There are several developmental milestones as a baby develops into a toddler. A baby’s first word is a moment of excitement and celebration for everyone. Speech has begun! A child’s first wobbly steps is another milestone that produces fond memories.
I’m Thessaly Prentiss, and for speech-language pathologists like me, there are many more subtle communication milestones that we help to develop, and we celebrate them when they occur in the children we serve.
For example, combining and expressing two words together is a really big deal! It is rarely remembered or talked about by most parents. But in the world of speech and language this is a time to pause and celebrate this accomplishment. Using two words together means that a child can typically express at least 50 words. They have a foundation of vocabulary and can begin to share their thoughts and observations. These words can be expressed in multiple ways including in speech, sign language, pointing at pictures, text-to-speech, or in a combination of these modalities.
This month we are celebrating Sequoia, who is now using two words together! What did she say? We’ll share it in just a bit. But first, let’s introduce her:
Sequoia is a 27-month-old dynamo who loves exploring her world. She is a sweet child who loves playing with balls, bubbles, and animals, jumping on her mini-trampoline, and dumping items on the floor from any container.
She receives therapy at SPARC in our Birth-to-3 program for communication and sensory needs. She understands much around her and can now start to express herself using her voice, gestures, and American Sign Language. Congratulations to Sequoia for this accomplishment and to her family for their dedicated work and interest in her development. It takes time, patience, worry, and laughter, along with helpful support to accomplish some developmental milestones. It is a pleasure to be able to work with Sequoia and witness her growth.
And now for the big 2-word reveal!!
Not long ago, Sequoia asked for help getting her pacifier, which was out of reach, by adding the words “help” + “bink”. Yeah!!! We celebrate you and your growth Sequoia!
Only a few sessions later, Sequoia surprised me by saying “green heart” while playing with a shape puzzle. Sequoia is on her way with a foundation laid and we will continue to support her and her family with her communication and sensory needs.
Sequoia’s mother Steffanie shared with us how scary it can be when your child doesn’t hit milestones and needs extra help. Sequoia had no speech by her 18-month checkup with her pediatrician, and that’s when the family was referred to SPARC.
“All we ever want for our children is for them to be successful and be ready for such a big world. We couldn’t be happier today with SPARC’s help on our journey.”
Sequoia comes to weekly speech sessions and always has a fun experience. She enjoys her time and has progressed so much.
Steffanie says, “What I love about SPARC is their commitment to children who, like Sequoia, need help to build the foundation to their lifelong journey. We are so grateful for SPARC’s patience and kindness – for their support and services.”
Alexia Kristonis, an occupational therapist at SPARC, says Steffanie has been a great team player who is always willing to collaborate, sharing relevant, detailed information about how Sequoia is doing at home regarding sensory functioning. She shares the successes and the challenges, and she pays attention during therapy sessions, taking suggestions, and providing feedback and what’s working and not working at home so the treatment plan can be adapted to suit her needs.
It has been a very positive experience working with Steffanie and Sequoia and seeing the progress she has made over the past few months in her overall development!”