Quoting BlueJenn:" They did not do an MRI. Dysphasia and Aphasia I have read are the same thing. So are they not the same? ... [snip!] ... having to repeat things not to do every single day. Does any of this sound familiar to you? Sorry for writting so much... "
I just looked it up. Some sites do say that Aphasia and Dysphasia are the same! This is really odd to me because on all the sites in french for Québec or France they say the 2 are different. I've been told they are! I'll have a talk with his speech therapist next week. Same thing for his Dyspraxia. French sites say dyspraxia but North American/US sites call it something limb dysfunction... Now I'm confused
The things you say do ring a loud bell and do resemble greatly what happens with my son. He started off with speech therapy at the age of 3. They waited that long and I had to fight to get it this early. He was not able to say 1 single word and his babble was very limited. I have also heard of other children using words then stopping. From there he went to an ENT, his hearing is also fine. Actually it is more sensitive then most. He has excellent hearing.
The next step we took was to see a neuro pedopsychologist when he just turned 4. I really hope they are called the same as I'm translating from french to english word for word. She was a psycholigist for children but specialized in verifying the cognitive levels of Jason and see if it's from a neurological aspect, a trouble with maturity or a global intellectual delay. She did some tests with games and pictures. 2 times a week for about 3 months. It took so long because Jason was not cooperating at first. It was too much for him.
The tests had three major checks she made. 1st there was verbal testing. Show me the red ball. Show me all the small balls except the yellow. Things like that. He was severely below the average cognitive levels of a child his age.
The next tests were non-verbal. Only pointing, showing examples herself before. Showing a picture with many colors and pointing to a random color in the room. His cognitive level was normal to a child his age. Not excellent but normal. That showed that it was not an Intellectual delay.
Then the next check was observation. She could clearly see that Jason tried to communicate as best he could. He would use his body language, facial expressions, look in the eye etc. That was a big thing for her into showing that it was not a lack of stimulation or maturity.
What she also noticed was that Jason would have frustration when trying for too long to communicate, that he did have this glazed look when you said sentences that were too long without pointing or using body language. That his attention span was very very short which is not uncommon with Dysphasia. Also that his energy levels were low compared to a child his age and that he clearly had motor skill difficulties in both fine and gross. He also showed signs of Sensory Processing dysfunction. Many kids with Dysphasia will also have Dyspraxia which is a neurological problem with balance, control of the limbs, posture, low muscle tone regardless of how big or strong a child may appear. Problems with senses, like hyper sensitivity to sound and textures and pain. Or hypo sensitivity with others. So she referred him to an Occupational Therapist. That also helped with the ADD.
I was told they don't know what causes it. I was worried it was because he had a difficult time when being born. The doctor pulled hard on the forceps, I had pushed for 2 1/2 hours, etc. I thought it could have been brain damage but they said that they doubted it since his non verbal cognitive is normal and either way it cannot be proven now because the brain would be completely healed of any injury.
So today Jason is followed by a speech therapist, Occupational Therapist, psychologist and physio. He is 7 today.
What I have come to understand is that the main part of his speech delay is due to auditory memory and interpreting speech. If I used sentences with too many words everything went blank. Too much for his brain. Like: Jason can you please get the blue glass on the counter? All the small words like you, the, on, please, etc need as much concentration as the main words of the sentence to understand what the task is. His brain can't separate the importance of the words and find the clues. Those small words usually come naturally and the brain registers and sets them aside quickly but not with dysphasia. So add that to the auditory memory problem...
If I say too many short sentences, he will only remember part of them. For example, Jason go to living room. Go behind couch. Pick up blanket. He will go to the living room and then look at me knowing it's about picking up something but can't figure out the rest or even remember.
There is also the part, and that is where it gets frustrating for him, where his brain knows what he wants or he is feeling. Clear as day in his mind for his needs. However the brain that has a hard time with understanding/expressing anything regarding speech, will not allow him to express it in a verbal way. The words come out scrambled, babbled, people don't understand what he's asking and he gets upset so that makes it even worse. It's like his need for expression or asking for help is trapped in his skull. It does drive a child nuts.
If he is able to come up with a way to express something, his attention to any other verbal interaction is not really registered. Like a defense mechanism so that he does not forget or gets confused with more speech from peers or adults. So someone will say "hi Jason, how are you? How old are you?" He looks at you but what you said was not registered as anything other then noise because inside his head he is looking at you and is waiting for silence while repeating what he wants to express over and over again to not forget how and once there is silence he will say, "I want to play outside". He will repeat what he can express many times in a row to make sure you understand. Like he thinks that everyone needs to learn this way.
He also cannot interpret what is important or what is not necessary in a conversation. A subject is long gone but he's been working on his reply for 10 minutes so when he's got it will say it. Anything that is said that he understands or anything that he sees and understands becomes automatically concrete and truth for him. Like if he hears "got your nose" and sees you "grab" it, he will really think that you have his nose. Or that sponge bob exists etc. The brain does not register sarcasm, hints, fantasy etc.
I don't know if I have expressed myself clearly about this but I hope it can help. The main thing is that after the ENT is cleared, your best team would be speech therapy, Occupational therapy if needed and Psychology. That;s always my winning team
Best way right now for your little one is to use visual support for everything. Pictures body language etc. If you want her to start alphabet, use pictures of letters. If you want her speech to get better instead of putting an entire sentence as it should be just start with one aspect. Like when she is referring to the third person when saying something. Repeat the question but in the same amount of words or just by adding 1 extra word. Too much at once = shut down.
She says " (name) juice please?" Repeat "I want
juice please?" Say the first 2 words a little louder and point to your chest. Then ask her to repeat it with the gesture. "I WANT
juice please." I know the proper way should be "can I have juice please" but it can be worked on later. For now it's focusing on I and YOU.
" Mommy have cookie?" you repeat "YOU WANT
cookie?" Then pointing in front of you. " (name) play outside" say "I
play outside" again pointing to your chest. Instead of saying " I am playing outside" Verbs can be worked on later.
After a while and if she starts getting it then you work on negation. Say there is a blue car and a red car. "Get the blue car" instead start going "Do NOT
get the red car" Easy steps like that. I'm sure the speech therapist will show you all of this. It really takes baby steps but the baby steps are what sticks and where I have found the most progress. After say 10 baby steps you can see the progress clearly.
Feel free to PM me if you have questions. I know how scary and confusing it is. Wishing you the best.