therapist we started right up with a new one.
We talked about our goals for Quinn: to get his drooling -- which gets going when he's concentrating on something -- under control, to increase his ability to string words together and to encourage him to follow directions.
Her ideas were really surprising. After an initial assessment, Maureen said she thinks Quinn's speech delays and drooling may be physical. She spotted two possible problems: His drooling, she said, may be caused by a lack of muscle tone in his mouth stemming from a lack of sucking, babbling and mouth movement in his first months. Second, she said the fact that he isn't stringing words together may be due to a lack of muscle tone in his diaphram and other muscles in his stomach. Evidence of that, she said, is that Quinn rarely sits on his own. Playing, he usually squats, stands of lays on his stomach. Both, of course, stem from his time in the orphanage.
As for following directions, she said it's not that he doesn't understand us, but that he's a "free-range chicken" who is so busy checking out every little thing around him that he simply isn't listening - in fact, he doesn't even hear us. She suggested I get down to his level and say,
"Quinn, listen to MaMa" and point to my ear. I tried it and lo and behold, it works!
The whole session was very, very interesting. Of course I can't help but think that had I met Maureen six months ago, maybe Quinn would be chatting away by now. But enough of that. I feel so good about this therapist and I'm really excited to work with her!