I got another surprise when I arrived, on June 5th, to find Lauren sitting up in a dining room chair instead of her wheelchair and a hearty "HI!" when I turned the corner into the room. :)
During this session, we worked on really getting Lauren's voice to be "on" more than "off." She demonstrates many symptoms of motor planning delay which, in a nutshell, means that even though her brain tells her vocal cords to "voice" the message doesn't always go through. Add the breath support issue and muscle atrophy onto that and it is quite a task to vocalize!
For our session, I had decided that we would try "humming" and working on initial /m/ words...with Lauren's singing background I felt that this would be a great way to get her to vocalize more while also encouraging longer stretches of vocalizing. Cueing her to "hum" is also a great way to get her voice going instead of saying "say __________." Not surprisingly, this worked like a charm and she had GREAT success with a list of 10 or so initial /m/ words. In particular she vocalized a really strong MOON! I gave her "homework" which I'm not sure she was thrilled about.
Since Lauren enjoys her iPad and UNO so much, I incorporated our "drill" work into a more functional activity (playing UNO) by having her say "my turn" during our game. She not only said this but also vocalized a weak but audible "your" (turn) as well.
Here is some video of us playing UNO...she was getting tired by now but you CAN hear her say "mine" and "yours" pretty clearly.
Isn't that AWESOME?!
and for the record....I WON this time! Not that Lauren and I are competitive or anything. :)
Stay tuned for more updates from our next visit and as always, please visit either of these links to keep up with Lauren's progress and to donate.
Thanks for reading!