by Kelly, Contributing Writer
In 2013 my son Luke was two years old and he only had five words. His father was “Daddy” and I was also “Daddy.” My husband and I often said we felt like we were missing out on hearing his sweet voice and all that a two-year-old should say. In December of that year we decided to have Luke evaluated.
The morning of our meeting my eye began to twitch. I suppose this was mothers intuition, I somehow knew that the news to come was not going to be good. And then confirmation came…. my baby did not have slow speech like his previous pediatrician predicted, instead it was childhood apraxia of speech (CAS).
Tears and more tears!
My husband along with the SLP said, “DO NOT GO ONLINE AND RESEARCH THIS…IT WILL UPSET YOU TOO MUCH!” The SLP recommended speech two days a week for thirty minute sessions and we started the first week of January 2014.
In late February I realized there was no change. So I did what only a good mother knows to do….I went to my one resource…THE INTERNET!
This is where I found Jake’s Journey. And I found a MOM just like me. She seemed like she would climb mountains for her precious Jake and I knew I wanted to do the same for my Luke. If Tori went to Gilbert, Arizona and met with Lynn Carahaly then that is what I would do too!
I enrolled Luke in a week-long intensive therapy session. We did speech with Lynn at Foundations Development House (FDH) for two hours a day. On Wednesday of that week Lynn and I had a meeting and she confirmed what the SLP in Atlanta had said … Luke did in fact have severe CAS.
But Luke left Arizona with one new, clear word … “more.” With this one word I felt like I had won the lottery. My baby is improving. Even if only a four letter basic word. It was Gold to me.
It took two weeks after we were back at home to get the full evaluation back from Lynn Carahaly. Lynn recommended going to speech four days a week and doing several at-home speech therapy techniques like parallel play. She also mentioned The Listening Program, which I had not heard of before.
I called the next day and learned that over time, specialized music can reprogram the brain. FDH used the analogy of imagining Luke’s two-year-old brain being like a messy closet. After 30-40 weeks of listening, everything in “Luke’s closet” would be put where it belonged, color-coded, and reorganized.
Luke did Level One, which includes ten albums/CDs. The Listening Program also provided me with a SLP that I could call if I had any questions or if I needed guidance. The following are included in Level One:
- Full Spectrum- These albums provide the listener with an overall organizing listening experience and prepare the listener for the more specific frequency training to come in the other albums.
- Sensory Integration- These albums affect balance, coordination, L/R discrimination, and movement.
- Speech and Language- These albums impact such areas as: speech, language, vocal control, attention, concentration and focus.
- High Spectrum- These albums impact arousal, alertness, creativity and imagination.
I was like…Wow!! I want this!! But for the money, I could not afford to experiment. I did research on the web and found that it is used by many children and adults from over 35 countries. There were several testimonials that I came across on YouTube where kids seem to have had great success with this program and so I decided it was worth a try.
And I am so happy I did!
In April of this year, Luke began intensive speech therapy with a new SLP. Our weekly schedule was as follows: 2 – 45 minute sessions and 2 – 30 minute sessions. In May we added 15 minutes of sound therapy with The Listening Program, which he does the same time each day. Luke loves the music and he usually works on puzzles or plays with blocks while he does this.
The result …
I did not notice a change in Luke’s articulation right away, but I did notice a more relaxed, less temperamental 2 1/2 year old. Luke’s speech started making progress around four weeks. We went home to visit family and everyone could not believe his progress. He started calling family by names and asking for certain foods and toys. By eight weeks he started saying 5-6 word sentences with 90% intelligibility.
Luke’s growth in the past seven months has been jaw-dropping! At the beginning of this year, Luke was diagnosed with severe CAS by three SLPs. His most recent test results show that he has mild CAS. Luke communicates without prompting and he recently scored on the average range for articulation and above average for expressive language.
Jennifer, our SLP, has just reduced Luke’s sessions to 1 – 30 minute session a week and she plans to discharge him at the end of December. We will reconvene around the age of four to assess where Luke is and to work on literacy skills and reading comprehension. This means that in less than one year from starting intensive therapy and The Listening Program, Luke has come full circle.
Luke’s SLP has consistently been amazed by his progress. She had initially thought he would need therapy for several years and is beyond pleased by his extreme transformation.
From the moment that I began to do research on apraxia, I knew that we would give it our all. And that is what we have done. I would rather try everything and regret nothing than to always question. I will never know the exact what, why or how he has improved so quickly, but at the end of the day that is irrelevant to me. The bottom-line is He Did!
If you have it within your means, I would highly recommend intensive speech therapy and to incorporate The Listening Program into your daily routine.
To learn more about The Listening Program, please click here for more information.