Have I mentioned that Axel is a sponge? I cannot believe how fast he is learning. He now recognizes all of the alphabet, and numbers 0-9. He can count up to 10 objects, and is now starting to count objects he sees in magazines or books. Like yesterday at the vets office, he was looking at a magazine picture of several kittens lined up and he counted them. On his own. Unprompted. That is a huge developmental step. You know, the fact that he not only understands the concept, but he WANTS to do it. LOL
He's mastered writing his first name, so we'll give him a couple of weeks with that before we add his last name.
I have debated for several weeks as to weather or not I would use Cued Speech with Axel. He has the motor ability to do it, I just wasn't sure how to go about introducing it. With Angela we just did it as we talked, but I wanted to use it for Axel with reading, and really separate it from his ASL usage which he is doing so well with. There is also the possibility of his speech benefitting from the use of CS as well. I am NOT a speech pathologist though, so my lessons in articulation are rudimentary at best. One thing is for sure, focusing on the cues will make Axel aware there he has to do different things with his mouth, especially his tongue!
Anyway, we started the Headsprout Reading Program and I realized it was a GREAT way to introduce CS! So far he has learned to cue AND say the sounds /v/, /ee/, /s/, /n/, and the words "see" and "an". The fact that he's saying them is HUGE, because it was really a struggle to get him to make a /v/ sound using his teeth. The /n/ is still coming.
Here's where I'm struggling. I'm almost sure that Axel has Verbal Apraxia. (well, I was also sure he had auditory neurapathy, so...whatever. LOL) It is hard for me to STOP focusing on what he's doing with his mouth and just focus on the cues, just like I would with a student who is deaf or hard of hearing. With Cued Speech you don't need to hear to work with the sounds. Cued Speech is processed in the auditory center of the brain, and when you put it all together, the brain processes it just as if the child was HEARING it. Axel IS hearing it, and that should really be all I care about. Eventually he'll be able to cue the words for us to understand him. He shouldn't need to say it for us to understand, but if he does that will just be an added benefit. If I know he CAN make a sound, then I'll focus on that, but I need to lay off when he can't and let a speech therapist work on that part. LOL Like "an". He can say the /a/, but he cannot make /n/ with his mouth and I don't know how to teach him.
Anyway, here's the video. Watch his hands very closely. Sorry I can't get his hands AND face all in the shot. And turn your volume down since I talk loud. LOL You'll notice the lessons teach LOTS of stuff. We have matching, "same" and "different" (though i didn't put much emphasis on the signs since I wanted him cuing) not to mention working on the sounds and the cues for them! Also, I used this lesson to introduce the sign "don't know".