Speech therapy – step 1

A couple of days ago we saw Ronna, the lady who will be working with us on speech therapy. She evaluated Nathan by watching how he communicates, by using some of the switches we already have, and getting a sense for what he can and can’t do. She was excited to see how eager he is to learn to communicate!

Our plan is for her to come every 2 weeks and give us guidance/homework for us to work on. Then we can build on each appointment until we get Nathan to a point of functional communication. Here is step 1 for Nathan (from Ronna’s notes to us):

I’m going to start with the suggestion we spoke about, using the 2-message talker for yes/no.

(This switch allows you to record a message, and when the child hits the switch, the pre-recorded message plays. In this case, we would record yes on one side, and no on the other side).

It is a skill he will always need, the most powerful communication tool someone can have really. Whether he uses the talker or his head movement and smile.

So, with the 2-message talker- The ideal is to get a wheelchair mount so you can add it to his wheelchair.

Until you get the mount, you can tape it in one location so it is steady, where he can get to it. Seems like slightly above his lap to the right when seated in his chair. And put the “yes/no” words with maybe a happy face and sad face, or any other symbols you feel may represent it to him. Then every day ask him maybe 5 questions and mark down his answer. Here is a sample:

1. Is this Daddy ? (with Dad standing in front of him)
2. Is this Mommy ?
3. Is this a book ?
4. Do we eat books ?
5. Is the doggy big ?

1. Is your name Bob ?
2. Are you a boy ?
3. Is it sunny outside ?
4. Did we go in the car today ?
5. Do you sleep in the bathtub ?

We will work on this over the next couple of weeks, and then she will evaluate him in 2 weeks.

It seems that a lot of people were interested in learning more about this, so here we go!


  1. Great post! I am very interested in what other people are doing in speech. There are so few kids like Charlie in our area that we really are making it up as we go along.

  2. This is a great post. I’m really interested in this. Please keep the posts coming! I hope to learn along with Nathan ad implement what is appropriate with Emma.

  3. Is that Ronna Joseph? Haven’t seen her for years…we use to work together..even had a communication group together for a while…Nathan is in great hands with Ronna…she is awesome..she is still an OT right?

  4. Que genial, veo a mi niñito que le va a ir suuuuuper bien en esta terapia, les deseo mucho exito, mucha paciencia, hay que darle el tiempo necesario para su respuesta, les va a ir muy bien en este nuevo trabajo, animo amiga, que todo saldrá bien!!!!, besitos a todos

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