We are attacking Alex’s lack of speech from all directions. Three hours of speech therapy a week, being in a house where he is surrounded by sounds and talking, using tactile symbols, and singing. When Brother does vocalize, it comes out in a sing song voice, which got us thinking about his brain. Speech and I have been discussing where his brain bleed was. We know that it mostly destroyed his vision center or where the brain would interrupt the images the optic nerve sends to the brain – if his optic nerve worked. She is wondering if he also had damage to his speech center. It’s in the left side, middle-ish in that hemisphere. We won’t know for sure till we go back to Neurosurgery in April and we can have him pull up his scans. If it has been damaged, there are two thoughts.
1. He is young and can build new neural pathways, so we keep at it.
2. Stroke victims that lose that region of the brain use a specific therapy using song to pull out bits of language from the brain. But…here is where there isn’t a lot of research…does the successfulness of this method depend on language already being in the brain? Generally it’s older people that have strokes and they WERE verbal and now use this therapy. Well, Brother wasn’t even two months old when he had his brain bleed, so there was no language already programmed into his brain. So we are going on the idea that he can store information, he is a smart boy. I have been singing with and to him all the time to try and access the singing part of the brain (luckily on the right side of the brain), but I realized that just singing all the time wasn’t as precise and targeted as I wanted. I was thinking about how a word or a phrase will trigger a song in my head. And a light bulb went off. Brother needs short, specific songs for each activity. Hopefully with repetition they will sink in.
So last night we sat around and made up songs for daily activities. I have stored them here so that I can reference them until we all get them stuck in our brains!
We use the clean up song from Daniel Tiger.