Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Finding Words for the First TIme

George is a third grader with special needs. He says just a few words: yes, no, mad - simple words. However, he reads, writes and spells. He is in love with art history and can spell some very long words correctly. His mother was concerned about his fine motor skills and behaviors. He had had OT services in the past. She had purchased a listening therapy, but he had refused to listen to it. George listened to the Early Mozart CD (therapeutic Listening) in my office, and so we decided to try him on it to help with behaviors.

As part of the fine motor therapy, we decided to add into the mix a little Interactive Metronome (IM). The IM was tricky. George became rigid. He had no rhythm of his own, and was reluctant to do hand-over-hand clapping with me. Desperate to engage him, I began to make faces at him in a mirror placed behind the IM unit. He made faces back at me, and then we continued for 200-300 repetitions of IM (about 5-6 minutes).

The next week, we tried it again. But before we had gotten very far, George burst out with a littany of art history names. I looked at his mother who had wide eyes. This was a first. The following week, his mother gave a report. After they had gotten home that day, he pointed to all of the things in the living room and named them. He had never done that before. He was now speaking 2 word sentences. Needless to say, we continued with IM during that session. Before he left, he spoke a 3 word sentence: noun, verb, and adjective. Wow.

I am used to seeing great results from IM and slower but great results from Therapeutic Listening. This one blew me away.