As a speech-language pathologist, I believe this job can make wonders with so many lives when starting from zero to make them speak a few words which always gave me immense joy. The struggles we endure, the planning we make, and the progress we observe each day make us love our profession even more.
Every child is special to us, even though few become a little closer to our hearts. I would like to share one among that journey of a little shining star who attended therapy from our centre. He is a 2-year-old child diagnosed with delayed speech & language skills secondary to (?) Autism spectrum disorder. It was very difficult to build rapport with the child and excessive crying happened continuously for 45 minutes during the session.
I did everything I could do in the initial days like a magician with a magic wand. Even his thoughts and session planning were popping up in my mind every then and now.
The child was very dependent on the mother to make him independent, initially, it was hard, and gradually they started to understand the situation. I started singing rhymes and made him engage in play during the session
When I studied the case file and I found that the child is having issues with pre-linguistic skills lack of communication skills and the child had abnormal fear with strangers. The child had inconsistent use of one word and the vocabulary of the child was less.
The mother was so motivated by observing the gradual improvements of the child and did home training well according to the instructions.
Improving Pre-linguistic skills and communication skills
So I decided to improve the child’s eye contact attention, sitting tolerance, and imitation skills. The child was given different activities through play to improve the child from the current level and the techniques started to work on the child. The PLS was enhanced.
Another challenging goal was to improve communication skills. Self-talk and parallel talk was the technique applied to increase the verbal response. Now the child can communicate his needs in 2 words consistently and also phrase-level communication is also observed to be improved.
Now I proudly say that my child is able to communicate his needs and also the child is able to follow simple commands and instructions.
I put my soul and heart into this child and I thank the parents who trusted me and my skills and also who waited patiently for the responses and improvements of the child.
Anna Maria Manoj