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Speech - The Early Years

Children with disabilities not only deserve the right to sit in “regular” classrooms, but the right to be taught and expected to learn. They can and will learn. Our question should be: how much will we teach?

Jordan’s speech therapy, provided by Jeannie at William Beaumont Hospital in Michigan, was extraordinary. It was also what I would call a pre-reading program. I describe this simply as a mother, not a speech therapist or an educator.  

Jeannie initially worked with Jordan on muscle issues, making faces in a mirror, sucking through a straw, blowing bubbles--all exercises to develop those hard-to-reach oral motor muscles. He already made sounds but as his muscle control improved, so did his sounds.

Even very young, you and your child can work on sentence structure. To start, you and your speech therapist may use a physical symbol for every word:

“The boy is swinging”  will become:

Blue block representing the word “The;”

Little Tykes male figure, “boy;”

Green block for “is;”

Picture of a child on a swing, “swinging.”

With this visual support, sentence structure is meaningful. The one-to-one correlation of language was clearly established. This is pre-reading.


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