Earlier in the week I met Linda and she did a feeding evaluation on me. Today, we returned for my speech evaluation. Lucille had to leave early for the day so it was just me and Mommy and Linda. I got a few minutes of play time while Mommy caught Linda up on my past (short) history of talking. Then it was time for me to perform. Linda would ask me to say particular words or imitate the sounds she was making. Usually, I did it as I was running around the room or fishing a ball out from underneath the table. Even with the distraction, I was doing a great job following instructions. Linda also wanted to hear the difference in my speech when I was occluding my trach with my finger or using one of my two speaking valves (Shikani French and Shiley Phonate). At the end of the session, Linda shared some of her ovservations with Mommy. First, she wanted Mommy to know that for all that was working against me (trach, small jaw, abnormal palate and being hard of hearing) I was doing a great job with my speaking. She said my vowel sounds are great and I am making great use of my tongue and lips. One thing that was a unusual was that there wasn't a lot of change in my pitch - espescially since I was doing so well in other areas. Since I am going to have my airway scoped in the near future, she recommended that the ENT's pay attention to the movement of my vocal cords to see if there is any physical reason for the lack of pitch. Meanwhile, my parents will start working with me on pitch at home - by singing "la la la" to the different notes on my mini piano and practicing "Mommy, Daddy and Baby" voices.
Peyton Nicole Smith