It was so exciting for me to witness Julie Anstey working with Mia yesterday. Since our last session with Julie and Hannah last week, we have continued working on the ‘p’, ‘b’ and ‘m’ sounds. The ‘m’ sound comes out like a ‘brrrr’ still as Mia expires through her mouth when she tries to make the sound. Julie had met us at Therapy In Praxis to work with Mia and the lady there who sees Mia weekly, Sarah. It’s our cohesive approach so everyone who works with Mia knows what they are doing and just HOW to do it.
My first comment with Julie was about the ‘m’ and the expiring through the mouth. Julie said that as Mia’s lip closure gets stronger, the breath would come from the nose. The TalkTools we have been doing are helping with her lip closure. I watched Julie working on some simple speech exercises like ‘ha’ which starts with an unvoiced sound, then Mia has to switched to a voiced vowel ‘a’.
She moved onto ‘hmmm’, which is the same. Unvoiced ‘h’ then ‘mmmm’. Julie used the PROMPT technique to guide Mia through this. Then she did it. The PROMPT for ‘m’ is an amazing sleight of hand that touches Mia’s lips together to show her ‘these closed’ then a quick and light touch on the nose which puts Mia’s attention here for expiring through the nose. She did it 3 times – an ‘m’ right! Amazing!
Having watched it all, I don’t see how Mia could achieve that without the TalkTools exercises helping to strengthen her mouth, and the PROMPT to guide her. It’s really, really working! After years of seeing her struggling and going nowhere fast I can see a light and we’re heading for it! It may be a way off, but I am now in no doubt that, if we can find a way to keep this up, Mia can find the gift of speech.