Mia’s forever blowing bubbles……………… and playing harmonicas! Breath control, that’s what we’re working on! TalkTools equipment to help Mia develop a greater ability to maintain an outbreath as we all do when we speak. She can do 10 blows through the harmonica, but you can see she gets tired after 8 as she blows out her cheeks. The little signs I’m learning to notice. So tomorrow we’ll stop at 8, so she is not forcing or compensating for weakness.
The only speech we are working at the moment is what they call ‘bi-labial’ sounds ‘b’, ‘p’ and ‘m’. Bi-labial means you bring your lips together to make the sound. I have been shown ways to use my hands to help guide Mia to use her mouth and lips correctly to produce the sounds. Mia has been projecting her bottom jaw and lip to strain to make the sound. The speech therapist watched carefully as Mia tried to make the sounds, and worked out what she was doing and why. She showed me how to touch her top lip to focus Mia’s attention here, where the sound should be made – top lip coming down to bottom lip. Hopefully she will drop the bottom jaw and lip projection. Worked great for ‘b’ and ‘p’ – best I’ve ever seen her do! The ‘m’ was hard though – and left me wishing I had the experienced therapist with me. Especially as I know that if she gets into to wrong habit, it’s hard to undo. I was shown how to gently prompt Mia to bring her 2 lips together to make an ‘m’. Will try again tomorrow, but might have to consult the experts if I feel it’s not going right! I want to replace the current wrong habit with the right one, not a different wrong one!