Finding Her Words
“She used to say things like ‘here you go’ and ‘thank you’ and then she just stopped,” Mari said. Her daughter, Annalynne, at almost two years old, seemed to lose her ability to speak. She began using humming sounds, seemingly in the form of a sentence, to communicate. Mari struggled to get a diagnosis for her daughter. One medical professional suggested that Annalynne may have Apraxia: a condition where the brain has difficulty communicating to the parts of the body (tongue, jaw, and lips) used for speech. However, it was unclear why she might have developed it so late.
Knowing the importance of addressing her daughter’s speech concerns early on, Mari sought advice from her family physician. He referred Annalynne to Innovative Services NW Pediatric Therapy Center, a Neurodevelopmental Center. She’s now been receiving Early Intervention services, which include Speech Therapy, in the home for more than a year. Her therapist, Bri, has noted major improvements in her language skills, “Annalynne has grown a lot! Initially, if I tried to help her with her speech, she would close her eyes and shut down. Now, she’ll come to therapy and we’ll play, and she’ll copy oral motor exercises, and specific sounds. Now that she’s able to use her voice, she’s getting more confident,” Bri said. The dedication of her parents in implementing her therapy at home has allowed Annalynne to quickly progress in her speech skills. It’s empowered her independence and ability to communicate with her family, teachers, and therapist.
Mari expressed her gratitude for Bri’s determination to help her daughter, “As a mom of a child who has something like this going on, and you don’t know what it is, and nobody seems to know, it’s really nice to have somebody who is helping you advocate.” Bri has provided other resources to the family that have helped their daughter progress quickly.
She assisted the family in finding a doctor that would operate to remove Annalynne’s lip-tie, a condition that limited the movement of her upper lip. Since the operation, they’ve seen a vast improvement in her physical ability to speak. Her mom said the surgery even allowed Annalynne to give her a kiss for the very first time, just three short months ago. “We’ve seen a lot of progress with her oral sounds since then,” she said. “It’s so nice that Bri has our back.”
Thanks to the surgery, Early Intervention, Speech Therapy, and the dedication and hard work of her family in practicing her therapy at home, Annalynne is now able to say sixteen words and is more confident in her communication than ever. Soon, she’ll transition out of Early Intervention and into private speech therapy. Mari shared, “It’s been really nice to have Innovative. Bri has just been a wealth of knowledge and resources. Even when I was hesitant, she encouraged me. She’s really become a friend of the family.”