Today is Rayyan's 4th session with his new speech therapist, Ms Komathi, and I must say that I am happy with the progress that he's making. His sessions are more focused on strengthening the muscles required for speech and we have to massage his mouth (inside and outside) and the area around his mouth daily, 3x a day in fact. We also have to get him to blow different instruments and suck on different straws to strengthen those muscles. As Ms Komathi informed us, since he is already 4 and is non-verbal, the muscles required for speech are weak and we have to work on those muscles to strengthen them and make him more aware of those important parts.
Apart from the exercises, we are also focusing on getting him to make different sounds and for now, we are focusing on 'aaaa', 'mmmm' and 'oooo'. Under Ms Komathi's guidance, we learnt how to help him make those sounds. His 'aaaa' and 'mmmm' are not too bad but still have to work hard on the 'oooo'. Apart from that, I also had to bring my picture this morning and he had to say 'ma'. He can say 'mmm' and 'aaa' separately but difficult for him to join the two sounds together so we really have to work on it.
I must say that I am very proud of Rayyan because he is pretty cooperative during the sessions. He will really look at us and try his best to imitate us. He really, really tries but I can see that it is just so difficult for him to make those sounds sometimes. Then he will get really frustrated and start to cry. And my heart aches every time he tries hard to get the sound out but just couldn't....
Apart from that, Rayyan also goes for full body massages at the ST centre to improve on his overall muscles. These massages are done by Ms Komathi's husband, Mr Sekar, and the first session was really traumatising not just for Rayyan but for me and Hubby as well!! At first, Rayyan was enjoying his back and leg massages, then he had to lie on his back and he started to get uncomfortable. He started to cry a bit but when Mr Sekar started to massage his neck and face, that was when he started wailing, flailing his arms and kicking his legs!!! I think it was really painful for him because Mr Sekar did inform us that the muscles in his neck and face are stiff and it will be painful when he first massage those areas. When he started wailing in pain, I just felt like crying too!!!! I kept asking myself... Why does he have to go through all this?????
But looking at the bright side, my husband and I believe that he will improve from here. We keep telling ourselves that we have to be strong and that Rayyan has to go through this because it is for his own good. Apart from that, we are also spending quite a sum every month on his ST sessions and massages (about $1400+ per month) but if he shows improvement then we think it's money well-spent, a great investment indeed.
I really, really hope he will soon say his first word. It doesn't matter what the word is as long as he starts talking...
You can do it Rayyan!!!! Jia you!!!