Our new Speech Therapist, Diane, met Corey for the first time on Monday of this week. She was given a report of Corey’s history stating that she is currently “Low Level” and there probably will not be much progress. During Diane’s evaluation, Corey surprised her with her cognitive abilities, her memory, her understanding of commands, her attempt to mimic her mouth movements and her responses including the new response movement to shake her head Yes and No.
She taught Corey several sounds such as HE, HAW, HEY, HO. Corey laughed at Diane’s exaggerated facial expressions and couldn’t wait to try them. The ‘H’ forces the sound from the diaphragm with the goal to illicit the Humming sound carried by the breath of air. Our homework this week was to practice her HE, HAW, HEY and HO’s, as well as try to get Corey to stick out her tongue, pucker her lips, open and close her mouth and try to illicit sound with any of her responses.
Today was Diane’s second visit. She began with her vocalization warm up with the ‘H’ sounds. Not only did Corey mimic the sounds she is now forming the “O” with her lips. Next, Diane held a spoon one inch from Corey’s mouth. She asked Corey to stick out her tongue and touch the spoon with the tip of her tongue. For the first time EVER, Corey fully extended her tongue and touched the spoon. She also moved it to the left and the right. This is just one exercise that will help her develop her tongue muscle in order to form words.
On Monday, Diane was intrigued by Corey’s recognition of words and picture cards. Today she introduced a series of pictures and word cards to Corey. We noticed that when she held the cards side by side, Corey’s accuracy rate was low. However, when she held the cards top/bottom, Corey was spot on! This leads us to believe that there is peripheral damage limiting her field of vision. Of course we need this confirmed by a Neuro-Ophthalmologist; which I am currently looking for.
Diane held two cards. One card was a photograph of a bike. The second card was the written word telephone. Her command (showing each card separately), ‘Corey, does this card match this card’? Corey’s response was NO with a head shake. The next two cards were similar. One matched one didn’t. Corey accurately responded. Her last introduction was a bottle of coke and the written word Letter. When asked for the match Corey leaned forward and spoke “O”…she tried to say NO! We laughed out loud. Corey was probably thinking what is wrong with you woman…of course they don’t match…why are you asking me these silly questions!
Diane moved on to something a bit more challenging. She held a photograph of a cluttered garage. She had Corey study the picture. In the shot was a red bike. Diane slowly stated, ‘The bike is in the garage’. She paused and repeated the sentence. She took the photograph away and then held two cards in front of Corey. One had the statement written as Diane dictated; the other read, ‘the airplane is in the hanger’. Diane asked Corey, ‘which card matches the picture’…Corey chose the correct card. She was 100% accurate with each example! She not only can recognize the written word, SHE CAN READ SENTENCES!
Diane was so excited she told me that she is requesting 5 visits a week from Insurance! I finally feel like someone is hearing our cry for help! This young woman is NOT low level. She’s very much aware and is just waiting for us to help her show the world what she can do.
Corey you keep showing everyone what you are capable of. Your “voice” is being heard loud and clear. We will continue to listen and I promise we will answer with every tool available that will give you what you need to help you with your recovery. I am so grateful for the team of Avon Grove, Brandywine and UofD therapists that believe in you! If anyone doubted that you were unstoppable before…just wait! xoxo