Four months.

That’s how long Lewis has been working with his speech therapist through Early Intervention.

Their last appointment is coming Wednesday.  He’s turning three in two weeks.

When they started, his delay was quite noticeable.  I could understand about 50% of what he said.  Others…not so much.  Getting services for him was a delicate dance – the SLP had been in at 18 months.  Then 2 years old.  Then finally again at 2 1/2 years old.

In June, two word sentences were hard to understand.  He could label, but not complete phrases.  Many consonant sounds were missing.  No subject-verb configurations.  And as their sessions went on, other things became apparent.  Limited play skills.  No eye contact.  Difficulty maintaining attention.  That all brought us to August and our developmental evaluation and the eventual PDD-NOS diagnosis.

Even in that August appointment, the gap between his receptive and expressive language was quiet apparent, as they noted several times throughout the report.

I took this video yesterday.  Four months after therapy.

A “what” question in “What Mommy?”.  An “I” statement in “I swimming” and “I can’t swim”.  A conversation “Because it’s broken”.

Pretend play with goggles, swimming on the blue rug.

I showed this and another video to his speech therapist.  She was shocked.  And happy.  And a little teary.

As was I.

My son is a perfect example of how a little bit of early help can go a long way.  We are so grateful.  And so proud of all his hard work to get there.

Now we have a lot of happy talk in our house.  His voice is music to my ears.

Happy talkin’ talkin Happy talk
Talk about things you’d like to do
You’ve got to have a dream
If you don’t have a dream
How you gonna make a dream come true ” – Happy Talk from the musical South Pacific

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Side note: I took this video and many others on our iPad.  I truly believe that our iPad aided in my son’s success in learning appropriate speech patterns.   He’s a whiz on the iPad and thanks to apps like “Speech With Milo”, “AlphaTots” and others like those, he learned sentence structure and letter sounds in a way that made sense to him.  I’m saddened by the loss of Steve Jobs for many reasons, but the impact he had on the special needs community is immeasurable.  On a personal note, he died too young from the same cancer that also took my dad too young.  Just as I am grateful for the 13 months post-diagnosis that we had with my dad, I join with the world in being grateful for the years post-diagnosis we had with Steve Jobs.  This family thanks you for your vision and for your faith in your products that changed an entire community.

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