Hi Shelley and Alicia

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Hi Shelley and Alicia
Tue, 10-28-2003 - 9:48am
Hi, my name is Netti, 37 and I am married to Chuck,41. We live in rural South Dakota. We have 2 boys, 8 and 12. Our dd is Jenna, 3 1/2. I am so encouraged by your post on how you have taught your dd to communicate. I pray Jenna will be able to that someday. We had some people over and we were all sitting at the table and when everyone laughed, Jenna laughed, too. I know she knows what happy conversation sounds like and I also know she knows when it isn't. When her brothers get to scrapping or we get after them, Jenna sticks out her bottom lip and cries. I do talk to her, but I think I need to concentrate on doing it in a more informative way and not in a sing song voice. I have a tendency to talk to her like you would an infant because she smiles then. I need to explain what this is or what I am doing. Her Speech Therapist just mentioned using picture boards for her to make a choice. It is better, but Jenna's eye contact isn't the greatest. But I guess I have to start somewhere to see if she will respond. I know she knows when we kiss her that we love her, because she always smiles and pats us. She does reach for toys she wants so I guess that is making a choice. She is tube-fed so she doesn't make a choice on what to eat and as far as clothing, I have never given her a choice.

The drooling is a problem even though it doesn't sound like such a big deal. Jenna wears a bib all the time and always has a rash from being wet. I change her bib 7-8 times a day and even then her shirt is wet. She has had Botox injections in her tight hamstrings but never for drooling. The Botox has been done 4 times with a little high dose each time without much success. They don't know why Jenna isn't responding as all his other paients have. Maybe there is a connection as to why the drooling meds don't work either.

Thanks so much for the encouragment, I am going to start right away with the things your mentioned and let my husband and sons know, too.

Thanks so much, Netti and Jenna

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-21-2003
Tue, 10-28-2003 - 10:19am
Hi Netti and Jenna,

I'm hoping you'll find a way for Jenna to "talk". One suggestion is to put up 2 different objects in your hand and make Jenna look toward the one she wants. Eg: teddy bear in left hand and a stuufed dog in your right hand. Hold them far enough apart so she needs to turn her head to pick. Sometimes we use Alicia's hands to pick, eg: left hand is watch tv and right hand is dance to music. She then lifts which hand she wants. You can reenforce left and right by saying and/or touching the hand that Jenna is to use. I have no trouble talking in a normal voice to Alicia because I LOVE to talk (or that's what everyone tells me) and I pretend that I'm talking to myself aloud. It does take practise but trust me you'll see results, It's only been a year that we have been doing this with Alicia and now it seems like we've always been doing it. Her friends at school will tell new people how Alicia talks and sometimes they use her eye signals as well. Let us know how it goes, any problems and we'll try to help. Shelley