posted May 16, 2015, 7:31 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 16, 2015, 7:31 PM ]
Ainur is a playful and endearing 5 year old girl who has been seen at the San Jose Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinic twice a week for the past year.  Ainur’s parents first noticed delays her with speech and oral motor skills at 11 months of age.   She was evaluated through her healthcare provider, however they did not cover speech and language services.  Ainur’s preschool encouraged her mother to seek services at this clinic.
When treatment began, Ainur appeared to understand language well, however she displayed a severe oral motor disorder and decreased sound production.  This drastically limited her ability to communicate with words and be understood by others.   Ainur has a very playful and gregarious personality.  She is full of life and loves to interact with people.   At nearly 4 years old, she was definitely showing signs that she was embarrassed and frustrated when not understood.  Ainur’s mother stated, “She use to scream loudly to get her needs met.  This was a source of stress in our household.  She rarely screams now, which makes our home a more relaxing place to be.”
Ainur has made amazing progress over the last year.  Her therapy has been very intensive and requires a lot of time and commitment from her parents to carryover her treatment to the home setting.  When treatment was initiated, Ainur needed intensive oral motor exercises to work on the strength and control of her jaw, lips, cheeks and tongue.  She used approximately 10 words and most of her underlying speech and language weaknesses had not yet been identified.  Her oral motor and speech patterns were similar to that of a much younger child.  Ainur had difficulty closing her lips, controlling the movement of her jaw, protruding and retracting her lips, moving her tongue and controlling her secretions.  She had difficulty producing and coordinating the muscle movements necessary to make earlier developing sounds such as /p/, /b/, /m/, /d/ and /t/.
Ainur is now speaking in sentences up to 5-6 words long.  She has made great progress with her speech sound development.   Her mother stated, “ Ainur’s speech has significantly improved.  She can now speak in full sentences and can communicate her needs.”   Ainur is also using many sound “approximations” which means she may not be making the sound perfectly but it is close enough that she can be understood by others.   Her expressive language has grown considerably, with some of her favorites including “oh right” and “no way Jose.”   Ainur’s oral motor control has continued to improve.  She is gaining control of her jaw movements and has improved her lip closure enough to blow a variety of whistles.
Ainur’s mother stated that, “The high quality of services and level of professionalism at this clinic are very rewarding.  Our family feels fortunate to be receiving services here.  We adopted Ainur from Kazakhstan, which was a significant financial endeavor.  We don’t know what we would have done without these services.  It is difficult to get along in this world without being able to speak.”