Everett was just 3 years old when his mom Bridget brought him to Oakland Scottish Rite Childhood Language Center with a severe speech delay. His speech was 45% intelligible to an unfamiliar listener, rather than the 90% intelligibility expected at his age. When Everett tried to communicate and a listener did not understand him, he often looked to his mother to “translate” for him. He was quite sensitive to the quizzical looks people gave him when he talked. Everett would back away, hide under a table, or even run out of the room when he encountered a communication frustration.
The speech therapist established rapport, trust, set boundaries for appropriate behavior, and increased Everett’s stamina for challenging speech exercises. While he became more open to therapy, progress on his speech goals was still very slow and discouraging. Nan Busse, our educational therapist and Interactive Metronome specialist worked with Everett for 4 weeks of intensive daily therapy. Everett learned to coordinate his body movements on command in simple and then complex ways and as his body control improved, Everett grew in self-confidence. He had less temper tantrums at transition times and handled communication breakdowns better.
At the therapists’ encouragement, his mother enrolled Everett in preschool where Everett communicates and participates well with peers. Today Everett has made so much progress that his mother, educational therapist and speech therapist all agree he’s “like a different boy.”